BYU football notebook: Riley Nelson 'not healthy enough right now to start' in bowl game

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  • CWEB Orem, UT
    Dec. 13, 2012 11:30 a.m.

    If BYU starts and plays Nelson...BYU loses. They have yet to beat a team with a winning record.

    If BYU Starts Lark, they have a good chance to win. Not guaranteed. SDSU has some grudges and I think they will come out with much more emotion, trying to make a point in this game. If BYU is not UP emotionally, and UP physically, and if they come out slow to start the game, it could be a long day for the Cougars.

    They day will be long regardless, if Nelson is the guy. I wanted to go to this game so badly, and was ready to buy tickets...NOTE to HOLMOE...the ONLY reason I am not going...Nelson. I refuse to spend money to watch a guy that routinely lost games to every good team we played. Money speaks people.

  • Lightening Lad Austin , TX
    Dec. 12, 2012 1:00 p.m.

    I hope TO Nelson gets back to his prime physical condition without any lasting effects from all the smacking he took via guys twice his size. I'm not in a panic with his backup starting his second game. San Diego St is not a New Mexico St but their not world beaters either. BYU has to find a way to pressure their QB or he'll be doing the San Jose St first quarter passing game on BYU, for the entire game. Hoffman could be the difference, he thrives under Lark. No digs against Riley, but he and Doman along with the head man were in an alternate universe this season not seeing how horrible this offense really was, don't get me started on the pick 6's.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Dec. 12, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    For the good of the team, I hope he stays that way.

  • SportsCenter Olympus Cove, Utah
    Dec. 12, 2012 8:31 a.m.

    Both Riley and Lark through their hard work and devotion to the program have "earned the right" to be the starting QB for the bowl game, but Lark has proven that he gives BYU the best chance of winning, especially if Riley isn't 100% healthy, which is a given.

  • Mortoon Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 12, 2012 7:52 a.m.

    Any coach who would play Riley at this point in the season should be benched!

  • plyxply SLC, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 5:14 p.m.

    I'd really like to see Nelson get a chance to redeem himself and to prove the coaches right. He's the only BYU qb with the charisma and chutzpah to high five an official and it seems we've all forgotten how happy we were to have him win the USU game. It's not his fault he's been hurt!
    Go Riley, Go Bronco!

  • sliv43 Orem, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 5:01 p.m.


    With the coming bowl game, you have a chance at a "redo" of the Heaps/Nelson fiasco of last year. Here hoping you get this one right. In case you are looking for help, here is the magic formula:

    Start Lark (Just like you should have started Heaps)

    Use Ryley situationally (just like you should have used him situationally last year)

    Use Ryley in WildCougar formations, 3rd and short, goalline, or just to mix things up. Leverage the strengths of your players, that is what you are paid to do. Can you honestly tell me that Ryley makes Hoffman a better receiver? Apo? Ryley has grit and leadership, but he doesn't make his teammates better.

    LSU won a Nationsl Championship in 2007 with the 2 quarterback system, and came darn close to doing it again in last year. Die they alternate series (your biggest blunder with Heaps/Nelson? No, they played situationally. I realize you are no Les Miles, but the blueprint is right there. Les get's the most out of his players. Can you? Guess we will find out on the 20th.

    Go Cougs!!!

    Dec. 11, 2012 5:01 p.m.

    I think Bronco is a great coach and he is going to make mistakes; however he has to know well before this game whether Riley is 100% or not, and if Riley is in any kind of pain he should start Lark. Lark deserves it.

  • jasonlivy Orem, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 4:42 p.m.

    Others have said it, but I don't think it can be said enough. I completely agree that it's selfish for him to start if still injured knowing that he puts his team in a tough situation.

    As a defensive player for BYU, I would be worried to see Riley start. The pressure would be on the defensive to not only stop SDSU but also to score the points. He would know that they would be in several tough situations involving goal-line stands. I would also think that the defense would be on the field for most of the game.

    As a receiver, I would be worried if Riley started (unless your Hoffman). They could expect to see the ball almost never, and if they do get a glimpse, it would be sailing 10 feet over their head.

    As an offensive lineman, I would be worried if Riley started. It would be my job to protect the quarterback when he cares nothing for himself, or for his team, in terms of getting injured. It will be an exercise in frustration.

    I could go on...

  • Real Bass Idaho Falls, ID
    Dec. 11, 2012 4:35 p.m.

    Wow looks like the whole Nelson family commented! But we know that you folks really are secret usu fans. Real BYU fans want the best available quarterback to start the bowl game. And that ain't Riley!!!!!

  • NC FROGS 2010 Gilbert, AZ
    Dec. 11, 2012 4:21 p.m.

    The challenge for Doman (and maybe Mendendhall too) is that IF Lark gets the start and IF he performs well again, this time against a more evenly matched team, then the critcism leveled that the unfailing allegiance to all things Riley cost the team wins this year will be justfied.

    Can their egos handle that? It might just be more palatable to play Riley, and lose again, beause they really don't want to deal with the aftermath if Lark plays well.

  • Whatsnu Sandy, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 2:26 p.m.

    If Bronco wants Mark Durrant's recent tweet to come true, he'll start Lark:

    "For the Mayans, annihilation comes December 21st. For the Aztecs, it's December 20th."

    Go Cougs!

  • That's A Good One Meridian, ID
    Dec. 11, 2012 1:00 p.m.

    James 'Lloyd Christmas' Lark: "So you're saying there's a chance?!" We hope so James, we hope so.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Dec. 11, 2012 12:49 p.m.

    Lark has earned the right to start in the bowl game. Riley has proven he is a good running back, but not the quarterback that BYU needs. No doctor here, but no way will Riley be 100% by game time. No need to lose another game because of an injured quarterback.

    Bronco and Doman - please go with James Lark. Let the "medical report" be your scape goat.

    Dec. 11, 2012 12:42 p.m.

    "I'm still tender and sore. I haven't been fully medically cleared, but hopefully by the end of this week I will be."

    Well your hopes sure don't align with those of the fans...

  • Thinkin\' Man Rexburg, ID
    Dec. 11, 2012 12:28 p.m.

    Objectively speaking, Lark should start the bowl game because his game-time performance has been MUCH better than Riley's, injured or not. Nothing else really matters if you want to win.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Dec. 11, 2012 11:40 a.m.

    Nelson says he is ready to play, but he said that when we played Utah, BSU and SJSU and he was not ready. He should have never been put in those games.

    I hope the coaches will rely on the doctors (first) and their assessement of Riley's ability (second) in determining if he should play. Riley has proven that if he's 70 - 80%, that's not good enough. He was awful in the games he played injured.

  • Mildred in Fillmore Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 10:38 a.m.

    It doesn't matter who starts. We will beat SDSU - handily.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    byu should win 50 to nothing. Probably.

  • LindonMan Lindon, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    Lark! Lark! Lark!

  • Riddles in the Dark Olympus Cove, Utah
    Dec. 11, 2012 9:22 a.m.


    "How can Bronco really be happy here (at BYU) with all the scrutiny and unrealistic expectations he gets from us, the crazy fans?"

    Welcome to the real world of being a major college football head coach.

    The scrutiny and "unrealistic" expectations of crazy BYU fans is NOTHING compared to what goes on outside of Happy Valley.

    If you want to see outrageously unrealistic expectations, look no farther than Auburn University, which fired Gene Chizik less than two seasons after he coached the school to its first national football championship since 1957.

    From penthouse to outhouse in less time than BYU has been an Independent or Utah has been in the PAC 12.

  • nairbnosral American Fork, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    Added Mendenhall: "I'm really happy here (at BYU)."

    How can Bronco really be happy here (at BYU) with all the scrutiny and unrealistic expectations he gets from us, the crazy fans? I know I would hate to have a job where everything I do was followed and commented on by thousands of fanatics.

  • Riddles in the Dark Olympus Cove, Utah
    Dec. 11, 2012 8:39 a.m.

    BYU should play the QB who gives the Cougars the best chance of winning, and that would be the QB that can throw read defenses and throw an accurate ball.

    If it's so important to give Riley a chance to play, then put him in on short yardage 3rd and 3 situations as a change of pace to make it more difficult for SDSU to guess run or pass.

    Otherwise, play Lark until BYU has built a comfortable lead.

    BYU's defense is good enough to shut down the Aztec's running game; they just need BYU's offense not to give up any easy scores to SDSU.

  • BYU DUDE Provo, UT
    Dec. 11, 2012 12:10 a.m.

    RG3 took himself out of the Game.

    "I knew I needed to get out at that point," Griffin said. "I couldn't move. At some point you have to do what's right for the team. And if I'm playing the rest of that game, I probably would have hurt myself even more."

    Riley selfishly hurt his team. And Bronco & Doman are just as guilty.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Dec. 10, 2012 10:31 p.m.

    nunya--You should be a football consultant.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Dec. 10, 2012 10:31 p.m.

    Lark and Nelson, what a fabulous pair.

    Everybody knows that I have been in Riley's corner for a long time, and what I think does not matter one whit, but I do hope Lark gets the start. He's earned his chance, and I just can't imagine Riley healing enough to be at 100% for this game.

    I really wish the naysayers would develop an interest in Utah. Haven't you noticed, they're in the PAC now? Or if you prefer a winner, check out Utah State. There's a coach you can really get behind.

    At least until his values conflict with your desire to win.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 10:17 p.m.

    And, we love you Bronco and appreciate all you represent and give to Cougar nation. Naysayers go away. Good luck to Riley Nelson, and I hope your body heals. Nobody can truly even guess what Nelson and Lark have been through or what they deal on a daily basis. Give them a break!

    Go Cougars!

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 10, 2012 10:15 p.m.

    I think that Bronco needs to be wise here and not play Riley on the 20th unless he makes drastic improvements. I really like Riley as a person and even as a player, but we need to get someone who can come out not just with fire, but with health. In terms of Bronco's tenure at BYU, I think that he may be gone when his contract ends. On his terms too. More and more he has got to be getting tired of all these La-Z-Boy coaches who played 3rd string deep snapper on their jr high team trying to tell him what to do.

  • nunya sacramento, ca
    Dec. 10, 2012 9:41 p.m.

    he should have never been playing let alone start anyway....looking forward to the day he's gone along with bronco and doman.