BYU football notebook: James Lark, Riley Nelson could both play in Poinsettia Bowl

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  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 9:51 p.m.

    @GoRed - As a BYU fan who follows the comment board, you probably have good reason to expect an emotionally hysterical response that may include a reference to BYU's dominance of Utah in days gone by, their national championship, individual awards, and lots of excuses.

    But, that was a good one that made me laugh, so instead I pressed "Like."

    atl134 also made me laugh, but for a different reason. Just so we're all clear - losing games and being ineligible for a bowl game was part of the Ute's grand scheme? That's a good one too. Next time try to be funny on purpose, like GoRed.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 5:10 p.m.

    Utah would've most likely been bowl eligible if Hays were QBing the whole year but since we'd already had several loses by the time it came to playing UCLA it made sense to prepare a quarterback for the future and sacrifice a win or two this year for it.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 5:08 p.m.

    I haven't been paying too much attention, which games has Lark played in (other than that last quarter against Boise State, I know that much)? Do we know if he can handle playing good teams or has he just been feasting on lousy teams?

    Dec. 18, 2012 4:57 p.m.


    You ask "Maybe you should tell us all how Utah gets to 10 wins this season with their existing team?"

    Answer: Play BYU 10 times.

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 4:38 p.m.

    The only thing that matters is that start or not, this is the last time we as fans have to endure Riley Nelson. Wish him the best of luck in life but don't ever want to see him on a football field again.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Dec. 18, 2012 4:26 p.m.

    Bronco is not going to reveal who his starter is. Not by indecision. But to force Long to prepare for both. As for the guy complaining about Bronco's press conferences, well, he's paid to win games. If you want a public speaker, I'm sure you can find a politician, even in Utah.

    As for the Cougar Club boycotter, well, lots of people are sitting this one out. I'm making a G-day minus one decision tomorrow. Frankly, I think it will be a good game, and unlike Lavell, Bronco usually wins bowl games.

  • dbrbmw Orem, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 3:08 p.m.

    In disbelief, Bronco an idiot I see. LARK! This is a good four letter word.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 2:50 p.m.

    @TheNun - based on your logic, there is no point in a coach playing his best or most skilled players. That's pretty ridiculous. BYU fans can speculate about a 10-2 or even 11-1 season if they think that existing players could make a difference if they actually played. If the New Mexico game was indicative of Lark's abilities, it's certainly reasonable to assume he would not have made many of the same mistakes that Nelson made, and when you eliminate mistakes, you increase your chances of winning, especially close games.

    I haven't heard much about Whittingham playing the wrong people at key positions, and he certainly had to experiment at quarterback, with no clear game-changing choice. Maybe you should tell us all how Utah gets to 10 wins this season with their existing team, if indeed Whittingham was playing the best players at each position.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 2:47 p.m.

    Bronco puts the responsibility completely on the shoulders of his assistant coaches to make the correct decisions and to train the players, and on each player to learn and to grow in their respective positions. What he does not realize is that these players are young men and need to be delt with as such, not as pro players. The coaches, especially those in new positions, must be trained by the head coach, not just be left to themselves to each carry the full responsibility of their positions. Bronco seems to have the mind set that each assistant coach and each players should learn their position and take full responsibility for them on their own. I don't know what the answer is here, but something seems out of whack in his program. Maybe it is only perception because he is an abrupt type of individual and does not seem to cater to the boosters or the fans. It may be only a communication problem. Let's see what happens nexxt year. Good luck Bronco, coaches and team. Hope the team has the best year it ever has had in the FB program. Go Cougars.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    Dec. 18, 2012 1:55 p.m.

    I’m sorry!

    I guess I am more of a fan of the Bear Bryant type coaching than I am the laid back Bronco type coaching.

    Why not get serious about a game? Why not practice like the game is important, every day, all day until after the game is over. Work out all the kinks. Watch game films. Run laps. Make sure that the team knows that this is an important game to win.

    After the game, reward the win over SDS with Sea World, the Zoo, Fire Side Chats, a trip to the Library and maybe some surfing. But really, wait to do this after the game.

  • plyxply SLC, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 1:34 p.m.

    Riley deserves to be the starter, he's at least earned the right to redeem himself with a bowl win.

  • Alaskan Ute Fairbanks, AK
    Dec. 18, 2012 1:22 p.m.

    Lark should be the starter, but if he was, and played well, Bronco's doomed. Don't you think Bronco realizes that poing? If Riley plays well, he's vilified, for the entire season. This is about Bronco saving his skin, not about what's best for the Cougars.

    This Ute fan is pulling for the Cougs to win. Good luck!

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Dec. 18, 2012 1:16 p.m.

    I have a feeling Bronco can't win on this, no matter what he does. Perhaps alternating James Lark and Riley every series would bring a nice symmetry to the quarterback disasters of the last three years.

  • Buffalo Rider South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 12:40 p.m.

    Sure, Bronco, play both--Lark as QB, and Riley on special teams.

  • EMBO23 Riverton, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 12:35 p.m.

    A Christmas wish...please let Lark be the starting QB.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    Dec. 18, 2012 12:34 p.m.

    I would love to see Lark get the start and Riley play a little wildcat or something. Regardless of who plays qb, I will be watching every minute. Go Cougars!

  • TheSportsAuthority Arlington, VA
    Dec. 18, 2012 11:52 a.m.

    The NUN

    Black Shirts was actually a bit conservative in his 10-2 estimation.

    BYU was only 4 plays away from being 11-1. When you're that close, it's not unreasonable to predict that even slightly better QB play could have changed 4 losses into 4 wins.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    Dec. 18, 2012 11:51 a.m.

    So, here we are at the end of the season and there is still a quarterback issue. We have seen what each QB can do now. Is there still a QB issue? This is why BYU needs to bring in a new head coach and OC. The Cougars are playing in a bowl game that is close to a pick-up game on the sandlot. In order for the Cougars to get back to their glory days, this coaching staff needs to go. The BYU AD needs to follow through on his earlier remarks regarding making changes. No, I am not a Ute fan causing problems here. I have watched BYU football over the years and the last few years this has been a trainwreck. It is time for the Cougar fans to rise up and demand change in this program. You can speculate all you want about this program, but it has been heading south now since going independent. This is a classic example of selling out for the money with no thought of how to improve the program.

  • TrueBlue Orem, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 11:44 a.m.

    This will always be remember as a season of "what ifs". A great defense that seemed wasted on a mediocre offense that appeared to have much more potential in both personnel and in coaching than it produced on the field.


    This Cougar Club member and a large contingent of family members will be at the game supporting KVN, Ziggy, Hoffman, and the rest of our team and hoping that lessons have been learned that will help make this a jumping off point for better results in years to come, rather than a year of regret for what could have been.

  • sg newhall, CA
    Dec. 18, 2012 11:39 a.m.

    When your head coach can't decide who should be the starting QB when the obvious is the one who threw for six touchdowns, maybe it's time to find another coach. Bronco is a great defensive coordinator period. Lark should start and Nelson should be clean up if the game goes that way. However, if San Diego State has a great passing attack, BYU doesn't stand a chance. Their passing defense has always been suspect. I want to see BYU win, but won't be surprised if San Diego dominates simply because Bronco is indecisive and has Doman as offensive coordinator.

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 11:31 a.m.

    Is it possible that Bronco refuses to name the starter so that his opponent will have to spend valuable practice time preparing for both? The two quarterbacks have different styles of play and the defense that SDSU must prepare will certainly be different depending on who the quarterback is. Just because a coach doesn't reveal his decision to the press or the fans doesn't mean that he hasn't made the decision. I will enjoy watching the game regardless of whether or not the coach announces who will start before the game begins.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 18, 2012 11:06 a.m.

    The quarterback tomfoolery that's existed at BYU for the past three years is the exclusive reason this cougar club member is not going to the game or watching it on tv. The way BYU mistreated Lark has flummoxed me.

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 10:29 a.m.

    I'd like to see Lark start and only be replaced by Nelson if Lark performs worse than Nelson did against Boise or Utah. Bronco should stick to his principles.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    " which is somewhat Bronco's fault because he's the head coach"

    No, my friend, he is the HEAD coach, so it all falls on his shoulders.

  • PAC man Anaheim, CA
    Dec. 18, 2012 9:07 a.m.


    "If you go independent and want to be a national caliber team, you can't have the constant mumbo-jumbo that comes from Bronco's sound bites. It's obvious as to why they are struggling. Just look at most of the SEC coaches. They take charge and don't show any weaknesses or decision making issues that they may have."

    So how do you explain an SEC head coach winning a national championship and then getting fired less than two years later? Did he suddenly forget everything he knew when about coaching when he won the national championship?


    The real reason BYU has struggled of late is poor QB and poor OL play, which is somewhat Bronco's fault because he's the head coach, but responsibility also falls on the assistants who've done a poor job of identifying and addressing weaknesses.

  • Wasatch Al South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    The last game of the season and the coaches still can't make a decision.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Dec. 18, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    Please give Lark some more playing time! His last chance and he deserves it!

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    Dec. 18, 2012 7:58 a.m.

    Please start James Lark, Bronco.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Dec. 18, 2012 7:51 a.m.

    No doubt, Riley will play. Three interceptions and two fumbles would be the perfect conclusion to his great career. I wonder who will field punts next year?

  • couglifer South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 7:47 a.m.

    @ TheNun

    How about this BYU and Utah would have had better records if they had just scored more points

    I am not excited to see riley play another game so I hope we don’t for his health and our sanity

  • Albert Saint George, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 7:37 a.m.

    If you go independent and want to be a national caliber team, you can't have the constant mumbo-jumbo that comes from Bronco's sound bites. It's obvious as to why they are struggling. Just look at most of the SEC coaches. They take charge and don't show any weaknesses or decision making issues that they may have. Their winning records account for this behavior.

  • BYUHOCKEY American Fork, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 7:30 a.m.

    Bronco doesn't read these articles or comments. You and i are uneducated fans and boosters. So lets keep it positive and let gordon monson and pat kinihan ask the hard questions when season is over....oh yeah i already ended.

  • TheNun Granstville, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 7:17 a.m.

    Wow, talk about the old cougar spin. The black shirt put a great one here claiming the cougs would be 10-2 if.....

    How about this one? The Utes would be 10-2 if they had won 10 games.

  • I-am-I South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 6:52 a.m.

    reason number 572 why Bronco is a bad head coach, he rotates kickers and quarterbacks at will (like you would definsive lineman
    and it works great for that position), doesn't name a starter, and rarely new the right Guy when he does nme a starter.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2012 1:13 a.m.

    If you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks.

  • Riley Mendenhall Provo, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 10:23 p.m.

    I've been told Lark won't play in this one.

    Thanks for being so loyal Bronco. I'm going to miss you.

  • Black Shirts South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 17, 2012 9:41 p.m.

    I love RN as a player, but as a QB he is the worst QB to play at BYU in.....forever. BYU would be 10-2 this year is HILL or LARK was the starter, no question. In fact, ND wouldn't be playing in the NC if HILL would have been the starter. Broncos only fault is he's too loyal. Sure he gave 110%, but that doesn't make it good. BYU's D was great!!!! Oh, and Riley had an NFL caliber Rx in Cody Hoffman and he still fill in the blank!