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As trying career winds down, will BYU's Lark get first career start?

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  • Jimmy James Salt Lake City, Ut
    Nov. 20, 2012 9:12 p.m.

    I really hope Lark gets his chance to start. If Bronco puts in an injured Nelson for a throwaway game, I'll be deeply disappointed. After everything Lark has given to the program, he should at least be given the chance to start for his last game.

  • Riley Mendenhall Provo, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 9:38 p.m.

    I don't think Lark will get the start.

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    Nov. 20, 2012 11:02 p.m.

    Jimmy James

    Couldn't agree more. There's absolutely no reason to play an injured Riley against New Mexico State. Lark has earned the right to start and play at least one entire game during his career at BYU.

  • rafinsure Elk Grove/U.S.A., 00
    Nov. 20, 2012 11:32 p.m.

    Lark's collegiate career has been extremely sad. He was the real thing coming out of high school.He was named Deseret News 3A MVP as a senior, a Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News First-Team All-State selection, threw for 3,248 yards and 36 touchdowns, finished his career with 6,739 passing yards (third most in state history), tied state mark with 79-career touchdown passes, first-team All-State as a junior, threw for 3800 yards passing, 41 TD, 13 interceptions, 650 yards rushing and 7 TD his junior year. Furthermore, he was recruited by Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Utah and USC. BYU didn't deserve to have him and Jake Heaps in its line up. Mendenhall's and Doman's decision making is completely illogical when it comes to starting quarterbacks. If the Cougar coaching staff is not careful, the school's quarterback pipeline is going to dry up. Hopefully, they don't mess up Taysom Hill next year and Mangum (when he gets off his mission).

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Nov. 20, 2012 11:56 p.m.

    In answer to the headline: Probably Not. I say that because I see Bronco as still being the head coach, along with his OC Doman, and between them they can't see anything but Riley Nelson. And, reason #2, Nelson would insist on playing if he could barely stand up.

    For some reason, the "good of the team" mentality does not exist on this BYU squad.

  • indycrimson Franklin, IN
    Nov. 21, 2012 12:20 a.m.

    Rafinsure,

    This just in. The QB pipeline has dried up. They quit pumping...the pipes are rusty and corroded. Bone dry....have been for years...

    Sorry man! When Norm Chow left it moved with him. First it went to NC State with Rivers and then on to USC for a very long time.

    Provo has turned into a different type of pipeline. A pipeline of strange coaching decisions.

  • localblue Sandy, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 2:31 a.m.

    Give it to Lark. I don't know what kind of deal Bronco made with Nelson but Lark should have been given a chance a long time ago.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 21, 2012 4:09 a.m.

    Lark should start. It's always tough, sad and somewhat admirable, these guys who stick around for their college careers to never see the field.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Nov. 21, 2012 5:08 a.m.

    We're always wanting to try a new QB because the starter is not working out. It's NOT just the QB, it's the system and play-calling. We could have Steve Young in there and we still would not move the ball downfield. Doman is a horrible coach, and frankly the line has done a poor job protecting this year and opening up a credible running game.

    We seem to have an even harder time getting good coaches than we do good players.

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 5:10 a.m.

    So very glad to see the last of Nelson. Too bad Lark didn't transfer years ago. He would have been a star on another team!

  • The Dixie Kid Saint George, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 6:05 a.m.

    This is a lose-lose situation for Bronco. If Riley starts, all of the fans will be mad at Bronco for starting an injured QB. If Lark starts, he most likely will succeed against a poor NMSU team. And might even look very, very good. Fans will see this and ask why hasn't he been playing all year long? Either way, I don't see Bronco coming out of this game very popular.

  • DC Alexandria, VA
    Nov. 21, 2012 6:25 a.m.

    Who is this Lark kid? Everyone knows that Nelson is the only QB on BYU's roster - why else would they continue to start a free safety at QB? It's the only choice they have, right? I mean, if they had another QB on the roster but kept playing someone who is a turnover machine, and add to that is injured, it would be incredibly bad coaching on their part.

  • Jazzledazzle Provo, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 6:28 a.m.

    Lark's career is sad. I wish he could have gotten an opportunity. At the same time, he chose to stay at BYU, so in that case I don't feel so bad because he felt like it was the right place. The thing is Riley Nelson is bad. Great heart, good athlete, horrible qb. Lark should have at least been given a look. I hope he gets the start.

    Bronco is probably sweating bullets cause if Lark goes in and throws for 300 yards, he and the coaching staff are going to look bad even if the opposition is New Mexico State. I mean, BYU is not exactly a powerhouse these days.

  • DAVE IN NC HOPE MILLS, NC
    Nov. 21, 2012 6:54 a.m.

    Let Lark play.
    If you can't beat New Mexico with your Back Up QB, much less your JV team.
    you better head for the WAC.

  • Tiberias Orem, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 7:07 a.m.

    Come on Riley and coaches. Don't be so stubborn. Have a heart. Play James.

  • 007 Layton, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 7:28 a.m.

    Nope. Riley would have to be in a body cast before Bronco will bench him.

  • hedgelog Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 21, 2012 7:28 a.m.

    Nelson starts and it's time for a full fledged fan revolt. BYU needs smarter coaches!

  • dumprake Washington, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    Even if healthy, Nelson should not start, he's a turnover machine and a QB who cannot hit the broadside of a barn. How he has managed to control the minds of the coaches, and play even when he should not be playing, is a mystery to me. Any coach in the country would have pulled him at Boise, at Notre Dame, at San Jose--and maybe a few other times. Ok Nelson is tough, good for him, but we need somebody who can hit a receiver, not someone Bronco is so in love with that it doesn't matter how he plays, he stays on the field anyway. I'm very disappointed in Bronco, he's paid to win games, not to be a cheerleader for the toughest guy on the team.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    Nov. 21, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    I'm not a Riley hater but c'mon, give Lark the start. I am looking forward to the game but win or lose, nothing changes. Go Cougars!

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    Nov. 21, 2012 8:07 a.m.

    I have been a Lark Fan for years. This guy will go far in life. Anyone that can continue to work hard in his situation will succeed in life. We all should be so patient and committed.

    My 100% Vote is to start Lark. If nothing else to let him have his moment. If anyone deserves it it is Lark. Let Riley rest and Lark Shine. He is one good man. (And football player)

    I guess the good news for not playing all these years is that he will not have head, knee and hip issues when he is my age. (Glad I did not play)

  • Nobody_s Fool Colorado Springs, CO
    Nov. 21, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    I am impressed with how this young, student athlete has chosen to speak about his experience at BYU. It certainly hasn't been ideal, or perhaps even fair at times. I'm sure he's had his moments of frustration & discouragement, but he has continued to support the team and has stepped up when asked. It's obvious to me that this man has a lot of great qualities that will serve him well in life, as he continues to move forward. A lot of other athletes could learn alot from him.

  • BigRich Orem, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    I understand the loyalty thing. But why keep putting an injured player on the field? Not only is it costing BYU games, but it puts a player at risk for a more serious injury. The guy can't throw when he's healthy. He's going to be better throwing from a stretcher?

  • Pa. Reader Harrisburg, PA
    Nov. 21, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    Andy Reid is clearly done in Philly. He was the first choice when Bronco was hired but had no interest.
    I'm confident Tom Holmoe will revisit that possibility. Whether or not Coach Reid is ready to leave the NFL is another matter.
    But given the success Jim Mora Jr. is having at UCLA, bringing a successful NFL coach in (especially to his alma mater) makes all the sense in the world.
    Bronco is a great defensive coordinator and he will make a wonderful mission president.

  • sls Columbia, MO
    Nov. 21, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    Riley needs to learn how to hold himself out when he isn't up to par. BYU's already lost at least three games this year because Nelson didn't have enough sense to do what the coaches should have done and that is bench him until he's healthy. He's a good enough QB when he's healthy, but everyone has seen that he's terrible when he isn't healthy.

    Heaps started last year against NMSU and BYU did just fine. Nelson came back and won for the Cougars against Tulsa. Lark is worth at least one start. Who knows? If Riley can get healthy again, BYU just might win a bowl game in San Diego.

  • MizzouBlue Carthage, MO
    Nov. 21, 2012 8:33 a.m.

    I know Bronco and Doman are wedded to Riley.Riley will get another shot in San Diego. Go with Lark vs NMSU & allow Riley more time to get healthy. We may discover we've been missing out on a big time QB all season.

  • Robroy Murray, utah
    Nov. 21, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    Lark, Lark, Lark. When I consider the talent level of Bronco, Doman, and Riley my message to them is a resounding...Probably Not!

  • stampederus Ephraim, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 8:58 a.m.

    Bronco and the coaches have been rewarding Nelson for his toughness by giving him playing time under less than favorable circumstances. How about rewarding Lark for his loyalty and have him start the final game - he's earned it.Continuing to play a banged up Nelson is not doing him any favors for his long term well being. Someone has got to be the adult in the room and that should be the coach.

  • JoeCoug OREM, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    I read these comments and I gather there is quite a level of unhappiness among Cougar faithful. I am among them...It's not the losses (though they hurt), but the management issues I struggle with. The offense appears so unprepared, and the early timeouts kill me. Don't even get me started on Hill's unnecessary injury, or the fact that Nelson (who I like) continues to play hurt. He can't throw a tight spiral to save his life, and has left open receivers wondering why he's behind center.

    I don't know it all, but I've watched football for 40+ years and I believe it's time for Bronco to move on. And I'd love to see him leave on his own versus being fired. The underlying reason is that he hasn't won too many big games, which to me signifies a head coach who cannot 1) get his players prepared, and 2) make halftime adjustments.

    I am one unhappy fan...

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    Nov. 21, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    I don't blame Riley for playing hurt, I blame Doman for either being too blind to recognize that Riley was hurt, or too incompetent to replace an obviously hurt and ineffective play with a quality backup like Hill or Lark. As Offensive Coordinator, but especially as Quarterbacks Coach, it's Doman's job to have a backup quarterball fully prepared to step in when the starter is injured, since the starter could be knocked out of any game on the next offensive play.

    Regardless of whether Riley is "healthy" enough to play, or not, there's absolutely no legitimate reason not to start Lark against NMSU.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    The macho "I play when I'm injured even if I'm in a position where getting sacked again would make me a paraplegic" attitude may seem heroic and inspiring to some, but the results, both in terms of lost games and in terms of long-term health damage, are anything but inspiring. They should have had Nelson out and Lark in whenever Nelson was hurt. Nelson is a capable guy but he's not some kind of superhuman who's better than everyone else even when he's crippled.

  • oleblu Ogden, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 9:12 a.m.

    Lark should have been given the oppotunity LONG before now!! Its one thing to sit when you have a healthy QB, its quite another to sit when the QB is hurt, and is unable to perform loke his should. That HURTS THE TEAM!! Bronco should have swallowed his pride long ago, and I beleive we would have had at least 3 more wins!!

  • AFCoug Colorado Springs, CO
    Nov. 21, 2012 9:16 a.m.

    I wonder why BYU has stuck with Nelson for so long. Everyone knows he has heart and the will to win but he seems short on decision making and ability. He is capable but as a senior continues to make dumb choices. He should not have played against Utah or Boise St and with a healthy QB who knows. He throws errant passes and fumbles the ball every game. Any RB would have been pulled had they fumbled as many times aas him. My only conclusion is that Lark really is not that good or the coaches would have put him in.

    I also wonder if Doman plays a more spread offese similiar to how Crowton used him his senior year. BYU really needs to get back to a West Coast Style of offense and a pocket QB. Doman only played 1 full game under Lavell and 12 for Crowton. Crowton's system just did not work here and I believe Doman is trying the same things.

    Finally the QB situation at BYU has not yet dried up. Beck and Hall I seem to remeber were pretty dang good college QBs.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    If Lark doesn't get the start, I'll be even more disappointed in the Cougs...especially the coaches. They and the media are so arrogant...thinking fans are clueless and we don't know what's really going on. I'm guessing some of us could have coached the team to the record they have this year. Some may do even better. But, they earn the big bucks so they must be smarter than we are...right???

  • BYUfaninWashSt Everett, WA
    Nov. 21, 2012 9:42 a.m.

    Start Lark. If BYU goes ahead by 35 or 40 points, let Nelson come in sometime in the 2nd half to mop up with the run. Then start Lark for the Poinsettia bowl.

  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 9:50 a.m.

    I'm curious what Lark's stats were in Practice Monday and Tuesday? Anyone know?

    I hope Lark will start on Saturday just to see what he can do with Apo and Hoffman.

  • UGradBYUfan Snowflake, AZ
    Nov. 21, 2012 9:57 a.m.

    Start Lark! Rest Nelson. Let him heal. Lark deserves the opportunity! Nelson could play in the Poinsettia Bowl. Give Lark a chance to prove himself!

  • Troy06 OREM, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 10:28 a.m.

    Bronco is lame.

    But he might still start Lark. It's easy for him to state Riley could play, but is hurt, so we decided the best thing for Riley was to start Lark. This is similar to what he said when Hill was allowed to start.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 10:34 a.m.

    The title should be "As trying career winds down, why didn't BYU's Lark get his first career start a year ago?

    I have a hard time understanding the praise of Riley's "character." If you can't get the job done, but put yourself in, you are letting your teammates down. If you don't have good judgement about whether or not you can get the job done, you are letting thee team down. Of course, the coach should ultimately be making those decisions, but expecting good judgement from Bronco and Doman...

  • SoCal Roger Costa Mesa, CA
    Nov. 21, 2012 10:36 a.m.

    I think the right thing to do is to start Ryan Lark in the last game of the season. He deserves to play a whole game for all that he has done for the team. Give Riley a chance to rest for the bowl game.

    I hope that Bronco will do the right thing and play Lark, let Riley rest one game and QB the bowl game in San Diego.

  • Downtownchrisbrown ,
    Nov. 21, 2012 10:52 a.m.

    The more the season continues, Heaps looks less and less selfish, and smarter and smarter for transferring, even if it was to Kansas

  • Down under Pullman, WA
    Nov. 21, 2012 11:00 a.m.

    Indycrimson,
    Speaking of a bad QB situation; Let's look at the Utes. Remind me of what your record is now?
    Next year looks very bright for the BYU QB situation.

    I will agree that the coaching situation is not so bright. They need an overhaul, top to bottom.

  • JParkerfan St. George, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 11:02 a.m.

    It will be a happy day when we no longer have to suffer with Nelson again. I don't think he's had 1 decent game against a quality opponent in his career. Start Lark!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • DH48 West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    If I had a vote it would go to Lark to start this game. I can't stand the thought of having to watch Riley Nelson two more games, and maybe I won't either way. He may be a great kid and a fiery competitor but he is not a QB and he cannot win games for us. That is a proven fact. The only bright side to this years team is that the season is almost over.

    It may be time for changes at the top. This is the third year in a row BYU has not had an offense.

  • 54-10 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 11:57 a.m.

    If he was better than Riley he would have played. Sad thing is ----- he's not.

  • Eric P Boise, ID
    Nov. 21, 2012 12:43 p.m.

    This sort of situation is often played out in the business world where a less talented, but highly charismatic, employee is given a promotion over a more talented, patient employee. I admire Lark for being steadfast. I hope he gets the start and that he proves himself to be the more talented player (the jury is still out on this one). If he is able to have a spectacular game it may provide some needed introspection of the coaching staff regarding some of the decision making thus far.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    Nov. 21, 2012 12:46 p.m.

    Surely you jest, Bronco. This is unbelievable. Start Lark. If he fails, yank him an put in Nelson. Or better yet Munns. What the heck, this game is a throw-away, and no way NMSU can score on your defense. Let Lark have a start. You'll probably need him in the Poinsettia Bowl after Rocky Long gets through with Nelson.

  • Harry-T Davis, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 12:50 p.m.

    Lark should have been playing all year, and last. All I have heard all season, from the coaching staff, is that Nelson puts us in a position to win football games. How about closing them? Okay it might be great that someone plays with grit and toughness, but how about making good sound decisions? It's easy, throw the ball out of bounds instead of to the other opponent, or slide to avoid a broken back or dislocated rib.

    "I love Riley" - Bronco Mendenhall

    Does any one else out there agree with him now? I know I don't.

  • Harry-T Davis, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 12:54 p.m.

    Hey Bronco, I have Grit and Toughness put me in!!

  • JNA Layton, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 1:40 p.m.

    This Cougar fan is ready for the Riley Nelson era to be over. What a disaster

  • Alaskan Ute Fairbanks, AK
    Nov. 21, 2012 1:55 p.m.

    I agree with others. If Lark starts and does well, things will look worse for the coaching staff. Lark's a good kid who should have had a better college career. Good luck to BYU and Lark.

  • jbkhbrmz Saint George, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 2:03 p.m.

    Lark should start. Doman and Mendenhall should be benched.

  • Still Blue after all these years Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 2:06 p.m.

    If Nelson can breathe, Bronco will start him. And for that reason, he needs to go.

  • Dr Rush Saint George, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 2:23 p.m.

    Lark should start for one reason and one reason only, He's the best QB on the team and gives them the best chance to win, it's been true all year. For reasons only known to the coaching staff Lark has been sitting while the worst QB in D1 has been allowed to play in spite of horrible decisions, bad passes and injury. James Lark embodies something that the coaching lacks, class.

  • Warren Kay Holladay, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 3:13 p.m.

    Bronco - do the right thing. Start Lark. I love Riley, but he is hurt and has had many opportunities.

    Doman - do the right thing. Start Lark.

    Athletic Director Hill - do the right thing. Encourage Bronco/Doman to Start Lark.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 3:18 p.m.

    BYU will beat NMS with a HS QB. Even Riley would be successful. So, does Bronco play the gritty tail back as the QB with risk of further injury or does he let Lark have the spotlight for all his hard work and loyalty.

    Regardless, Lark should play this game and start in the bowl game!

  • game time ,
    Nov. 21, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    After Lark starts and has the game of his life I hope he tells the real story of why he's been benched this year. Everyone wants to know.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 21, 2012 3:44 p.m.

    "Coach Bronco Mendenhall said Tuesday that Nelson is "probable" for Saturday."

    Bronco may be the only person on the planet who thinks an injured Nelson should get the start over Lark in a meaningless game against a weak opponent. Starting Lark will prove his contempt for a fan (and booster) base, further inciting an already angry fan base. Holmoe will get inundated with emails and letters calling for coaching changes.

    @54-10
    "If he was better than Riley he would have played. Sad thing is ----- he's not."

    That may very well be true, but you'd have to be blind, stubborn, and heartless to not start a loyal, patient Lark under the current circumstances. If the starting QB were someone like McMahon, Young, or Detmer, I could understand Bronco's position, though wouldn't agree with it. But with Nelson?.....with the performance he has had this season?...Really?....Gimme a break!

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 21, 2012 3:50 p.m.

    @Warren Kay

    Succinctly put!
    Starting Lark truly is "the right thing" to do.

    (By the way, Hill is that other school's AD. BYU's AD is Tom Holmoe.)

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    Nov. 21, 2012 4:03 p.m.

    BYU needs to get someone to take some meaningful snaps as they prepare for a bowl game. If Lark doesn't start, or at least get some serious minutes and Riley get's injured and is no longer able to play, which at this point is a strong possibility, then you end up starting someone with no real game experience in the most important game of the year.

    I hope Lark has worked hard in school and finished his degree. He seems like a thoughtful young man.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    "If he was better than Riley he would have played. Sad thing is ----- he's not."

    54-10,

    That is not necessarily true. I have heard from inside sources that Lark has not played much because the coaches dislike him. Also, the "if he was better, than he would play" logic doesn't seem to matter when it comes to Riley Nelson. Lark was a very good high school QB, and could be a great college QB. Unfortunately, he had to sit on the bench and watch a QB who can't throw take his place.

    Anyway, can anyone seriously say that Lark is so bad that an injured Riley Nelson will be better than Lark? There is something going on that the coaches aren't telling us, because only a stupid coach would do that without a reason.

  • headplate Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 4:26 p.m.

    Free James Lark.

    Really, at this point, whats the point? The best thing Lark can do is live well and be successful in whatever field he is pursuing. Obviously he is not interested in trying to impress the coaches now. Hopefully someday in the future he runs into DomanHall and reeking with success he can feel pity for the sad way their lives turned out.

  • stargazer Murray, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 4:32 p.m.

    If, for no other reason, Lark's loyalty and commitment to BYU footbal should earn him the starting role for Saturday's game. If Nelson is healthy, he can always be the starter in the Bowl Game next month.

  • Proud Ute ,
    Nov. 21, 2012 4:34 p.m.

    Is Tanner Mangum a dropback, pocket type QB?
    Just curious because I'm not familiar with his style and wondering if he's going to struggle the same way Heaps (also an Elite 11 MVP) and Lark evidently have trying to fit in with Doman's offense.

  • kenj SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    Play Lark he deserves a chance.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 5:19 p.m.

    If Lark doesn't play, then both Bronco and Doman's heads should roll.

  • Deserthiker SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 5:26 p.m.

    Whether the start comes this week or not, I salute James Lark for his hard work, loyalty, patience and determination. I salute his football skills and his willingness to put team ahead of self. Thank you for your many very real contributions to the team over your career. I wish you joy and success in all your future endeavors. Your life is still just getting started- apply the attributes you've demonstrated so well at BYU and you'll go far. I, and many other grateful Cougar fans will be cheering for you. If I got a vote, you'd be starting the rest of the season! That's not a knock on Riley, I just think James has earned a chance to show what he can really do- and the Cougars need a QB without a back injury who can throw the ball. Go Cougars!

  • Robert Rexburg, ID
    Nov. 21, 2012 6:25 p.m.

    Nelson was foolish to play injured, and the coaches were foolish to let him play injured. The results (lost games) speak for themselves.

    Put in a healthy quarterback!

  • ClarkeinAK Anchorage, AK
    Nov. 21, 2012 6:43 p.m.

    If Mendenhall starts Nelson, he should be immediately fired!!! Bronco loves his "grit", "character", etc. but he can't throw accurately or deep. Lark should start...no ands, ifs or buts about it.

    Oh, and if Andy Reed gets canned in Philadephia, the "powers that be" need to offer him the job and relegate Bronco to what he's really good at - a defensive coordinator. He has shown with his favoritism games this year that he does not have what it takes to be a head coach. Doman needs to be shown the door as soon as the final whistle blows (a bit too late, but better than nothing).

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 8:38 p.m.

    Proud Ute,

    Yes, Tanner Mangum is a pure dropback passer, pocket type QB. I hear he is much like Heaps, except that he is much more humble and much more leader-like like Nelson (I'm not saying this because of what we experienced with Heaps; this is legitimately what I heard). I hear he may not have the skill technique down as well as Heaps, he has a powerful arm, is accurate, and is very good at making decisions, making him probably better overall than Heaps.

    As bad as Doman has been with that type of QB so far, I am confident that he will have a much better scheme for that type of QB (if he is still OC when Tanner comes around). I say this because he has worked with passing QBs before (Max Hall, John Beck) and will have time to practice with Hill, who happens to have a great arm as well. I expect Doman to get over having QBs different from his style, and I'm excited to see the passing BYU offense of old. Doman did promise that, and I trust he intends to keep that promise.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 9:04 p.m.

    "Asked Monday how close he was to turning to Lark this season, Mendenhall said, "Not really close. Not because of a lack of trust. I tried to explain why Taysom Hill was the backup in terms of continuity of system with Riley. During the last game, a couple of times it was maybe a breath or two away from putting James (Lark) in."

    This is the kind of double talk from Bronco that makes me not trust anything he says. On the one hand he says no he wasn't close to putting Lark in at all, then he turns around and says he was a breath or two away. That's pretty darn close.

    This mishandling of the QB situation, the games Riley has lost for the team this year and the absolute cold shoulder/stiff arm Bronco and Doman have given Lark is unbelievable and yet look what a great attitude Lark has.

    It's a downright shame how Bronco has disrespected such a fine young man. This is going to be a part of the legacy that Bronco leaves behind during his time as HC at BYU.

  • IdahoCoog Malad City, ID
    Nov. 21, 2012 9:04 p.m.

    Please give Nelson the rest he needs so much... just because he will go in with a broken back doesn't mean a good coach lets him. Resting him now will pay dividends in the bowl. Give Lark the start, plese. PlAY IT SMART.

  • Amorphous Saint George, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 9:14 p.m.

    @game time,
    Yes!
    I know "the rest of the story", as they say. James is being politically neutral, which is wise at this point. He may never reveal everyhting that has gone on. But, believe me, there is definitely more to this story.

  • DrichBYU Salt Lake County, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 9:55 p.m.

    Start James Lark! In the games he played in he put up a good amount of points. Last year, he did better than Riley in drills but Riley started instead of him. The only reason Riley is starting goes back to last year when Jake, Doman and the Offense didn't get along. Riley came back to beat a Utah State team that was nowhere NEAR as good as this year's USU team. Riley ruined Jake Heap's and James Lark's careers and worst of all, our season. Riley handed BYU ALL FIVE OF THEIR HORRIFIC LOSSES! Taysom Hill would have won ALL those games! Bronco won't give up Riley and has gone insane. Brandon Doman's play-calling is VERY obvious and poor. I hardly see any trickery in his playbook and you know EXACTLY what he's giving you before the QB snap. Our kickers are terrible as well, and if we had Mitch Payne back, we might have more wins. There's one flaw I find in Bronco's defensive coordination. No matter the opponent, he always plays zone coverage on pass defense and they get eaten up. Remember SJSU and OSU? Think!

  • Elk Hair Caddis Sandy, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 10:00 p.m.

    BYU has lost their identity. For Lark its to little to late. A tough player goes out and plays until they can no longer walk. A team player knows when another can perform better. A friend knows when its decent to step aside.

  • clintharris Saint George, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 10:18 p.m.

    The hardest thing for me, as a James Lark friend and neighbor, has been watching James humbly endure a bench roll when he could have been starting at any of the other schools he was recruited by. No disrespect intended to Riley at all, quite the opposite in fact. This is strictly about James and his potential.

  • Born in Provo Logan, UT
    Nov. 21, 2012 11:41 p.m.

    The only thing that would give this game any meaning would be to start Lark. Otherwise, there is absolutely nothing riding on this game. Go James Lark!

  • Born in Provo Logan, UT
    Nov. 22, 2012 12:12 a.m.

    It's not Nelson's turnovers that are what ultimately make him less-effective in some games; it is his passing inaccuracy. Max Hall and Ty Detmer turned it over more than Nelson, but they had better completion percentages. Nelson has given us many moments to cheer, so we should never forget those (USU 2011, high-five to ref against TCU in 2011, and more points against TCU than the previous three years combined, fake spike against Tulsa). He definitely has a few highlights he is saving for the bowl game.
    Questions for thought: 1. What if Heaps had beaten Utah in 2010? 2. What if Nelson had been tackled on 4th down short of the first-down marker with only seconds remaining?
    The QB position is defenitely a tough job. I am curious to see how Heaps does at lowly Kansas next year.
    The difficult schedule will be a great measuring stick next year. Even this year, BYU played two top-ten teams in a row and was in every game. Still, in the regular season, Bronco has not had a losing season. He will continue to improve.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 22, 2012 4:01 a.m.

    If Riley starts vs New Mexico St, I'm not watching.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 22, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    Newsflash!

    This is 3rd hand but fairly reliable source, so take it for what it is worth.

    The captains held a team meeting in which they voted in favor of Lark getting the start. Of course Bronco will make the ultimate decision but it would indicate even the players are supporting Lark in this.

    If Nelson were really the good friend he says he is, even he would support a Lark start and step aside.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    Nov. 22, 2012 10:37 p.m.

    If the rules allowed Riley to play ten more years Bronco would keep going with Nelson. Have you ever heard the coach admit to a mistake? He cannot accept his own mistakes. Riley is not a quarterback and never will be. The question now is will Bronco ever be a head coach? His ability to evaluatr talent based on field performance rather than mouth seems to be in question.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 23, 2012 2:48 a.m.

    It's a somewhat meaningless game but Lark should be thrown a bone and have his moment at BYU. Riley Nelson is hurt again anyway, and he will have the bowl game left.

    Give Lark the ball against New Mexico State. With the opponent being who they are, it will allow Lark to put up numbers and have at least a positive memory for himself and leave an impression for the fans to remember him and wonder 'what if' relative to the hypothetical of Lark having been the starter the last two years.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 23, 2012 2:58 a.m.

    @Riverton Cougar

    I agree. Lark may not be better, but with the awful QB play on the field, why not find out what you got with lark a long time ago. Coaches do make mistakes, and sometimes bench warmers are and would have been the better player and choice.

    I think the same goes for Whittingham and his loyalty to Wynn for the last three seasons, after his arm strength was obviously not the same from the first injury to the fourth. Utah had WRs who could stretch the field but never got the chance.

    As for BYU, what could Cody Hoffman have done (performance wise) with a QB who could sling the rock. Mendenhall should have gone to Lark quite some time ago, and Whit should have stayed with Hays instaed of going to Wilson.

    The losses that Utah had better pay off next year relative to Wilson's development. Thing is, I am not even sold he is the right guy. My Utes might have another few years of a QB wasting away the talent elsewhere on the field.

    Bottom line, having a quality QB is a huge part of success in a winning team.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 23, 2012 3:04 a.m.

    Interesting point Proud Ute. Tanner Mangum is on a mission though (I believe). But yeah, with all of this QB draw and option stuff, plus the QBs BYU has gone with who have that style about them (Nelson and Hill), it makes you wonder how they plan to use Mangum down the line. I think Mangum will need the offense to change or he might have his talent wasted like Heaps. Although I don't think Heaps had any intangibles or leadership moxy. Size and arm strength are sometimes overrated. Think Ben Olsen and what's his name Walsh (BYU QB in like 1994).

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 23, 2012 3:09 a.m.

    A part of me tends to think you will be correct about Doman when Mangum returns. But if Doman plans on restoring the old BYU offense, then why did BYU recruit Taysom Hill to be a running style QB (a la Riley Nelson). Hill looks to have some talent, to where playing time might allow him to open up the offense, but I swear the coaches were trying to get that guy imploded. And of course they did in the worst fashion, when they should have been in victory formation, not trying to get cute Crowton style. You know, trying to win by 11 not 4.

  • Amorphous Saint George, UT
    Nov. 23, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    I don't necessarily believe that Hill was borught aboard to be a running style QB. Anyone who has seen his high school highlights knows that he had a big arm even back then. He just happens to be a strong, quick, fast and talented runner as well. The problem this year, or any year your #1 QB goes down, is that the backup has limited snaps in practice so the percentage of the playbook available is diminished. That was magnified with Hill having been jumped from 3 to 2 and given one week to learn to execute the huge BYU plavybook.
    That was literally what led to Hills injury, a la the way too many QB draws/keeps, when you're working with an abbreviated playlist. Yet another reason to have started Lark with so many years learning the playbook under his belt. The only thing that makes sense about this entire debacle is the truth, and none of you may ever hear it in it's entirety. Too bad.