Wednesday, September 22, 2010 2 comments

Nelson Out for Season - Chambers Out for Two Weeks

It was announced on Tuesday that Riley Nelson was injured during the Florida State game and will opt for surgery that will put him out for the rest of the season.  The announcement was made official just a day after Coach Mendenhall announced that he still planned to utilize the two quarterback system.  Mendenhall also said that Riley first injured his shoulder during fall camp, which was kept quiet, and on Saturday the injury was worsened.  Riley made the decision to have surgery in hopes to return to the team by spring practice.

Of course the other result of the injury is that Jake Heaps will now be the full starter of the team and will get all the reps in both practices and games.  In response to the move, Heaps expressed his excitement for the opportunity to fully take control of the offense and hopefully show what he is capable of.  He admits that there is still a lot of work to be done, but feels that good things are ahead for BYU Football.

It is quite ironic that one of the biggest controversies was pushed to a forced decision.  There were many that felt that a decision should have been made during fall camp, however, Bronco continued to boldly say that no one had "emerged" as a starter and until someone had, the two qb system would remain in tact.

No one likes to see anyone get injured, especially someone as hard working and tough of a guy as Nelson.  However, Riley's sacrifice may help BYU win more games by the end of the season.  It was clear that Bronco was not close to making a decision and everyone knew splitting reps was affecting the effectiveness of both quarterbacks and receivers.   Now that Bronco's hand was forced, I do believe we will begin to see much more effectiveness on offense.

It was also announced today that O'neill Chambers will be suspended for two weeks from the football team for "disciplinary reasons."  The suspension comes from Coach Mendenhall himself and would not specify what caused the suspension.  It is known that Chambers has had a mixed attitude in the locker room and has popped off on a few occasions in practice.  Chambers will not be able to practice with the team or play in the games for two weeks and will solely focus on academics.  He will also be moved from off campus housing to Wymount Terrace for the time being.  Chambers has not been much of a play maker thus far in the season, besides returning both kickoffs and punts.

Sources say Chambers is unhappy with the suspension and is working things out in his head.
Monday, September 20, 2010 0 comments

Bronco's Monday Media Report

Bronco Mendenhall met with reporters on Monday to discuss upcoming news about the team.  Of course, as has been the case this year, many questions revolved around what is next for the quarterback situation.  Bronco said that he was "not ready" to announce who would be starting this week against Nevada, but that he wanted to discuss more with his coaching staff and discuss with his players first before announcing it to the media.  He did say that he should have an answer for media by Wednesday, which is the last day they get of Bronco before Saturday.

When asked why he felt there was such an issue with protection in regards to the amount of sacks FSU was able to get he said that much of the sacks resulted from the quarterback not getting rid of the ball quickly enough.  When asked if the receivers were open, he did say that the receivers were having a tough game getting open, hence the longer hold time for the quarterback.

Heaps did definitely "hold on" to the ball longer, but he also did receive quick pressure from defensive rushers on several occasions.  The offensive line was clearly not on target, which may have resulted from two offensive lineman getting hurt and returning the same game.  From watching the game, it was clear that FSU's aggressive, "twisting" defensive moves were much to aggressive for our offensive line.  Considering the experience of BYU's offensive line, I do not expect to see this continue.

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BYU Loses to Florida State 34-10

It seems that the BYU Cougars still have much to work on for the 2010 season before they impress anybody.  I do not think there was that high of expectations for the young Cougar squad, considering the massive loss of veteran players they experienced, which included their Quarterback, Running Back, Tight End, and almost all of their defensive front.  So to see growing pains should not be a shocker to anybody.

The Cougars almost did themselves a disservice opening up the season with such a well executed game against Washington, which many felt was going to be a sure loss.  The team looked sound, precise, and well executed, which even surprised Coach Bronco Mendenhall.

However, the team quickly returned to earth for the Air Force and Florida State games, showing that indeed the lack of experience is taking its toll.

As stated beforehand, Riley Nelson started the game only to go three and out on the first possession.  Following a strong defensive stand, Jake Heaps took the reins and was able to slightly move the ball, but failed to convert the drive to points.  From there, Nelson once again returned to the game, which made many wonder if we were going to see yet another game of every other series reps, which has not been a popular strategy thus far.  However, following Nelson's second drive which resulted in an interception, Heaps took the field and solely remained on the field for the rest of the game.

Thursday, September 16, 2010 1 comments

BYU vs Florida State Preview

BYU heads to Tallahassee, Florida on Saturday to face the Seminoles in their second of two game series agreement.  Last year, FSU marched into Provo and quickly put hopes of BYU BCS busting year to an end as

The Seminoles went on to beat BYU 54 to 28.

Bronco Mendenhall admits that he believe he "underestimated" FSU and their athleticism as well as underestimated quarterback Christian Ponder's ability to scramble for first downs.  It was clear that BYU was still on their Oklahoma victory honeymoon and failed to make the proper preparations.

Bronco said that mistake would not be made again this year.

Both BYU and FSU are coming off disappointing losses as FSU was routed by home team Oklahoma and BYU got smashed by Air Force.  Both schools are hoping to come off the losses and learn to adjust and move forward.  Of course, one of the schools will be frustrated with a second straight loss, which Vegas says will be BYU, being 10 point underdogs.

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A New BYU Football Era

jake heaps byu
Jim Mcmahon, Steve Young, Robbie Bosco, and Ty Detmer.  These are pioneers of the BYU quarterback legacy that has now created an expectation of what is to be displayed at BYU in regards to the quarterback position.  With these pioneers, there are another handful of names that can be listed who stood out as top college quarterback of their time.  BYU was one of the first college football teams to start throwing the ball down field.  Lavell Edwards and Norm Chow set the standard for the spread offense and helped pave the way for what is now a common offensive lineup to see throughout the country.  However, since then, the quarterback at BYU has been in the national spotlight and programs expect to face a throwing offense when they come into Provo.

What has surprised many spectators are the quarterbacks that have been "built" at BYU.  Many quarterbacks that play at BYU are not top national recruits who are receiving multiple BCS contending scholarship offers.  They are not the 6'4"'s, 210 lbs with running and throwing ability.  They usually are an average size guy with a slightly above average strength of arm that doesn't catch much attention at a college combine.  However, time and time again, BYU is able to show that they can build these quarterbacks in their system and turn them into reliable, NFL style quarterbacks.

In 2010, the game changed for BYU.  For the first time in quite some time, a national, heavy recruited quarterback made the choice to play at BYU.  Sure there have been the Ben Olsens and Brett Engemens who brought a lot of hype into Provo, only to disappoint in the long run, however, never has BYU seen a recruit step on the field as a true freshman and be able to throw the ball as Jake Heaps does.  It is a new era for BYU Football.

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BYU Quarterback Equation

I have always been good at math and enjoy the simplicity that equations can bring to solving problems (that may sound like an oxymoron).  Currently, Bronco Mendenhall has chosen to enforce the very unpopular decision to start and play two quarterbacks as he continues to "wait" for one to emerge as the starting quarterback.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that two quarterbacks is a very tough job to manage and has had very little success in times past.  With that being said, Bronco seems to think he can defy the odds.

Jake Heaps and Riley Nelson.  You could not have two completely different quarterbacks, which is also why managing these two together becomes incredibly difficult.  Lets break down the two quarterbacks, discussing their individual "variables" for their equation, and which looks to be the solution for BYU.

Riley Nelson
[ Older, more college experience, stronger running abilities, stronger leader, "gritty"]

Jake Heaps
[Pure talent, stronger arm, more precise accuracy, better spiral, quicker reads, better field vision, high qb IQ]