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Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Riley Critic Converted

I've been refusing to admit it for weeks, but I am now ready to embrace Riley Nelson as our QB. Consider me convinced.

Some of you may recall that Little Bro said earlier this week that Riley Nelson was a "disguised mistake," and I agreed with him for the most part. I wasn't sold on Riley Nelson's arm strength (I'm still not, especially after seeing the pick 6 against Oregon State) or how he would do when teams game plan for him.

But now that I've seen the offense march down the field on almost every drive, I can't kick against the pricks any longer. Nelson has turned out to be a mix of Max Hall and Steve Young, with Hall's guts and fire and Young's running ability and left-handedness. It seems that the only thing that has been able to stop the offense is themselves via fumbles and interceptions. This offense (minus the turnovers) is something all Cougar fans, this one included, have been craving since opening kickoff. Nelson has provided that, and he deserves to start.

That being said, I think everyone has to admit that a) Nelson has played against much worse defenses, b) the offensive line has blocked a lot better for him (perhaps also a product of the better defenses to start the year), and c) the running game has finally come to life, thanks largely to a hidden star in Michael Alisa.

These counterpoints notwithstanding, the BYU Cougars are fun to watch once again. And unless Riley Nelson melts down, he should be the starter. The next big question will be whether to red shirt Heaps next year or whether there will be yet another quarterback controversy next spring. Cougar nation watches anxiously.

1 comment:

  1. Still too early to tell for sure if he's the real deal or not. I'm with Bronco and taking his starter status on a game by game basis.

    I do feel bad for Heaps, and I'm not certain what mental blocks he's battling with right now. I know it has to be mental because he's got all the physical skill necessary. But the main difference I see between Riley and Heaps is that Riley is a true baller. He isn't afraid to take a hit, and plays with leadership and gusto that the other players can't ignore. Consequently it brings their game up to a higher level. If Heaps could get past his wussiness and fear of tackling (after throwing an interception), he could light a brighter fire underneath the rest of the team to motivate them to greater success. Until he's prepared to do that, I'm willing to ride it out with Riley. I say we go with the one who's winning us games!