|To no surprise, BYU's success rides |
on Nelson's left arm and leadership ability
I criticized Nelson on countless occasions last year. Questioning his ability to lead the team to victories over quality opponents. He played okay against TCU, but lost. He played good against San Jose State, and squeaked that one out at home. Against Hawaii he showed he could ball, and the Tulsa game was a great exclamation point on his season. 2012 however, is the year he must show the Cougar Blue he can beat the good teams like Boise State, Utah and Notre Dame. Did I mention all those games are on the road?
This season has all of the bigger name opponents on the road, making the schedule play that much tougher. Games against Utah and Boise State should be very entertaining considering the rich history of the programs. BYU, in their most recent trip to Boise, lost on a missed last second field goal attempt. That was a heart breaker!
If Nelson can get Ross Apo involved in the short game, which he should considering the amount of attention Cody Hoffman should receive, this could be a very VERY fun season. Apo had decent numbers last year, but if he can have a breakout year this year, this squad could be very dangerous.
I am going to predict a 9-3 record for Nelson and the Cougars. A win coming against one of their big name road opponents being the major difference. That win, I'm going to go out on a branch and say is against Boise State, who will have a new quarterback but somehow never seems to miss a beat. Thats my bold prediction for this season.
Overall, I feel its going to be another bowl year for the Cougars and Nelson will be the man in charge. If he can win a big road game, say Utah early on in the year, he might finally convert me. I know he can play, but can he step up his game to the highest echelon where BYU needs him to be in order for them to take the next step? We'll just have to wait and see.