We wanted to try something a little different as this off-season is getting underway. We asked ten questions of some of our Cougar contributors about the state of the BYU football program as well as what they say in 2012 and hope to see in 2013.
We will post one question with each response every day for the next ten weekdays. Make sure to check in every day to get your BYU Cougars update from our roundtable of Cougar faithful.
Is there any question again? Riley Nelson. I’m saddened that he showed no desire to be a better quarterback for BYU. I’m more saddened that he knew that Bronco had his back and didn’t feel the need to change who he was. I wish he would have had the brain power to pull himself out of games when he knew he couldn’t perform. It takes a big man for a coach to defend your faults. It takes a much bigger man to freely express your faults and feel the need to be relieved of your duties.
Riley is the obvious choice, but really he showed signs even last season against good teams of having issues with arm strength, accuracy, and good decision making. Before the season started, @fuegote predicted Riley would struggle…I didn’t listen to him at the time, but he was spot on. The bigger culprit actually might be the offensive line. It was nothing short of pure garbage. As good as the defense was in BYU football lore; this offensive line might be the worst I have ever seen.
I feel like I’m piling on, but anyone who follows this blog or one of my Twitter feeds (@Matt_Quinney or @AI_SportsBlog) knows that my biggest issue with this season circled around the Riley Nelson drama. I was let down because I expected him to take us to the double digit land again. He was supposed to redeem the team against the Utes. He was supposed to be more prepared to be a quarterback. Instead, he was panicky, quick to run, lost games in Salt Lake, Boise, South Bend, and San Jose. And to further complicate the issues, his biggest fan was unfortunately the head coach and he never waivered in his defense of the gritty and determined Boy Scout from Logan.
Mike Livingston: As discussed, the offense line, quarterback play and frankly the strange coaching in general around the offense was a huge let down. I’ve followed BYU football my entire life. I don’t recall a season where BYU looked more like a small program than they did in 2012. The Riley drama that persisted, the Taysom Hill injury and James Lark all seemed to be handled by a little league coaching staff. I love Bronco and Doman but a spade is a spade.
I’ve already mentioned how much Riley’s 2012 performance disappointed and surprised me, but my biggest letdown played a big role in that. The 2012 offensive line. It hurts my brain to think about it, but this unit was plagued by injuries, poor performance and bad luck. There was a short-lived glimmer of hope when Famika Anae got into the game and brought a physical presence, but it wasn’t to be. For him, injuries ended a game, a season, and a career. And BYU fans were back to being disappointed the line. However, the eternal BYU optimist in me notices how young the offensive line is. Hopefully, coaching will help this unit improve for the 2013 season.