Replacing Brandon Doman Fair?

Let me start off by saying that I think BYU’s offense has been nothing but average. If it weren’t for Cody Hoffman or Jamaal Williams, the offense would have been abysmal. But is that Brandon Doman’s fault? I don’t think it is.

All year, Riley Nelson squashed the hearts and hopes of BYU fans. He was flat out awful. In my opinion, he was not a D1 caliber quarterback. Whether his awful play was due to his injuries or his lack of decision making is debatable and for a different argument. What we do know is that Bronco Mendenhall has stated that he is in charge on who plays QB. Now, Bronco gets to chose the QB and Doman has to make the best of it. People don’t like the offense that Doman was running, but what else besides the spread can you run with Nelson? It is the only type of offense that works for him. Riley was horrendous as a pocket QB and did not do a good job of working the check list. If the first option was gone, he’d go scrambling. Granted the offensive line struggled all year, but Nelson often left the pocket well before there was pressure. I don’t blame Brandon Doman fully for this. Instincts cannot be coached, and Nelson’s instincts were off. The only way for Doman to try to optimize the play of Nelson was to run the spread.

Bronco has said that he is responsible for deciding who the starting quarterback is. With this in mind, who is really to blame? The person that refuses to try another QB? Or the person that has to just try to make the best of someone else’s decision? I personally think Bronco is to blame. Bronco lost us more games this year than Doman. At Boise St, Bronco made the call to go for 2 without taking a time out and with a brand new freshman QB at the helm. At Utah, it was Bronco that kept Riley in after he had so many turnovers that it caused Cougar fans physical pain to count them. It was Bronco that didn’t manage the clock well against Utah St, which led to the injury of Taysom Hill. (“It was miscommunication, and I’m responsible for it when any player gets hurt,” said Mendenhall.) It was Bronco who said that if Riley was healthy, he would start over James Lark in the Poinsettia Bowl the week following Lark’s record tying performance.

The blame was on Riley Nelson and on Bronco Mendenhall; not Brandon Doman. I feel bad for Doman. He did the best with what he had. I think he deserves a chance to show what he can do with a good quarterback. Taysom Hill will learn the offense and is a very capable starter. Sure the Utah St game wasn’t perfect, but it’s arguably BYU’s best win of the season. I’m not calling for the firing of Bronco either, I just don’t think that Brandon deserved to be let go or demoted.

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  • What a stupid and naive opinion. We had so many problems on offense that were so much bigger than Riley Nelson. And yet … you buy into this bullcrap nonsense about Bronco forced Riley down Doman’s throat which makes absolutely no sense at all? I get that Bronco is easier to hate than Doman, but think about how ridiculous what you just wrote sounds. All you need to do is look at the Bowl Game to see what kind of blame Doman deserves. He had almost a month to prepare, and we were abysmal against a mediocre SDSU team.

    Bronco haters need to get their heads out of their butts and join reality.

    • Wow. That was definitely constructive. Thank you. But no offense, nothing you said backs up how you feel. Nothing. Riley was shoved down Domans throat, fans throats, and the throats of anyone who had the misfortune of ever seeing him play. You would have to be blind, dumb, and live under a rock not to see that Bronco loved Riley WAY too much. Doman deserves a chance with a descent QB.

  • Well I think it is an interesting argument but one that seems flawed in nature. What I think speaks volumes is the fact that Bronco didn’t trust Brandon’s decision making in the starting quarterback. To say that Bronco forced Riley to start (if true) is a bigger problem and at some point a competent offensive coordinator would have to say “look we just can’t win with Riley.” Or say something to the effect of Taysom or Lark gives us a better chance and the head coach would have to honor that opinion.

    The thing you can’t argue with Anae is that he puts up points/statistics everywhere he goes. We need to win sooner rather than later while we still have our ESPN contract and so much change is taking place in the college landscape. We need to win now in order to remain somewhat relevant on the national scene. Anae is more likely to give us better offensive production and I think Bronco trusts him more which is the main reason for the switch. So Bronco is figuring we don’t have the time to let Brandon figure it out. We cannot be mediocre these next couple of years. No doubt he (Doman) is a good coach, which is why they want him to stay on, but it seems he needs more time and got thrown to the wolves to quickly.

  • 3 things:
    1) The QBs as a whole and individuals had problems. Riley Nelson was a huge disappointment. Injuries and poor decisions (usually about playing when he should have been on a streatcher, or at least a training table) lead to poor performace.
    The problem was, that much of the time, he was still the QB that gave the Cougar’s the best chance to win.
    Look at the various QB’s performances against decent to good teams. Anyone can (and did) beat up on teams like Idaho, NMSU, and Hawai’i. What matters is what the QBs were able to do against decent to good defenses.
    1) James Lark vs SDSU. Going into the game SDSU had the #44 defense in the country. Not bad, but nothing to white home about, especially when considering they play in the MWC and had teams like Army and North Dakota on their nonconference slate.
    Against this mighty, slightly better than average defense, Lark completed 55% of his passes for 244yards, Zero TDs, and 2 INTs (he would have had 2 more if the SDSU DBs had managed to catch Larks passes when they hit them in both hands). He managed to lead the Cougar offense to a grand total of 3 points. This offensive outpouring came against a team that on average gave up 24.4 points per game.
    2) Taysom Hill vs. USU. While his performance was impressive (to me at least), completing 67% of his passes for 235 yards 1 TD and 1INT and Running for 80 yards on 19 carries (against the #15 defense in the country). The overall result was not much better than Larks. One TD in 60 minutes of play.
    That being said, he did have that great drive against BSU. He may have developed into the Cougars best option at QB this year, but with his injury it is a moot point.
    3) Riley Nelson
    a) vs. Utah. Did he have a great, or even good game? No. Whould he have been allowed to play with his cracked vertibre? Probably not.
    That being said, he did lead BYU to 3 TDs against the #37 ranked defense. While he only completed 49% of his passes, he still threw for 206 yards and 2 TDs with only 1 turnover. Do you really think Lark would have done better?
    b) vs.BSU. Nelson should not have been allowed on the field. I do blame the loss on both Mendenhall’s decision to let Nelson play, and Nelson’s decision to play.
    c) vs Oregon St. completed 55% of his passes for 305 yards with 1 TD and 3 INTs. These stats are comparable to Larks against SDSU. The difference is that Nelson led the offense to 24 points instead of 3.
    d) vs Notre Dame. He completed 64% of his passes for 177 yards with 2 Tds and 2 INTs. Impressive? No, but thoseTDs against the #1 team and #6 defense in the country are still more than BYU had against USU and SDSU.

    e) vs. GT. Completed 68% of his passes for 207 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT against an average defense, not impressive. The 41 points the offense put up is.
    f) vs. SJSU. completed 55% of his passes for 335 yards, 1 TD, and 3 TO (1 INT and 2 fumbles). A bad game but the BYU offense still scored almost 5 times the ammount of points that they sere responsible for abainst SDSU under Lark.
    Summary: The main points of this exercise were:
    1) To point out that as bad as Nelson was this season, can anyone difinitively and honestly say that (other than against BSU and the 4th qtr against SJSU when he was clearly to injured to be on the field) he did not give BYU the best chance to win?
    2) It was the quality of the QBs, not being forced to start one over the other, that resigned Doman to a pedestrian offensive output (well, mostly it was the offensive line, but since the article was about QB’s I’ll confine my comments to that sphere.

    • Great comment. I should have done the amount of homework you did. There’s only two things I would add to what you said, and there are no measurable stats to track these; Riley was a bad decision maker and he can’t hit a receiver on the run. He undershoots his targets, causing the target to stop and catch, then hopefully gain yards. It is moot to argue what Taysom could have done had he started all year, but it’s not moot to talk about who was responsible for him getting hurt. Bronco took blame for that. I just don’t like the college football (and NFL for that matter) atmosphere that says if a coach isn’t almost perfect, he deserves to go. I believe he deserves one more year; after that, re-evaluate and go from there. Had we had Max Hall or John Beck this year, we could have been busting the BCS scene. I feel he deserves a chance with a capable qb.