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BYU’s Two Quarterback Debut

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Bronco Mendenhall’s much critiqued decision to play not one, but two quarterbacks in the season opener on Saturday night has proven an initial success. True, one cannot judge a season by one game, but the verdict is in on this first outing and it is positive. Riley Nelson, a sophomore from Logan, Utah, started the game just as Coach Mendenhall had earlier predicted that he would. He threw for two touch-downs against a team that boasts a Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Jake Locker and managed to make some tough runs while not throwing the ball away all evening. Likewise, teammate and co-quarterback, Jake Heaps played an all around good game against the Washington Huskies. Heaps is another Utah product, having graduated from Skyline High School just last year. He took care of the ball when he was on the playing field and showed a glimpse of the great potential that he has.

Meanwhile, there are critics of this two quarterback system. Many of those who follow BYU sports are uneasy about Mendenhall’s decision to employ two men at the QB spot. Former BYU great, Jim McMahon was asked his opinion on the matter while he was in Provo for a special presentation at Saturday’s game. He said it doesn’t work to have two players in the QB position and he speaks from experience. He had occasions to juggle the quarterback duties with another player in his first year at BYU and declared that neither he or the other QB candidate liked the situation. He feels there needs to be one designated quarterback and then back-ups as needed.
On the other side of the court, Coach Mendenhall is very comfortable with his decision and so far the results are backing him up.

Nancy Smith is one of the owners of RobbinsSports.com, an online retailer specializing in Basketball Uniforms and Portable Scoreboards