Poll Results: Should Taysom Hill be the starting quarterback the rest of the year?

After watching Brigham Young Cougars freshman quarterback Taysom Hill play against Hawaii, the vast majority of poll respondents (77%) said Hill should be BYU’s starting quarterback the rest of 2012. Just 15% voted “No,” and the remaining 8% of voters were undecided.

Clearly, it is not the popular choice, but I am going to say Hill should not be the Cougars’ starting quarterback.

I have several reasons.

  1. Riley Nelson did not do anything to justify being benched, when he is healthy. Nelson was playing well to start the year. At halftime of the Weber State game, no one was screaming, "Nelson needs to be benched!" Even while he was hurt, he almost rallied BYU to a win over Utah. No matter how bad you may think he played that game, you cannot blame the loss on Nelson. The offensive line was horrible that night.
  2. Hill is not ready to start. Thanks to his running ability, he played a good game against a very bad defense. Despite Hawaii’s defense being as bad as it was, Hill was still just 12 of 21 passing for 112 yards. That is less than 10 yards per completion. Hill cannot “get by” with his fast feet. Just look at Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson. Defenses will quickly find a way to plug up those run lanes and force Hill to throw the ball. Hill has potential as a passer, but right now he is not a better passer than Nelson.
  3. Injuries. Starting Hill for the rest of the season is a great way to get him seriously injured. Since he is not a polished passer and does not have a great grasp of the offense, he will rely on his legs too much. That will put him in harms way. The odds are very high Hill will be injured before the season ends. That could then set back his development and progress during the off season because he is busy rehabilitating instead of doing what the heir to the throne should be doing to get ready.
  4. Freshmen quarterbacks usually are not good. How quickly we forget the mighty struggles of Jake Heaps. Return missionary John Beck wasn’t any better in 2003 playing as a true freshman. If BYU had a killer offensive line and a strong run game to lean on, then Hill might be able to survive starting. BYU doesn’t have either of these, which means Hill will be asked to do much more than he is capable of doing as a freshman. Like the injuries, that could have a detrimental effect on Hill's development.
As long as Nelson is hurt, then Hill can play. However, as soon as Nelson is back to form, then he should be the starting quarterback. That gives BYU the best chance to win now and in the future.

I like Hill and think he has a very bright future at BYU, but the future isn't now.

Thank you to everyone who voted. Don’t forget to come back after the Utah State game to vote in the next poll question.

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com


  1. Riddle me this, Mr. Editor. Name Riley's matquee wins, then compare to his losses. More Specifically, look at Riley's turnovers in the wins and losses and it tells the real story. When BYU loses, it is because our QB turns the ball over excessively. 2011 and 2012.

    Time to turn the page. Even if Hill makes mistakes, he is learning for the Future and making the same ones Riley does anyway, as a 5th year senior. He hit his celinging and it is one that Hill is far too close to pushing through already as a true freshman to not play him now.

  2. Look...he threw an awful pick in that Weber game before he was even hurt in it. Also, he turned the ball over 10 times in the only 2 losses on the season. It certainly isn't the D losing those games for BYU...Taysom was put in a near-impossible position and drove the length of the field, scored and at least put the Cougs in a position to win the game.

    Nelson is reckless and can't win games that matter. Hasn't won a single one against a quality opponent. He's gritty and a leader...blah blah blah...I simply don't care. I don't care that he's a senior and "wants" or "deserves" to play. I'm sure Eathyn Manumaleuna and James Lark want badly to play...but Eathyn's hurt and Lark is a senior who can't do anything for you in the long haul. Riley is BOTH of those things. It's the BYU Cougars not the BYU "Riley Nelsons". They're a team. You have to do what's smart for the team.

    There is no logical defense for playing Nelson anymore this year. BYU isn't going to a BCS game even if they win out...6-6 or 10-2 means the Poinsettia Bowl either way. WHY NOT play the kid who will be at the helm for next year's BRUTAL gauntlet of a schedule?

    The future IS now, friend.

    1. First of all, BYU only had 7 turnovers in the two losses this year. One was a fumble by Alisa when Nelson wasn't even on the field. So the most Nelson could have turned the ball over was 6 times, but that includes the bad snap by the center that Alisa should have recovered but didn't.

      Name a quarterback for me who hasn't had an ugly interception? When Nelson left the Weber State game, he had thrown 65 passes on the year with that 1 interception. That is less than 2% of his throws, which is right where Jim McMahon was.

      Why not? Re-read my piece. I gave a few reasons. I am very concerned about Hill's health if BYU continues to play this style of offense because Hill DOES NOT KNOW THE PLAYBOOK well enough, so he has to carry the ball 15+ times a game and the offense lacks credibility. Notre Dame will send Hill out on a stretcher if BYU is still playing that way in two weeks.

  3. Also...have you SEEN Nelson pass?? Good grief, dude. My wife throws tighter spirals...No, she really does.

    1. Add Ty Detmer and Ryan Hancock to the list of QBs your wife is better than. They often struggled to throw a spiral. Throwing a spiral is preferred, but getting the ball in the right place is more important.

  4. Do you still feel that Nelson should start over Hill after the Utah State Game? You say that Nelson did nothing to get benched and justify his horrific performances against Boise State and Utah because of injury. If he was injured he shouldn't have played, that is on him. He was all world awful against Boise and Hill is ten times the athlete and QB.

    1. 6 points for Hill in a full game.
      14 points for Nelson in less than half a game.

      That is how many points they have accounted for against Utah State.

      As I said above, Hill DOES NOT KNOW THE PLAYBOOK well enough to run the offense like Nelson can. This offense that BYU is running will get Hill seriously injured before the end of the year, then he will not be ready for 2013 because all offseason he will be rehabing and not taking real reps with the offense.

      Look, I would like a better quarterback than Riley Nelson right now, but just because I want someone better doesn't mean Nelson's merits should be ignored.

      The coaches can always pull Nelson and put Hill in the game if Nelson is not playing well. I would hope the coaches have learned not to wait so long to do it after what happened at Boise.


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