Riley Returns: Nelson back under center for BYU

Senior quarterback Riley Nelson will be the starting quarterback for the Brigham Young Cougars  on Saturday, October 13, 2012, when the 10th ranked Oregon State Beavers come to Provo for Homecoming. He had missed the last two games with an injured back.

Following practice on Monday, Nelson said, “I’m good and full go.” He added, “I feel good. I’m excited to get back and play healthy and not have any limitations or any kind of pain or injury on my mind. It is going to be fun to play with a clear mind again.”

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who is also the defensive coordinator, didn’t watch Nelson practice on Monday. He did, however, tell reporters that Nelson’s back is in good shape.

“I thought it was really close last week so I would assume by the time we get to Saturday, it will be,” Mendenhall said.

Nelson pointed out that he practiced Monday-Wednesday last week before BYU’s Friday night game. That was when Mendenhall decided to wait one more week to allow Nelson to fully recover, and that Taysom Hill would start his second game against Utah State.

Hill was injured and will be out the rest of the season with a knee injury. Should Nelson need to be replaced again, senior James Lark will get the call. Nelson believes that Lark would be successful leading the team in his absence.

“James is just as good of an athlete as us and can execute every play that Taysom and I executed so it wouldn’t skip a beat,” Nelson said.

As for now, Nelson’s focus is on this Saturday’s game.

"I am excited," said Nelson. "We’ve got a top-10 opponent in our house on homecoming and it’s a great opportunity. We’re really excited; we had a lot of energy today at practice and guys executed pretty well today for the first day of a game plan."

BYU beat Oregon State last year in Corvallis, Oregon, 38-28. In that game, Nelson completed 17 of 27 passes for 217 yards, with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.

The Beavers also announced yesterday that their quarterback Sean Mannion suffered a knee injury and would miss the rest of the year.

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