The BYU Cougars had some issues last week when the lost to the Boise St. Broncos 7-6, they had five turnovers -- three by starting quarterback Riley Nelson -- which prompted bringing in true freshman quarterback Taysom Hill. Hill moved the ball well and was able to score the only offensive touchdown for the game.
With a quarterback change mid game there was bound to be some controversy at BYU practice this, and lucky for readers here I cover BYU for another job. So I was able to be at both practices this week to see what was going on.
First off, Nelson has back issues and has been limited in practice both days, and there are reports that he has a cracked vertebrate, but that has yet to be confirmed and is denied by Nelson.
With Nelson limited in practice, and Hill performing fairly well in his action against Boise State, it is likely that Hill will start on Friday against the Hawaii Warriors. On Monday's practice, Hill stayed late to take extra snaps under center and to learn a bit more from Nelson by practicing pitching the ball down the field in an option style toss. Not sure why BYU is continually doing more option stuff, but Nevada did it well in their big win on Saturday that BYU is going to try to exploit that.
Another reason why I doubt Nelson will suit up is that on Monday he was wearing a long sleeve shirt under his jersey, it was somewhat cool out, but it was not a workout style shirt. Rather it was like a loose long sleeve tee, and he had a play card hanging out of his shorts. So, not sure if even really practice in 11-on-11, or 7-on-7 drills.
For Hawaii, the difference between Nelson and HIll are really negligible, both are running style quarterbacks and their throwing is questionable. Hill more so because he is a true freshman, and is still learning the playbook and his receivers tendencies.
There was also issues along the past two weeks for BYU with multiple false start penalties, but with this game being at home, Hawaii can not bank on having BYU have too many false start penalties.
Here is the audio from BYU practice from Sept. 24 and Sept. 25:
Taysom Hill 9.25
Bronco Mendenhall 9.25
Riley Nelson 9.25