“It was unfortunate,” said Coach Doman. “We certainly didn’t intend for [Taysom Hill] to go out and run a football play there, but we weren’t able to stop it from happening either.”
Instead of taking a knee, Hill ran a draw and ended up getting a direct shot to his knee with another player’s helmet.
“As soon as he ran to the line of scrimmage, I got a sick feeling in my stomach,” said Doman.
It’s something that Doman has no intention of letting happen again.
“At this point hopefully all of us learn a lesson, and, if we are able to, move forward,” he said.
Nevertheless, Doman has taken the circumstance personally.
“I feel responsible for these guys. I am responsible for these guys,” said Coach Doman. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep them all from injury, but I certainly feel for them when I see them get hurt. But, setbacks provide for great comebacks, and Taysom will have a great comeback and so will Riley [Nelson].”
This Saturday, Nelson will have the chance to prove Coach Doman right when he faces No. 10 Oregon State. This is an opportunity for Nelson to pull himself back into the hearts of BYU fans. But will Nelson be able to compete at the highest level in order to pull out that great comeback that Doman referred to?
“Well, he’s five weeks out from his injury. If he’s not 100 percent, he should be in the 90s,” said Coach Doman. “He still needs to come back and do what he needs to do. It’s good to see the guy back to normal.
“I’m not seeing any ramifications at this point. Now it’s just gaining confidence and going back out there and being himself. Everything happens a lot faster with an older guy, the decisions are faster, the communication is faster, and we’re able to run the offense at a much faster rate.”
Still, there is always the possibility that the team will need to call on a different quarterback for one reason or another.
“The backup would be James [Lark] right now, and I know James can do the pass game the way that we need him to do that pass game,” said Coach Doman. “There are particular quarterback run stuff that we have done and we won’t do the same magnitude of. You know, with James that’s not his strength, but he can do it all because he’s a good athlete. James can do all the pass stuff that Riley’s doing.”
As the offensive coordinator, Doman must tailor the offense to suit Lark’s strengths should the senior backup enter a game.
“Well, our offense would look different with James if he were to be the one to go in there,” said Coach Doman. “That would be something that I could call that in a game on Saturday. If James comes in, I could just tailor it to his strengths. There’s enough calls on the play sheet that if he was in there, it would look like James Lark running our offense rather than Riley Nelson running our offense. If that were the case, I’m confident we’ll be fine.”
And BYU fans can rest assured that he he’ll do all that he can to make sure there’s no breakdown in communication with an inexperienced quarterback. Given what occurred and the heat that followed after Hill’s injury, the importance of this game isn’t lost to anyone, including Coach Doman.
“Well, it’s a big game,” said Coach Doman. “You know, we’re still fighting and scratching to play well, and so we have a lot to prove to ourselves and a lot to earn right now, let alone play an Oregon State team that’s playing pretty good football right now.”