The confidence the BYU Cougars have in junior quarterback Riley Nelson has softened the blow of sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps leaving the program after the regular season, reports Jay Drew of The Salt Lake Tribune.
"Riley is the type of player that makes the rest of us believe we are going to win," said offensive tackle Matt Reynolds. "He gives everybody else around him that confidence that you need to win."
Nelson took over for Heaps midway through the 2011 season, passing for a team-high 1,467 yards with 16 touchdowns and just five interceptions. In nearly 100 more pass attempts, Heaps had 1,452 yards with nine touchdowns and eight interceptions. Nelson also rank for 376 yards and a touchdown on the ground, an area of the game that is not a strong suit for the Kansas-bound Heaps.
In other Armed Forces Bowl news, Utah-based coffee retailer Lock-n-Load Java has signed on as a sponsor for Friday's bowl game, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
"We are very proud to be a sponsor of the Armed Forces Bowl, with its strong military focus. I am especially proud that part of our sponsorship fee goes toward providing free tickets to members of the military," company founder Carl Churchill said in a statement.