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Provo • In a way, BYU offensive coordinator Brandon Doman knows what benched starter Jake Heaps is going through. In another way, Doman doesn't.
Doman, of course, was on the bench his first couple of seasons with the Cougars before getting his opportunity to start at quarterback the last two games of his junior year. As a senior, he started every game and helped the Cougars to a 12-2 record in 2001, passing for 33 touchdowns and 3,542 yards.
"I have never been benched," Doman said. "Heaps feels like he's been benched. I have certainly been a backup before, and I certainly had to overcome some of those adversities. I know if you don't prepare for [adversity] then you are going to have some hard times."
Doman said the fact that he has to focus his attention on starter Riley Nelson in practice and the film room has been hard on Heaps, who was accustomed to that kind of attention for 15 straight starts before being in pulled in favor of Nelson in the third quarter of the Utah State game.
"But we visit individually, one on one, a lot," Doman said of his relationship with Heaps. "Then I am testing him each week to make sure that he is staying on top of the game, and that he is very prepared to play. And if that were ever to decline, or he were to show that he wasn't prepared, that would be a glaring issue to me. But he's been ready to go every practice and every game."
Nelson will start against Idaho State on Saturday (1 p.m., BYUtv), but Doman said he would love to get Heaps into the game.
"If we can get a lead on anybody, I would like to see Jake go back in and play, whether it be this week or any other week," he said "That would be awesome to get a lead. Maybe we will do that this year. I would love to see Jake get a chance to play again, whenever that is."
Defensive end Mike Muehlmann has been moved back to tight end, his original position, because of the season-ending knee injury suffered by tight end Richard Wilson. ... Linebacker Kyle Van Noy started against Oregon State, after not having started the previous four games. BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said it has nothing to do with Van Noy's practice or game performance, but more to do with an opponents' personnel and offensive scheme.
Idaho State at BYU
Saturday, 1 p.m.