The Cougars played really well on both sides of the ball today en route to a 41-17 victory over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Here's a look back at the BYU victory through our keys to the game.
Win the turnover battle. All in all, the turnovers were even today, which is much better than they get in BYU's losses. Daniel Sorensen had a 26 yard interception return that ended up just short of the end zone. On the other side, Georgia Tech's Isaiah Johnson returned a Riley Nelson interception all 22 yards to the endzone for a pick-6. Both teams got a turnover, and both turned it into a touchdown. Grade: C.
Bronco D. After letting Notre Dame rush all over them last week, this group seemed poised for another letdown, as Georgia Tech was coming into the game with the #3 rush attack in the nation, at 339 rushing yards per game. But the Bronco D played incredibly well against the jackets, holding them to just 117 rushing yards, and 157 total yards. Best stat though? BYU only gave up 3 points to the Georgia Tech offense, as one touchdown came on the pick-6, and another came on a kickoff return by Jamal Golden. Grade: A.
Offensive Balance. This wasn't all about the pass-run balance, but about spreading the ball around to various receivers and rushers. In the end, Williams was the offensive star, carrying 28 times for 107 yards and 3 TDs, as well as having 3 catches for 54 yards and another TD. Hoffman was the most frequent receiving target with 7 catches for 69 yards, but APO had the biggest reception of the day, at 43 yards. All in all, plenty of people got touches and yards, but I would like to see another rusher really step up and get some consistently good play. J.D. Falslev had 3 rushes for 32 yards, but that's a huge step back from the 28 touches that Williams got. Grade B-.
Riley Nelson. Riley only served up one turnover today, though it was a pick 6. He also left at least one receiver wide open in the endzone, still waiting for that TD pass. All in all though, he only had a couple of big mistakes, and managed the Jamaal Williams offense quite well the rest of the day. Grade: B.
What we know about Georgia Tech (3-5)
They've only got wins against poor teams this year (Boston College, Virginia, and Presbyterian), and they've been outclassed by the likes of Middle Tennessee State, Miami, Clemson, and BYU. They have three winnable games to start November, against Maryland, North Carolina, and Duke, before heading into their rivalry game against current top-10 team Georgia. A bowl game is still a possibility, but none of the remaining games is a slam dunk, and they have to win three of them. Luckily for them though, BYU is the toughest team they'll face until that showdown with Georgia.
What we know about BYU (5-4)
The Cougars are better than their record. The defense has been great, and the offense is finally coming together, and remind me of the team that won the Armed Forces Bowl against Tulsa at the end of last year. A huge piece in their development has been the rapid rise of freshman star Jamaal Williams. Having a go-to running back is as big a luxury for Riley Nelson as it is to have Cody Hoffman at receiver. Williams is becoming the guy you can count on to get the first down on 3rd and long, and taking pressure off of Riley to run the ball. I don't see the Cougars losing another game in the regular season, as they close out with Idaho, San Jose State, and New Mexico State after their bye next week.