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ATLANTA -- Fourth Quarter:What a day for BYU. Its tough to really point at only one or two guys who gave the Cougars such a big win down in Atlanta today. The defense restored faith in fans from last week's performance at Notre Dame, only giving up 157 total yards of offense to a team that averaged almost 500 yards of offense a week and almost 40 points.
Today, it was BYU's defense and the tough running by Jamaal Williams. 28 rushes for 108 yards on the ground, 4 total touchdowns for the 17-year old today including three on the ground. He had a big game already this season in Provo against Hawaii but this really was Williams coming out party as BYU's premiere back.
Its been a long time since a BYU back has gotten so many carries and the coaching staff obviously put their trust in the kid to give him the ball almost 30 times on the ground. A shovel pass for a 39-yard score was a beauty and posting up 400 yards of offense was a nice addition to the 41-17 win for their first road win of the year.
Third Quarter:The defense staying pretty stout throughout the 3rd quarter but the Cougars miss an opportunity at another score missing a Justin Sorensen FG but the defense bailed out the offense again with a turnover. This time, it was Daniel Sorensen with an interception that brought the Cougars inside the two-yard line and an easy punch-in by Jamaal Williams. The 17-year old RB Williams scored his 3rd rushing TD of the game and BYU went up 31-14 at that point.
The Cougar defense then had its worst stand of the game committing 3 personal fouls in one series and still only giving up a FG to end the 3rd quarter up 31-17.
One of the unsung heroes who has contributed big time to BYU's field position battle has been JD Falslev who has returned three kickoffs for 40+ yards through 3 quarters.
Second Quarter:The Cougar offense seems to have showed up today but a giant mistake on special teams giving up a touchdown on a kickoff return thanks to poor containment by Preston Hadley.
That took a two-touchdown lead down to 7 points and BYU came back to get a field goal to go in at the half up 24-14. The Georgia Tech 14 points are thanks to the TD return of 97 yards and who could forget the pick-six by Riley Nelson to keep Tech in the game?
The defense is stellar, keeping GTU to very limited yards on the offensive side of the ball. When interviewed before going into the locker room at the half, Coach Bronco Mendenhall said it as straight as he could saying that mistakes were keeping the game close and the easy missed throw from Nelson to Kaneakua Friel was a missed opportunity to go up 28-14 before the half.
MVP of the first half is LB Kyle Van Noy who had two tackles for a loss and a blocked punt to tee it up for the offense to punch it in. Is there any chance that he sticks around for his Senior season? I hope so.
First Quarter:After giving up a mountain of rushing yards last week to Notre Dame, the Cougars aren't going to have it any easier traveling to Georgia to take on Georgia Tech who boasts the 3rd best rushing offense in the country. An impressive drive to start the game gave BYU the early lead thanks to a Jamaal Williams rushing TD.
Then something happened that we have come to expect in the past several weeks. Riley Nelson turned the ball over. A pick-six that negated all of BYU's defensive efforts. Nelson has one touchdown pass to 8 interceptions in his past 4 games. Nelson tried to redeem himself with a big 52 yard pass play to Ross Apo and BYU knocking at the door to start the 2nd quarter. So far, BYU is stopping the Georgia Tech offense sufficiently enough, but the Cougars will have to stop the big plays to maintain a lead.