BYU Football: 5 Keys to the Game vs. Georgia Tech

Samuel BensonContributor IIIOctober 24, 2012

BYU Football: 5 Keys to the Game vs. Georgia Tech

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    BYU will travel to Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday for their 10th ACC game, in which they hold a lackluster 2-10 record all-time. As 2.5-point underdogs, the Cougars will need to play hard on the road to beat the 3-4 Yellow Jackets.

    GT leads the nation in total rushing yards since 2008, and that could be quite the problem as BYU's weakness as of late has been rushing defense. If the Cougs want to win, their front seven will need to step up. 

    Here are four other keys to beating the Yellow Jackets.

BYU Needs to Capitalize on Big Opportunities

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    "That throw will probably haunt me until I die."

    That is what Cougar quarterback Riley Nelson said about a certain play against Notre Dame that will likely haunt many BYU fans. Late in the fourth quarter against the Irish, Cody Hoffman beat his defender and was wide open around the 40-yard line. Nelson saw this and bombed a pass to Hoffman.

    Problem is, the ball landed nowhere close to the intended receiver.

    If Nelson would have made an accurate throw, BYU would have taken a three or four-point lead and likely beaten fifth-ranked ND. But no, they lost by three and are sitting here at 4-4. If the Cougs want to beat Georgia Tech, they can't give up huge plays like that. They need to capitalize and win games.

Lockown Rushing Defense

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    Like I mentioned earlier, BYU's weakness against Notre Dame was their rushing defense. Somehow, a team that was first in the nation in rushing yards allowed per game two weeks ago allowed two players to grind out up 100-plus yards on the ground.

    I'm still puzzled over that.

    Georgia Tech bases their offense off of the triple option, and will likely run the ball 45-plus times this weekend. The Cougars can't give up big plays like they did against Notre Dame.

    If they do, expect a long day for BYU.

Better Field-Goal Kicking

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    BYU made four of five field goals in their first two games.

    Since then, they are 1-for- 5.

    It's not a matter of getting in range, or even blocking. Justin Sorensen, a guy who was booting 60-yarders in high school, can't make a 30-yarder anymore. I don't know what the problem is, but Bronco Mendenhall needs to figure that out and make some changes.

The Shovel Pass to Jamaal Williams

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    BYU's running game hasn't been stellar as of late, nor has their passing game.

    But one thing is working well, which is a small, simple shovel pass. Every time Riley Nelson tosses one of these passes for three or four yards to Jamaal Williams, he somehow finds a way to extend it into a double-digit gain.

    If the Cougs want constant success on offense, they need to run the shovel pass more often.