The BYU Cougars have had a heartbreaking season, losing close games to Notre Dame, Utah and Boise State by a combined seven points. Fans wondered if the team was mentally capable of pulling out a road win against a big-name opponent. The Cougars answered those doubts emphatically on Saturday, going into Atlanta and getting a convincing win against Georgia Tech, 41-17.
On offense, offensive coordinator Brandon Doman finally put together a balanced game plan that resulted in 228 passing yards and 183 rushing yards. The Georgia Tech defense was never able to key in on any one area of BYU's offensive game, and it led to a big day for the Cougars.
BYU QB Riley Nelson was efficient, going 19 of 28 on passing attempts for 204 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while also adding 17 yards and a touchdown rushing. Aside from that one interception, Nelson was calm and efficient throughout the game.
The star for BYU on offense, however, was 17-year-old running back Jamaal Williams. Williams rushed 28 times for 107 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 54 yards and a touchdown receiving. The touchdown came on a shovel pass that Williams took 39 yards for the score, continuing BYU's success with that play.
On defense, BYU was completely dominant, holding the Yellowjackets' vaunted triple-option offense to only 157 total yards. They also kept the Georgia Tech offense out of the end zone, as the two Yellowjacket touchdowns came on an interception return by Isaiah Johnson and a kickoff return by Jamal Golden.
BYU LB Kyle Van Noy blocked a punt, setting up Riley Nelson's rushing touchdown. BYU safety Daniel Sorenson also had an interception that he returned for 26 yards.
While BYU's close losses are still heartbreaking for the team and fans, their dominant all-around performance against Georgia Tech is sure to lighten up the mood in Provo.