BYU Football: Ranking the Key Peformances from the Week 9 Game vs. Georgia Tech
After a two-game losing skid, BYU found a way to halt that streak by rolling over Georgia Tech, 41-17. The win cam as Bronco Mendenhall's first against an ACC team, and the Cougars' first road victory this year.
Several players put on quite a clinic in Atlanta on Saturday, and did so in a huge way. So, here are five players that had breakout games against the Yellow Jackets.
5. Ross Apo
Ross Apo caught only three passes. But 55 yards came from those catches.
No, that was not a typo.
Apo's finest catch came late in the first quarter, when Riley Nelson threw a 40-yard bomb to Apo in the middle of the field. As soon as he caught the ball, he was drilled by a Georgia Tech defender. I knew for a fact that he dropped the ball, as there was no way that he could've held on to it. Miraculously, Apo rose up with the ball in hand, and after watching the replay, I saw that there wasn't a time when the ball was loose at all.
Ross Apo could be a stellar receiver, and BYU surely needs to get him the ball more than three times in a game.
4. Cody Hoffman
Another receiver, Cody Hoffman, caught seven catches against Georgia Tech. His total of 69 yards may be a lower number than other games this year, but he made plays when it mattered.
Despite zero trips to the end zone, he helped extend drives on multiple occasions. Hoffman gained five first downs, four of which were on third down.
3. Riley Nelson
Riley Nelson started out the game sloppier than I've seen him since the Boise State game. He threw a pick six early on and had several passes swatted away.
But Nelson finished strong, and that's all that matters. He completed 19 of 28 passes for over 200 yards, along with a pair of touchdowns (one passing and the other rushing). His rating of 133.7 was the highest since the Weber State game, and if he can limit turnovers, the rest of the season will be a cakewalk.
Jamaal Williams finished with 107 rushing yards, along with 54 receiving against Georgia Tech. He also scored four touchdowns against Georgia Tech.
Senior Heisman candidate Kenjon Barner of Oregon has only done that twice in his career, and both times were in blowout wins against Washington State and New Mexico (51-26 and 72-0).
You might as well start making "Williams for Heisman 2015" shirts.
Saturday marked the first time Georgia Tech didn't score an offensive touchdown since 2008. And that's while playing against defenses like FSU, Virginia Tech and Clemson.
BYU didn't let the Yellow Jackets score on any of their 10 third-down attempts and held the famed "triple-option" attack to only 117 rushing yards and 157 total. It's nice to note that GT averaged around 339 rushing yards per game before this one.
I doubt many people will be overlooking BYU's defense now. It has held some of the greatest offensive minds in college football to zero touchdowns (Norm Chow, Mike Leach, Chris Peterson and now Paul Johnson) and is on the road to a great future.