In 2012, the BYU Cougar football team traveled to Atlanta and beat Georgia Tech 47-17. This year, the much-improved Yellow Jackets come to Lavell Edwards Stadium looking for revenge.
“They kind of physically got after us and took us to the woodshed probably as good as any time since I’ve been here, so it’ll be a challenge to see if we can play well in Provo,” said Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson. “It’s a tough place to play. I’ve been there a few times; they have a great crowd that’s into the game. Usually they sell out their games, so it’ll be quite a challenge.”
BYU comes into Saturday’s game looking for its third straight win on the season and its fourth win overall. Last week’s big win at Utah State was a coming-out party for BYU’s offense, and the Cougars aren’t looking to let up any time soon.
“Offensively we found more rhythm. We get a few players back this week. We’re looking forward to another really good opponent coming into our stadium, and playing well,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “We have some momentum now, and I think we’re making some progress. Still plenty to work on, but we’re excited about the game.”
BYU has been a run-oriented team for the first four games of the season, and quarterback Taysom Hill had his best passing game of the season against Utah State. BYU running back Jamaal Williams is looking forward to what a good passing threat can do for the team’s rushing attack. Williams will see an increased work load in his second game back after suffering a concussion against Utah.
“Having Taysom throw the ball like that, now it’s making us a double-threat,” Williams said. “Now people watch out for passing … it opens up for me and all the running backs and Taysom; it’s just making the offense better.”
The Georgia Tech defense is aware of BYU’s new-found pass game and will look to adjust to a more balanced offensive attack from the Cougars.
“This week we have to play assignment defense,” Johnson said. “Taysom Hill is capable when he gets in the space of turning seven/eight-yard plays into a 70-yard play. He’s got that kind of speed, is hard to tackle, and so do their backs.”
While offense has been the focus as of late, BYU’s defense has a tough task ahead of it. The Yellow Jacket offense scored 30 points in a loss against No. 14 Miami last week and runs the triple option as well as anyone in college football. BYU linebacker Uani Unga knows stopping an offense as prolific as Georgia Tech’s will take a big effort.
“Our front seven has got to be ready to come out and play,” Unga said. “They like to just run that triple-option and just kind of shove it down your throat. We’ve just got to come out and be ready to fit-up with a lot of linemen, which is going to be tough.”