Recap: Williams Leads the Way in BYU Win Over Georgia Tech

Freshman running back Jamaal Williams scored four touchdowns and had the second 100-yard rushing game of his career and the defense shut down the triple-option threat of the Yellow Jacket offense in the BYU Cougars victory over Georgia Tech.

After a 44-yard kickoff return by JD Falslev, the BYU offense got the ball rolling early, marching down the field and into the end zone to put the first points on the board with a 6-yard rushing TD by Jamaal Williams. The offense got the ball back with the chance to push the lead after the BYU defense stopped Georgia Tech on their own 40-yard line. Unfortunately, the drive ended with the wrong team scoring a touchdown as Riley Nelson threw a pick-six on a 3rd and 4. That was Riley’s only mistake of the game.

Nelson finished the game with 19 of 28 passing (67.9%) for 204 yards with a touchdown and the interception.

BYU and Georgia Tech then traded punts for the rest of the first quarter. Williams scored his second rushing TD of the day on the first play of the second quarter, set up by a big 43-yard pass caught by Ross Apo, who held on despite taking a huge hit.

With BYU up 14-7, the Georgia Tech offense finally started to come alive. They were moving the ball with their option attack and it seemed they were going to score until Ezekiel Ansah stopped running back Orwin Smith short of the first down on 3rd and 5 at the BYU 18. GT brought out the field goal kicker, who missed the 35-yard field goal.

BYU took possession, but couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity to build on their lead and had to punt it away. The BYU defense forced a three-and-out, and then Kyle Van Noy made a huge play, blocking the punt and giving BYU possession on the Yellow Jackets' 13-yard line. After a short run by Williams, Nelson scrambled into the end zone to put BYU up 21-7.

It seemed that BYU was going to take control and put GT away before halftime, but on the kickoff return, the BYU special teams missed their assignments allowing Jamal Golden to return the kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and make it 21-14. Falslev would help get some of the momentum back with a 42-yard kickoff return, but despite good field position, BYU would only add a field goal before halftime, for a score of 24-14. Despite the fact that the BYU defense had held Georgia Tech's offense scoreless, the Yellow Jackets were still within striking distance and would get the ball to start the second half.

The Yellow Jackets drive to open the second half came to a screeching halt when Ansah the Monstah sacked the Georgia Tech quarterback for a 6 yard loss on 3rd and 8, forcing them to punt the ball. The BYU offense then marched down the field, but stalled 8 yards outside the end zone and Justin Sorenson’s field goal was wide, so they came up empty handed. Just a few plays later, though, Daniel Sorenson would intercept Tevin Washington’s pass and return it 26 yards to the 2-yard line. Williams then punched it in to put BYU up 31-14. Although Georgia Tech would score a field goal on the next possession (their only offensive points of the game), it was all over from there. BYU would score another touchdown and field goal and the defense would shut down the GT offense for the rest of the game, making the final score 41-17.

Jamaal Williams finished with 161 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns. The BYU defense got some of their swagger back after a couple of weeks of getting run all over, holding GT to only 117 yards on the ground and 157 yards of total offense.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Riley Nelson to Ross Apo for 43 yards to the Georgia Tech 15-yard line.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jamaal Williams – 28 carries, 107 yards, 3 TDs; 3 receptions, 54 yards, 1 TD.

NEXT: Idaho
DATE: November 10

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at