PROVO, Utah — Georgia Tech experienced a tale of two halves. In each situation, the outcome did not favor the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech had trouble stopping Brigham Young’s offense in the first half, allowing the Cougars to score on four of their first five possessions. After halftime, the Yellow Jacket defense adjusted and slowed BYU down.
At that point, BYU’s defense took over and forced turnovers on consecutive fourth quarter drives. It led to a 38-20 victory for the Cougars on Saturday night and plenty of frustration for Georgia Tech.
“We were killing ourselves,” Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee said. “BYU has a good defense and you can’t kill yourself against a good defense. They played the same as last year. Their defense doesn’t change. They just line up and they out man you and that’s what they did to us.”
BYU (4-2) had 433 yards of total offense with 345 yards coming before halftime. The Cougars had more first downs than any Georgia Tech opponent this season.
“Initially, we had a lot of short, quick passes that allowed our offense to get into a rhythm,” Hill said. “We took advantage and that really allowed us to get into a groove in the first half.”
Georgia Tech (3-3, 2-2 ACC) totaled 400 yards on offense. Lee led the way with 133 yards on 7 of 20 passing and racked up 41 yards on 21 carries. But the Yellow Jackets could not stop the Cougar offense before halftime and failed to overcome a pair of costly fourth quarter turnovers.
“We dug ourselves into such a hole and against a team that’s traditionally pretty good defensively,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. “You put yourself so far behind the eight ball.”
The biggest surprise for Georgia Tech was that Hill did most of his damage through the air only a few weeks after struggling to complete the majority of his pass attempts.
Hill looked nothing like the quarterback who struggled so much in the passing game earlier in the season during the first half. He completed his first eight passes and did not throw an incomplete pass until early in the second quarter.
The sophomore completed 16 of 20 passes for 226 yards by halftime.