BYU football: Freshman enjoys his four-touchdown day
Atlanta • Because Georgia Tech spreads the ball around to so many different running backs, it was not a surprise on Saturday that BYU's Jamaal Williams was the game's leading rusher.
But the fact that BYU had more rushing yards than Tech 183-117 is downright shocking.
Williams picked up a career-high 107 of those yards on a career-high 28 carries, and the Cougars wrecked the Yellow Jackets 41-17 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
"I'm really glad he is on our team," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said of the 17-year-old freshman who committed to the Cougars last winter, then shrugged off late offers from Oregon and other schools near signing day.
After rushing for three TDs and taking a shovel pass from Riley Nelson 39 yards for another TD, Williams became the first Cougar to score four touchdowns in a game since receiver Luke Ashworth against Colorado State in 2010.
"I love working hard. I love the challenge of being a workhorse," said Williams. "I am just grateful they give me the ball and [are] having me do what I have to do."
The shovel pass came with BYU leading 31-17 and sealed the win. It was similar to several long ones Williams had against Oregon State, but this time the freshman was able to find the end zone because Cody Hoffman made an excellent downfield block.
"It was a fantastic play call by coach [Brandon] Doman," Mendenhall said. "I mean, risky, but you couldn't have called a better play. And I was happy for coach Doman on that. Because it is hard to call the right play, at the right time, [against] the right defense. And that's just what he did."
It was the first time a BYU player has rushed for more than 100 yards since quarterback Taysom Hill had 143 against Hawaii last month. However, Williams becomes the first running back to eclipse the 100-yard plateau since Joshua Quezada against UTEP in the 2010 New Mexico Bowl.
"Just a little sore, from all the running," Williams said. "But I am just ready for the next game, because I feel like I did a very good job today."
Very good, indeed.
BYU outrushes Georgia Tech
Player No. Net Yards Rushing TDs
Jamaal Williams 28 107 3
JD Falslev 3 32 0
Riley Nelson 7 17 1
Paul Lasike 4 18 0
Iona Pritchard 2 12 0