Provo • College football fans in Utah will be hard-pressed to find a better overall day for the sport than what is in store this Saturday, beginning at 4 p.m. when Utah plays host to No. 5-ranked Stanford at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
An hour later, BYU entertains Georgia Tech of the Atlantic Coast Conference at LaVell Edwards Stadium, and at 6 p.m. Utah State takes on new Mountain West Conference foe Boise State.
That means six of the top 38 teams in the Jeff Sagarin Ratings will be playing within a 125-mile radius of each other. If all three venues sell out, roughly 135,000 fans should be treated to some of the best college football in the country.
Certainly, BYU fans should be energized to record another sellout at LES, after the Cougars finally put a complete game together and routed Utah State 31-14 last Friday.
“Things are starting to click,” quarterback Taysom Hill said after the Cougars racked up 438 yards of offense and held the Aggies to 397.
The Cougars crushed Georgia Tech 41-17 last year in Atlanta, but the Yellow Jackets, also 3-2, seem to have improved under coach Paul Johnson this year.
Saturday, Georgia Tech fell 45-30 to No. 13 Miami at Miami, but led 17-7 in the first quarter and trailed by just a point in the fourth quarter after missing a PAT that would have tied the game. Miami (5-0) scored three straight touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Georgia Tech was giving up 4.7 yards per play before the game, but gave up 10.4 yards per play to the Hurricanes.
The Tech offense still features many of the same stars who lost to the Cougars last year. Running back David Sims picked up 77 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries against Miami, and quarterback Vad Lee was 5 for 13 for 63 yards and an interception. The Jackets had more first downs than Miami, 23-22, and 401 yards. The Hurricanes had 551 yards, 324 passing and 227 rushing.
Saturday’s game will feature two of the top 15 rushing offenses in the country.
Georgia Tech is averaging 300 yards per game on the ground, seventh in the country. The Cougars dropped from No. 6 in the country in rushing to No. 13 after posting 160 yards against the Aggies, and are now averaging 277.8.
BYU is No. 26 in total offense at 481.6 yards per game, while Georgia Tech is 54th at 425.6.
Once again, injuries will be a storyline this week as the Cougars prepare for their sixth game of the season. Linebacker Tyler Beck (hamstring) and running back Adam Hine (concussion) missed the Utah State game, but are expected back on Saturday. Minor injuries have also caused changes on the offensive line.
“I don’t really know at different times who is going to be in front of me, but at the end of the day I know they are going to do what they can to protect me, and that’s all you can really ask,” Hill said. “We will continue to get better up front, and we will continue to get better on the outside, and I will continue to get better. … I am proud of those guys.”
Georgia Tech at BYU
O Saturday, 5 p.m.
TV • ESPNU
Jeff Sagarin’s football ratings
No. 8 • Stanford (87.42)
No. 29 • BYU (78.50)
No. 34 • Utah (77.81)
No. 35 • Georgia Tech (77.53)
No. 36 • Boise State (77.48)
No. 38 • Utah State (77.05)