Who would have thought that a few weeks into the season, this would look more like a battle of triple option teams than BYU’s passing offense versus Georgia Tech’s patented rushing approach? It appears the Cougars have evolved to a new approach to winning games, prioritizing the rushing talents of quarterback Taysom Hill over the sophomore’s arm. After losing out to Utah, BYU is on a mini-roll, throttling Middle Tennessee State and handling Utah State in Logan. Georgia Tech has an identical record to BYU, 3-2, but is coming off two division losses to Miami and Virginia Tech. Here’s a position-by-position look at this week’s matchup and which team will have the edge heading into Saturday’s game:
Taysom Hill turned in his first competent performance as a passing quarterback last week against Utah State. He was 17-for-31 on passing attempts, with three touchdowns, 278 yards and an interception against an above average Utah State defense. The coaches actually reigned in his usual strength as he rushed for only 14 yards on nine carries, his lowest total since rushing for 57 yards against Virginia in the season opener. Hill is still struggling overall in the passing game, however, completing only 43 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and five interceptions.
Sophomore Vad Lee is Georgia Tech’s starter and has had similar struggles as Hill when trying to throw the ball. Lee is a 45 percent passer with seven touchdowns and four interceptions and is averaging only 125 yards per game. However, Georgia Tech rarely tries to beat opposing teams through the air and Lee has fared well when running the ball. He has rushed for 241 yards and three touchdowns this season.
Jamaal Williams is back for BYU and looked like he was totally healthy against Utah State, rushing for 79 yards against the Aggies last week. Williams has 457 yards rushing this season and is spelled by Mike Alisa and Paul Lasike, who have combined for 266 yards and four touchdowns. However, between the three running backs, they have only four touchdowns with zero for Williams and two coming for Alisa against Middle Tennessee. Hill is a threat rushing the ball and leads the team with 579 yards and six touchdowns, but it appears the coaches are limiting his rushing attempts as the season goes along.
The strength of Georgia Tech has always been its running game through the triple option and this year is no different. Senior back David Sims is the backbone of the Yellow Jacket offense, with six touchdowns and 325 yards rushing. Robert Godhigh and Zach Laskey are the other guys getting an opportunity to share the load, with 381 yards and a touchdown. After struggling against Virginia Tech, the Georgia Tech rushing attack came alive against Miami, racking up 335 yards and four touchdowns.
Edge: Georgia Tech
Mitch Matthews came out of nowhere for the Cougars last week, torching Utah State’s secondary for three touchdowns and 112 yards. His performance couldn’t have come at a better time as BYU desperately needed someone to separate themselves at receiver. Before Matthews’ game last week, BYU had squeezed out only a single 100 yard performance from a receiver in five games, a horrendous stat. Cody Hoffman has still struggled to get it going after an injury and one game suspension, while only one other Cougar receiver has a touchdown in the passing game.Next Page >
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