Brigham Young: 19
Georgia Tech: 28
A week removed from suffering its first loss of the season at Clemson, Georgia Tech would shift gears to non-conference play when it returned home to host the Brigham Young Cougars in the first-ever matchup between the two schools. The Cougars entered the contest at 2-1, also falling one week prior in a 31-28 decision at Nevada.
BYU opened the game with a solid drive that covered 53 yards to the Georgia Tech 27, but came away empty when Bret Engemann threw an interception to Jeremy Muyers at the Yellow Jacket goal line for a touchback.
The Cougars would lose possession twice more on turnovers in the first quarter before the Jackets began a scoring drive near midfield with 2:41 left in the period. A.J. Suggs found Kerry Watkins for 18 yards in combination with solid running by Tony Hollings en route to the BYU end zone. Hollings would account for the touchdown on a 1 yard run eight seconds into the second quarter to put Tech on top 7-0.
The Ramblin’ Wreck defense regained possession on a punt roughly two minutes later, but A.J. Suggs gave it right back when his twelve yard pass was picked off by Mike Tanner near midfield and returned to the Georgia Tech 33 yard line. The Tech defense held strong, however, and Matt Payne connected on a 48 yard field goal four plays later to put the Cougars on the board, trailing 7-3.
Tech fell asleep on the ensuing drive, and BYU took back over just a minute later at its own 43 with Lance Pendleton at the helm. Pendleton alternated between run and pass, accounting for all 57 yards of a 9 play drive to give the Cougars a 10-7 lead with five minutes left in the half.
Pendleton returned after a Suggs interception to lead BYU to Tech’s 29, but the Cougars came away empty when his fourth down pass fell incomplete less than two minutes before intermission.
The Jackets would do little with what time remained and head to the locker room trailing by three at the break.
Relying heavily on the run, Tech marched 67 yards to the BYU end zone on the opening drive of the third quarter. Suggs connected with Watkins for 20 yards to the 7 yard line to set up three straight runs by Ajenavi Eziemefe for the go-ahead score.
Trailing 14-10, BYU covered 58 yards in 12 plays on the drive that followed before stalling at the Ramblin’ Wreck 22. Pendleton again accounted for all of the yards to setup Payne’s 39 yard field goal to bring the Cougars within one at 14-13.
Tech’s offense did little with its next two drives as Suggs struggled to find a groove, and BYU began near midfield with 4:33 left in the third quarter. Pendleton led the Cougars 49 yards in 6 plays to snatch the lead from Tech on a 17 yard touchdown pass to Reno Mahe. His pass for the two-point conversion failed, however, and BYU would now hold a narrow five point lead at 19-14.
The Jackets returned to the ground on the ensuing possession, relying heavily on Hollings as they drove from their own 27 into Cougar territory at the start of the fourth quarter. Suggs added 15 yards with a completion to Will Heller at the BYU 30 before Hollings took back over to finish off the drive, eventually scoring from 2 yards out to put Tech back on top 21-19.
The Yellow Jacket defense returned to form on the possession that followed, forcing a turnover on downs at the BYU 33 when Pendleton was sacked on 4th-and-3. But Luke Manget aided the Cougars with a rare miss from 47 yards out, and the visitors began again at their own 30.
Tech’s defense continued its solid play, forcing a punt that gave the offense the ball at the Ramblin’ Wreck 46.
Hollings then added 32 more yards en route to his third touchdown of the day, as Tech covered 54 yards to go ahead 28-19 with just five minutes remaining.
The Cougars failed to reach Tech territory on the drive that followed, and the Jackets would take back over at the BYU 45 following a turnover on downs.
The Jackets would hold on for the victory, but not without suffering a heavy loss on the drive that followed. On first down, Hollings rushed up the middle for 4 yards, but tore his ACL while being tackled, and would go on to miss the remainder of the season. Rather than return for his senior year, Hollings elected to enter the NFL supplemental draft, where he was eventually taken by the Houston Texans. Before the injury, Hollings was leading the nation in rushing with 633 total yards, averaging 158.3 yards per game and 6.9 yards per carry.
BYU went on to lose five of its remaining eight contests to finish at 5-7 on the year.
BYU – 21
GT – 19
BYU – 79
GT – 210
BYU – 28-57-274
GT – 11-26-117
BYU – 3
GT – 3
BYU – 3-1
GT – 1-0
BYU – 7-31
GT – 6-49