Georgia Tech: 13
Brigham Young: 24
In the 2003 season opener, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets would travel to Provo, Utah for the second-ever meeting with the Brigham Young Cougars. The Jackets won the only other meeting 28-19 in 2002, but would face a tough test in a high-altitude stadium in the opening week.
After earning one first down on the opening drive, Georgia Tech punted to the Cougar 24 yard line. Three plays earned 9 yards before Matt Berry threw an interception to Reuben Houston at the BYU 38. Freshman quarterback Reggie Ball then reeled off a 33 yard run to the BYU 4, but the Yellow Jacket offense stalled here and Dan Burnett hit a 26 yard field goal for an early 3-0 lead.
The Cougars answered on the ensuing possession with a 9 play, 80 yard touchdown drive. Rey Brathwaite got the drive started with a 21 yard run to the Cougar 41, and Matt Barry capped it off with a 38 yard touchdown pass to Daniel Coates with 5:07 left in the opening quarter.
Trailing 7-3, Georgia Tech began its next drive at the Ramblin’ Wreck 41 following a 25 yard return by Kenneth Scott. Ball found Jonathan Smith for 32 yards to the Cougar 24 on second down, and the Jackets pushed to the 12 on the two plays that followed. A clipping penalty then pushed the drive back to the 27, and Tech was eventually forced to settle for a 39 yard field goal to cut the Cougar lead to 7-6.
Early in the second quarter, the Ramblin’ Wreck defense forced the Cougars to punt from their own 32 yard line. Nathan Burton then gave the Jackets a much needed boost when he blocked the attempted punt and returned the ball 18 yards for a touchdown and a 13-7 lead.
BYU followed with a nine minute drive to the Tech 11 yard line, but missed a field goal with 1:23 remaining that would leave the Ramblin’ Wreck ahead by six at intermission.
The second half was dominated by BYU. The Cougars covered 80 yards in 7 plays to open the third quarter with a touchdown and take a 14-13 lead. Berry again hooked up with Coates for the score, this time from 15 yards out with 11:12 to play in the period.
A poor Yellow Jacket kick return setup a punt that gave the Cougars the ball at the Yellow Jacket 43 yard. Berry returned to orchestrate a 9 play drive that extended the lead to 21-13 on a 14 yard pass to To Christensen with 3:31 left in the third.
The Jackets advanced to the Cougar 15 on the drive that followed, but lost the ball on a Jimmy Dixon fumble at the 11 to halt the scoring threat at the start of the final stanza.
The Cougars quickly punted, but an interception by Ball gave them possession again shortly thereafter at their own 7 yard line. Berry again led an impressive drive, leading his offense 86 yards in 14 plays while consuming 6:13 en route to the Georgia Tech 7 yard line. While Tech eventually forced the field goal, Matt Payne’s 24 yard kick was enough to a seal an eventual 24-13 Cougar victory.
The win over Tech was one of the high points of the BYU season. The Cougars went on to finish the year at 4-8 with only one other victory over a bowl-bound team in the New Mexico Lobos.
GT – 15
BYU – 22
GT – 96
BYU – 86
GT – 15-24-147
BYU – 31-47-276
GT – 1
BYU – 2
GT – 3-3
BYU – 1-0
GT – 9-82
BYU – 16-132
Game Summary: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/082803aaa.html