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BYU football report card: Cougars play most complete game of the year against Georgia Tech

Published: Thursday, July 2 2015 5:39 p.m. MDT

Brigham Young quarterback Riley Nelson (13) celebrates with fans after defeating Georgia Tech  41-17 in an NCAA college football game in Atlanta, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (Associated Press) Brigham Young quarterback Riley Nelson (13) celebrates with fans after defeating Georgia Tech 41-17 in an NCAA college football game in Atlanta, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (Associated Press)

ATLANTA — BYU played its most complete game of the season on the road to beat Georgia Tech 41-17. Grades are in regarding its performance and, as one could imagine, those grades are quite high across the board.

Offense: BYU was very efficient on offense out of the gate and accounted for 214 yards in the first half. Offensive coordinator Brandon Doman called a good mix of pass and run plays, with true freshman running back Jamaal Williams leading the way with two first-half touchdown runs.

Riley Nelson was inconsistent again through the first half, however — throwing a pick-six and missing a wide-open Kaneakua Friel in the end zone. He did what he had to after missing Friel, however, and finished the game with 19-28 passing for 204 yards.

Williams' second half was even better than his first as he consistently exploded through holes, adding two touchdowns. He finished with a game-high 107 yards on the ground and added 54 yards receiving.

Georgia Tech's Jamal Golden, right, breaks away from Bringham Young kicker Justin Sorensen (37) as he returns a kickoff for a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA football game in Atlanta, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (Associated Press) Georgia Tech's Jamal Golden, right, breaks away from Bringham Young kicker Justin Sorensen (37) as he returns a kickoff for a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA football game in Atlanta, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (Associated Press)

The Cougar offensive line put forth its best effort of the year — consistently opening holes and providing adequate pass-protection on most passing plays. The offense finished with 411 yards of total offense Grade: A-

Defense: The defense came out as well-prepped for Georgia Tech's triple-option attack as could have been hoped for. The defense was assignment-sound and seemed to have a beat on whatever the Yellow Jackets threw its way. It held a Georgia Tech offense that had been averaging just short of 500 yards per game to just 86 total yards in the first half.

The defense did not let up in the second half and provided a key interception from safety Daniel Sorensen to set up the touchdown that all but put Georgia Tech away. The defense did allow a long scoring drive late in the third quarter, but tightened up near the goal line to force a Georgia Tech field goal.

Bringham Young running back Jamaal Williams (21) breaks free to score a touchdown in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (Associated Press) Bringham Young running back Jamaal Williams (21) breaks free to score a touchdown in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (Associated Press)

Overall it's hard to poke many holes at all in the defensive effort from every position and in every situation. It held the Yellow Jackets to just 157 yards of total offense and only gave up a single field goal. Grade: A+

Special Teams: The defense accounted for a blocked punt to set up a touchdown, but then quickly yielded a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as Preston Hadley lost contain on the backside.

Justin Sorensen connected on a 26-yard field goal, but then missed on a 25-yard attempt before making a third field goal late. He did connect on all his extra-point attempts. JD Falslev replaced Joe Sampson as the primary kick returner and it paid immediate dividends. He provided great field position following most kick offs. Grade: B-

Bringham Young defensive back Daniel Sorensen (9) intercepts a pass intended for Georgia Tech wide receiver Chris Jackson (33) in the second half of an NCAA football college game in Atlanta, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (Associated Press) Bringham Young defensive back Daniel Sorensen (9) intercepts a pass intended for Georgia Tech wide receiver Chris Jackson (33) in the second half of an NCAA football college game in Atlanta, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (Associated Press)

Overall: The team rebounded very nicely after sustaining a tough loss to Notre Dame the week before. It was by far the most complete effort of the season on both sides of the football.

The gameplan was brilliantly conceived and then executed with the team seeing an uncharacteristic boost in performance from the first half to the second. The offense kept its foot on the gas and ran away from the Yellow Jackets during the fourth quarter. Grade: A

Email: bgurney@desnews.com Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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