Hill, BYU defense stymie Tech

Both Georgia Tech and BYU came into Saturday’s game at Lavelle Edwards Stadium with identical 3-2 records. But over the course of the 60-minute football game, it was fairly clear that record was the about the only things these teams had in common.

Taysom Hill completed 19-of-26 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score and the BYU defense was excellent for much of the game in a 38-20 victory.

BYU moved to 5-2 and won for the third consecutive time in the series. Since starting the season 3-0, Tech has now dropped three consecutive games while giving up an average of more than 30 points.

Hill was nearly perfect in the opening half, hitting in 16 of his 19 pass attempts, and racking up 226 of his passing yards as BYU went into the locker room up 24-13. Hill’s big strike came from 45 yards out when he connected with Cody Hoffman for a touchdown that put the Cougars up 7-0 early in the first quarter.

Hill would later score on a one-yard touchdown run, part of a 64-yard night on the ground for the sophomore.

Tech’s defense came in ranked even higher at No. 19, and though the Yellow Jackets allowed 24 points in the opening half and trailed by 11 at the break, the second half was a different story.

BYU didn’t score an offensive point for more than two quarters, though with a little over 11 minutes left in the game and Tech desperately trying to cut into the 24-13 deficit, Vad Lee was intercepted by Alani Fua and Fua returned it 50 yards for a touchdown that put the Cougars up 31-13.

“We were killing ourselves. BYU has a good defense, and you can’t kill yourself against a good defense,” said Lee.

That signaled the end of the night for the Tech quarterback, who was just 7-of-20 for 133 yards. Lee did have a two-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter that helped Tech pull even at 7-7, but the visitors from Atlanta wouldn’t get closer than four points the rest of the way.

“There’s not a whole lot to say about it. It’s pretty disappointing,” said Tech coach Paul Johnson. “We’re disappointed, we’ll go back, try to get better. I can promise you, there ain’t no quit in me. I don’t think there’s any quit in those guys in the locker room. We’ll go back and work and see if we can get squared away.”

Tech came into the game 7th in FBS averaging 300 rushing yards per game, but BYU held the Yellow Jackets to 242 on the ground with 61 coming on Tech’s final scoring drive when fourth-string running back Matt Connors had a 55-yard run and backup quarterback Justin Thomas threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Deon Hill to make it a 38-20 game with less than a minute to play.

Tech will try and snap its losing streak when it hosts Syracuse Saturday at 12:30 p.m. BYU looks to stay hot when it travels east to play Houston Saturday at 3:30 p.m.