Countdown to Kickoff: 13 Days...
Know Your Opponent:
Brigham Young University Cougars -- Provo, Utah
Points Scored/Allowed Per Game:
Passing/Rushing Offensive Yards & Ratio:
247.2/153.2 -- 1.614
Passing/Rushing Defensive Yards & Ratio:
179.2/86.9 -- 2.062
Last year, on Homecoming, we learned that BYU is a very tough squad. Their defense is their pride and joy, ranking in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense, passing defense, and rushing defense, with the latter ranking second nationally to Alabama. They were one of 8 teams to allow less than 100 yards per game on the ground, which explains a lot of how they were successful against Georgia Tech last year. Remember that in last year's matchup, the Yellow Jackets only managed 3 offensive points, tacking on a pick-six and Jamal Golden's kick return TD to make the game look remotely respectable. BYU's weakness is their offense, which was very middle-of-the-pack in all categories last year. If their rushing attack can be slowed, a young QB tandem of Taysom Hill and Ammon Olsen could struggle to compensate. In all but one of their wins last year, they managed at least 23 points. In each of their losses last year, they failed to score more than 24 points -- clearly the magic number for Tech's defense to avoid.
This year, Tech will make the journey out to Utah to take on a team who only lost one game last year in their home stadium. Part of their home-field advantage is the elevation at which they play -- playing at over 4,500 feet is significantly different than playing at (or under) 1,000 feet in elevation when it comes to things such as fatigue.
BYU Wins If:
Their defense is as stifling as advertised and they're able to score 25+ points.
Tech Wins If:
They can slow down BYU's offense and jump start their own to take an early lead. They will need to accomplish a lot early in the game before the effects of elevation start to set in. The offensive line will need to have a good game against BYU's front 7, who are one of the best units in the league.
Georgia Tech 27, BYU 23
Tough one to call, I'm going to say Tech eeks out a close win. Maybe I'm being a bit ambitious though. What are your thoughts?