Cougars Claim Season-Opening Victory

The BYU defense held Georgia Tech to just 243 yards of total offense and forced four turnovers. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

Provo -- On a night when the Cougars honored one of their great quarterbacks from the past, BYU's current quarterback helped the Cougars roll to a 24-13 victory.

BYU put the game out of reach on their final scoring drive when they marched 86 yards up the field while milking 6:13 off the clock, resulting in a 24-yard field goal by junior place kicker, Matt Payne.

After throwing an interception on BYU's opening drive, Matt Berry went on to throw for 276 yards and three touchdowns, two to redshirt freshman Daniel Coats and one to Toby Christensen.

However, Coach Gary Crowton said there was a lot of room for the offense to improve.

"We'll have to go through the tape and correct a lot of things," Crowton said. "Especially offensively, we made a lot of errors that cost us drives that we could have scored more points. We have a lot of youth."

After Berry's lone pick, Georgia Tech took over on the BYU 38-yard line, but the Cougar defense would dig its heels in and hold the Yellow Jackets to a 26-yard field goal.

On its ensuing possession, BYU would march up the field to the Georgia Tech 38-yard line, but it looked like the drive would stall as the Yellow Jackets forced BYU into a fourth down.

BYU coach Gary Crowton opted to go for it on fourth down and it paid off as Berry hit Coats down the middle for a 38-yard score.

Coats finished the game as BYU's leading receiver, grabbing six passes for 93 yards and those two touchdowns.

Georgia Tech would score 10 unanswered points to close out the first half, scoring on a 39-yard field goal and an 18-yard touchdown by Nathan Burton on a blocked punt.

Burton's score was the first time a Cougar opponent has scored on a blocked punt since 1993.

During a ceremony at halftime BYU retired Steve Young's No. 8 jersey. In his speech, Young said he needed to thank those that came before him, including Eldon Fortie, Virgil Carter, Gifford Nielsen, Marc Wilson and Jim McMahon. As well as the many coaches that helped him throughout his career.

At the close of his remarks Young said that BYU was the only place for him.

"With all due respect to my great-great-great grandfather, this is the place for me," Young said.

BYU came out of halftime fired up, driving 80 yards up the field and scoring on a 15-yard pass from Berry to Coats.

The Cougars would add a 14-yard touchdown pass from Berry to Christensen and a field goal.

The revamped BYU defense played well, holding the Yellow Jackets to 243 yards. The defense also forced four turnovers, one interceptions and three fumbles.

Senior safety John Burbidge caused two of the Cougars' turnovers, intercepting one pass and forcing one fumble.

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Georgia Tech vs Brigham Young (Aug 28, 2003 at Provo, Utah)

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score

----------------- -- -- -- -- -----

Georgia Tech........ 6 7 0 0 - 13 Record: (0-1)

Brigham Young....... 7 0 14 3 - 24 Record: (1-0)

Scoring Summary:

1st 08:49 GT - Burnett, D. 26 yd field goal, 6-30 2:12, GT 3 - BYU 0

05:07 BYU - COATES, Daniel 38 yd pass from BERRY, Matt

(PAYNE, Matt kick),9-80 3:42, GT 3 - BYU 7

GT - Burnett, D. 39 yd field goal, 7-38 2:27, GT 6 - BYU 7

2nd 10:50 GT - Burton, N. 18 yd blocked punt return

(Burnett, D. kick), GT 13 - BYU 7

3rd 11:12 BYU - COATES, Daniel 15 yd pass from BERRY, Matt

(PAYNE, Matt kick) 7-80 3:48, GT 13 - BYU 14

05:55 BYU - CHRISTENSEN, To 14 yd pass from BERRY, Matt

(PAYNE, Matt kick), 9-43 3:31, GT 13 - BYU 21

4th 02:32 BYU - PAYNE, Matt 24 yd field goal, 16-86 6:13, GT 13 - BYU 24

GT BYU

FIRST DOWNS................... 15 22

RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 23-96 32-86

PASSING YDS (NET)............. 147 276

Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 24-15-1 47-31-2

TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 47-243 79-362

Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0

Punt Returns-Yards............ 2-33 3-28

Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 3-52 1-31

Interception Returns-Yards.... 2-1 1-0

Punts (Number-Avg)............ 3-41.7 3-23.0

Fumbles-Lost.................. 3-3 1-0

Penalties-Yards............... 9-82 16-132

Possession Time............... 20:54 39:06

Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 4-24 1-6

RUSHING: Georgia Tech-Daniels, P.J. 16-57; Ball, R. 5-39; Smith, J. 1-2; TM

1-minus 2. Brigham Young-BRATHWAITE, Rey 13-61; VAKAPUNA, Tafui 3-30;

WILKERSON, Rod 1-12; TAHI, Naufahu 6-6; WHALEN, Marcus 1-3; TM 1-minus 3;

BERRY, Matt 5-minus 8; BECK, John 2-minus 15.

PASSING: Georgia Tech-Ball, R. 15-24-1-147. Brigham Young-BERRY, Matt

31-46-1-276; BECK, John 0-1-1-0.

RECEIVING: Georgia Tech-Smith, J. 9-121; Foschi, J.P. 3-14; Curry, N. 1-8;

Dixon, J. 1-4; Thomas, L. 1-0. Brigham Young-COATES, Daniel 6-93;

CHRISTENSEN, To 6-51; HALE, Chris 4-34; JORY, Justin 4-24; TAHI, Naufahu

4-9; WILKERSON, Rod 3-37; KUKAHIKO, Jason 2-25; VAKAPUNA, Tafui 2-3.

INTERCEPTIONS: Georgia Tech-Butler, J. 1-1; Houston, R. 1-0. Brigham

Young-BURBIDGE, Jon 1-0.

FUMBLES: Georgia Tech-Smith, J. 1-1; Dixon, J. 1-1; Curry, N. 1-1. Brigham

Young-BECK, John 1-0.

Stadium: Edwards Stadium Attendance: 61930

Kickoff time: 7:37 End of Game: 10:54p Total elapsed time: 3:17

Officials: Referee: Joe Rider; Umpire: Rosie Amato; Linesman: Perry Hudspeth;

Line judge: Rick Page; Back judge: Doug Rhoads; Field judge: Chris Brown;

Side judge: Joe Corpora; Scorer: Media Relations;

Temperature: 89 Wind: W 5mph Weather: clear

SACKS (UA-A): Georgia Tech-Wilkinson, G. 2-0; Henderson, E. 1-0; Parker, T.

1-0. Brigham Young-PILI, Ifo 1-0.

TACKLES (UA-A): Georgia Tech-Butler, J. 5-8; Fox, K. 6-6; Wilkinson, G. 5-3;

Houston, R. 3-4; Brown, A. 4-2; Smith, D. 4-2; Landry, D. 1-5; Parker, T.

2-1; Cox, J. 2-1; Henderson, E. 1-2; Davis, D. 1-1; Reis, C. 1-1; Wrotto, M.

0-2; Hatch, J. 1-0; Wheeler, P. 1-0; Rogers, J. 1-0; Gaston, J. 0-1;

Williams, S. 0-1. Brigham Young-TANNER, Mike 5-4; BURBIDGE, Jon 5-1;

FRANCISCO, Aaro 3-3; DENNEY, John 1-3; NIELSEN, Kip 2-1; HEANEY, Brandon

2-1; MADARIETA, Levi 0-3; GILFORD, Jernar 1-1; BOCKWOLDT, Colb 1-1; BARNEY,

Chad 1-1; ALLEN, James 0-2; MARQUARDT, Dani 0-2; PAYNE, Matt 0-2; WILSON,

Kyle 1-0; POPPINGA, Brady 1-0; PILI, Ifo 1-0; AIONO, Aisaac 1-0;

CARLSON-MADDUX 1-0; HALE, Chris 1-0; BILLS, K.C. 0-1; WRIGHT, Bill 0-1;

NIXON, David 0-1; MEIBOS, Jared 0-1; TAHI, Naufahu 0-1.

Tags: Results