Linebacker Mike Tanner recorded one of BYU's three picks against Georgia Tech -- his first career interception. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
ATLANTA -- The Cougars felt the sting of the Yellow Jackets Saturday as Georgia Tech defeated BYU before a sold-out crowd at Bobby Dodd Stadium by a score of 28-19.
Both teams were coming off painful losses suffered last week as Clemson defeated Georgia Tech and Nevada upset BYU.
"I felt like we worked hard," BYU head coach Gary Crowton said. "We didn't give up. We made a good game out of it. It's a tough loss."
Quarterback Bret Engemann had a tough time getting things going in the first half of play. He was 11-of-18 for 92 yards, but he was sacked twice, threw two interceptions and fumbled in just the first quarter.
BYU head coach Gary Crowton turned the Cougar offense over to Lance Pendleton after the first drive of the second quarter. Pendleton finished the game 17-of-39 for 274 yards passing, 44 yards rushing on 12 carries. Pendleton was responsible for two TDs for the game, including one touchdown toss and one run.
"Bret made some mistakes, and at that time, I thought it was necessary to make some changes," Crowton said. "I'm not sure who will be our starter against Utah State. I will have to go look at the film, and make some decisions. Sometimes it's not always one guy's fault. I don't want to make any rash decisions. We will sit down, look at the situation closely, and make some decisions from there."
The Cougars again used a wide variety of receivers throwing to 10 different players in the game. Wide receiver Reno Mahe led all receivers with five receptions for 67 yards.
The Yellow Jackets and Cougars both suffered serious injuries to their star running backs during the game. Marcus Whalen carried the ball four times for 13 yards and caught five passes for a total of 39 yards before leaving the game with a groin injury the second quarter.
"When we lost Marcus, it really hurt us," Crowton said. "That hurt our game-plan situation, but I thought we kept fighting and now we just need to move forward. Marcus is one of the guys you want to go to during the game. Early in the game we threw a lot to him. I felt like that was working and keeping them off-balance, because he has the ability to take it the distance and open things up."
Georgia Tech running back Tony Hollings dominated the ground game carrying the ball 36 times for 189 yards and three touchdowns. Hollings, who leads the nation in points per game at 16, went down in the fourth quarter with a knee injury and did not return.
Yellow Jacket quarterback A.J. Suggs recorded 117 yards on 11-of-26 passing while leading the Yellow Jackets to a 3-1 record on the season.
However, not everything went smoothly for Suggs as the Cougar defense came out fired up and shut down the Yellow Jackets offense in the first quarter of play.
BYU linebacker Mike Tanner grabbed the first interception of his career in the second quarter that led to a Matt Payne field goal and gave the Cougars their first score of the game.
Cornerback Brandon Heaney recorded two interceptions of his own off of Suggs who was picked off three times in the game. Suggs had only thrown one interception in the first two games of the season.
Things started out rough for the Cougars. Engemann was sacked on the seventh play of the game. Only two plays later an interception by Georgia Tech's Jeremy Muyres ended the Cougar drive.
The Cougars second offensive drive didn't fair much better as Engemann fumbled the ball on the 50-yard line, and gave the Yellow Jackets another shot to take an early lead.
The Cougar defense answered the call by shutting down the Yellow Jackets on their first three offensive possessions, but another interception thrown by Engemann would give the Yellow Jackets the field position they would need to score the first touchdown of the game.
After two pass-interference calls on BYU down at the goal line, Hollings scored on a one-yard run in the second quarter to put the Yellow Jackets up 7-0.
Payne, who is now 3-5 on field goals for the season, put the Cougars on the scoreboard on their following possession with a 49-yard field goal.
On the next offensive drive, Crowton went with quarterback Lance Pendleton. He drove the Cougars 59 yards in nine plays and finished it off by taking the ball in himself from one yard out to give BYU the lead, 10-7, going into half time.
On their first possession of the half, Georgia Tech drove 62 yards in 10 plays capped by a one-yard run by freshman Ajenivi Eziemefe to give the Yellow Jackets the lead 14-10.
BYU went up 19-14 after a 39-yard Payne field goal and a 17-yard touchdown play from Pendleton to Mahe. The Cougars then attempted a two-point conversion, but the screen pass to Mahe was stopped behind the line of scrimmage.
The Cougars would not score again as the Yellow Jackets would record two more touchdowns by Hollings.
Pendleton and the Cougars had one last chance to score but Pendleton threw his only interception of the game in the closing minutes of the game, ensuring a Yellow Jacket victory.
The Cougars will have a bye this week and give themselves a chance to rest, heal and prepare to get things going against Utah State, Oct. 4 in Logan, Utah, at Romney Stadium at 7 p.m. (MDT).
BYU's offense was stopped on their first five possessions of the game. BYU fumbled, was intercepted twice, and was forced to punt twice before the team got on the scoreboard with a Matt Payne field goal in the second quarter.
Sophomore defensive end Brady Poppinga recorded one sack in the game. Poppinga now has five sacks on the year, including seven tackles for a loss.
Junior linebacker Mike Tanner intercepted his first career pass and returned it fifteen yards. The interception led to the Cougars first score of the game, a 48-yard field goal by Matt Payne. Junior cornerback Brandon Heaney was credited with two interceptions. Heaney is the second Cougar to record two interceptions in a single game this season (Kip Nielsen vs. Hawaii).
BLOCK THAT PUNT
Sophomore Jon Burbidge blocked a Georgia Tech punt midway through the second quarter. The blocked punt was the first for a Cougar since Ryan Denney blocked a punt against Colorado State on Nov. 2, 2000.
Going back to the Nevada game, BYU's defense held their opponents scoreless for three straight quarters before Georgia Tech scored a touchdowwn in the second quarter of Saturday's game. Entering Saturday's game, the Cougars were allowing 436.7 yards per game. In Saturday's contest BYU held Georgia Tech to just 327 yards. The Yellow Jackets had averaged 393 yards and 31.7 points per game entering Saturday's contest.
With Matt Payne's 48-yard field goal against Georgia Tech, BYU extended its NCAA record streak to 342 games without being shutout. BYU was last shutout during the 1975 season (Sept. 27, 1975 vs. Arizona State.) The Cougars don't have a single person that was alive the last time BYU was shutout.
BYU backup quarterback Lance Pendleton came into the game at the 9:13 mark of the second quarter against Georgia Tech. Pendleton scored BYU's first touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run. Pendleton finished the game 17-39 with 182 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Starter Bret Engemann was 11-for-18 with two interceptions.
Marcus Whalen, the sixth leading rusher in the nation with a 138.7 yard-per-game average, left the game in the first half with a pulled groin and did not return to play. Whalen had four carries for 13 yards before leaving the game. Georgia Tech's leading rusher Tony Hollings left the game with 3:29 remaining in the fourth quarter with knee injury. Georgia Tech officials say Hollings will have an MRI on Monday.
Ten different receivers caught the ball for BYU against Georgia Tech. Curtis Brown led all receivers with five catches. Reno Mahe had four catches and one touchdown, his first touchdown reception of the season.
Georgia Tech running back Tony Hollings, who ranked fifth in the nation in rushing coming into the BYU game, ran for a career-high 189 yards and three touchdowns on thirty-six carries.
BYU finished the game with only seven penalties for 31 yards. The previous three games, BYU had been flagged 37 times for 325 yards.
Box Score (FINAL)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score
----------------- -- -- -- -- -----
Brigham Young....... 0 10 9 0 - 19 Record: (2-2)
Georgia Tech........ 0 7 7 14 - 28 Record: (3-1)
2nd 14:52 GT - Hollings, T. 1 yd run (Manget, L. kick), 8-52 2:49, BYU 0 - GT 7
10:22 BYU - PAYNE, Matt 48 yd field goal, 4-3 1:13, BYU 3 - GT 7
05:14 BYU - PENDLETON, Lanc 2 yd run (PAYNE, Matt kick), 9-57 3:59, BYU 10 - GT 7
3rd 10:55 GT - Eziemefe, A. 1 yd run (Manget, L. kick), 10-67 4:05, BYU 10 - GT 14
06:52 BYU - PAYNE, Matt 39 yd field goal, 12-58 4:03, BYU 13 - GT 14
02:55 BYU - MAHE, Reno 17 yd pass from PENDLETON, Lanc (PENDLETON, Lanc pass
failed), 6-49 1:38, BYU 19 - GT 14
4th 13:08 GT - Hollings, T. 2 yd run (Manget, L. kick), 12-73 4:47, BYU 19 - GT 21
05:03 GT - Hollings, T. 2 yd run (Manget, L. kick), 9-54 3:38, BYU 19 - GT 28
FIRST DOWNS................... 21 19
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 27-79 50-210
PASSING YDS (NET)............. 274 117
Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 57-28-3 26-11-3
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 84-353 76-327
Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 1-2
Punt Returns-Yards............ 3-24 2-24
Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 0-0 4-113
Interception Returns-Yards.... 3-21 3-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............ 4-36.2 8-45.6
Fumbles-Lost.................. 3-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards............... 7-31 6-49
Possession Time............... 29:12 30:48
Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 2-16 4-28
RUSHING: Brigham Young-PENDLETON, Lanc 12-44; BROWN, Curtis 8-32; WHALEN,
Marcus 4-13; ENGEMANN, Bret 3-minus 10. Georgia Tech-Hollings, T. 36-189;
Eziemefe, A. 9-25; Glover, W. 1-5; Smith, J. 1-5; Suggs, A.J. 3-minus 14.
PASSING: Brigham Young-PENDLETON, Lanc 17-39-1-182; ENGEMANN, Bret
11-18-2-92. Georgia Tech-Suggs, A.J. 11-26-3-117.
RECEIVING: Brigham Young-MAHE, Reno 5-67; WHALEN, Marcus 5-39; BROWN, Curtis
5-26; CHRISTENSEN, To 3-59; ORD, Andrew 3-29; NEAD, Spencer 3-21; WILKERSON,
Rod 1-16; DEANS, Logan 1-11; REID, Gabriel 1-5; CHRISTENSEN, Da 1-1. Georgia
Tech-Glover, W. 4-26; Watkins, K. 3-55; Heller, W. 2-18; Hollings, T. 1-12;
Smith, J. 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS: Brigham Young-HEANEY, Brandon 2-6; TANNER, Mike 1-15. Georgia
Tech-Muyres, J. 2-0; Collins, C. 1-0.
FUMBLES: Brigham Young-WHALEN, Marcus 1-0; ENGEMANN, Bret 1-1; NEAD, Spencer
1-0. Georgia Tech-Watkins, K. 1-0.
SACKS (UA-A): Brigham Young-GUNDERSON, Ryan 0-1; DENNEY, John 0-1; POPPINGA,
Brady 1-0. Georgia Tech-Henderson, E. 2-0; Houston, R. 1-0; Hargrove, T.
TACKLES (UA-A): Brigham Young-POPPINGA, Brady 4-5; FRANCISCO, Aaro 2-7;
WALKENHORST, Pa 2-7; HEANEY, Brandon 3-5; BOCKWOLDT, Colb 2-6; WRIGHT, Bill
2-5; GUNDERSON, Ryan 0-6; MADARIETA, Levi 3-2; GILFORD, Jernar 2-3; DENNEY,
John 2-2; YOUNG, Scott 1-3; PILI, Ifo 0-4; BRANDON, Joshua 2-0; KEHL, Bryan
2-0; NIELSEN, Kip 1-1; MARQUARDT, Dani 0-2; DIPADOVA, Nick 1-0; MADSEN,
Michael 1-0; MEIBOS, Jared 1-0; ANDERSON, Justi 0-1; COWART, Jeff 0-1.
Georgia Tech-Collins, C. 5-4; Houston, R. 3-5; Muyres, J. 4-3; Smith, D.
3-4; Wimbush, R. 3-4; Hargrove, T. 3-4; Fox, K. 3-3; Cox, J. 3-3; Henderson,
E. 2-3; Parker, T. 2-3; Hester, M. 1-1; Hollings, T. 1-1; Etheridge, M. 1-0;
Malone, A. 1-0; Brown, A. 0-1; Economos, A. 0-1; Johnson, G. 0-1; Watkins,
Stadium: Bobby Dodd Stadium Attendance: 43719
Kickoff time: 3:37 End of Game: 7:10 Total elapsed time: 3:33
Officials: Referee: Ken Flaherty; Umpire: Scott Teifer; Linesman: Pete Gautreau;
Line judge: Jeff Hansen; Back judge: Andy Castanola; Field judge: Bill Agopian;
Side judge: Craig Clark; Scorer: Mike Cullin;
Temperature: 81 deg. Wind: SSE 7 Weather: Cloudy