On this date 10 years ago, the Brigham Young Cougars overcame a 13-7 halftime deficit to win their third consecutive season opener, 24-13 against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
BYU turned the ball over (interception) on its first drive of the game. That allowed Georiga Tech to take an early 3-0 lead with a 26-yard field goal after driving the ball just 30 yards.
Matt Berry led the Cougars right back. Just 3:42 later, BYU took its first lead of the game, 7-3, when redshirt freshman tight end Daniel Coates turned a fourth down pass over the middle into a 38-yard score with 5:07 to play in the first quarter.
The next 20 minutes belonged to Tech. The Yellow Jackets scored 10 more points before halftime to take a 13-7 lead into the locker room. The final seven points were a result of a special teams breakdown by BYU. Georgia Tech returned a blocked punt for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Under the guidance of new defensive coordinator Bronco Mendenhall, the Cougar D was playing very well. It was only a matter of time until the offense would do the same.
BYU scored back-to-back touchdowns to start the second half. Berry connected with Coates for another touchdown, 15-yards this time, on the opening drive of the second half. The next time they had the ball, BYU marched 43 yards and scored on a 14-yard pass from Berry to Toby Christensen.
BYU now led 21-13 with 5:55 to play in the third quarter.
Meanwhile, the BYU defense was in the middle of a second half shutout. Georgia Tech struggled to move the ball all night. The Yellow Jackets could only muster 243 yards all game and turned the ball over four times (one interception, three fumbles).
With 8:45 to play in the game, BYU looked to put the game away. Berry led BYU on a 16-play, 86 yard drive that chewed up 6:13 and ended with a 24-yard field goal by Matt Payne. That gave BYU an insurmountable, two-score lead.
Two new running backs led the Cougars on the ground. Reynaldo Brathwaite led all rushers with 61 yards on 13 carries. Freshman Fui Vakapuna chipped in 30 yards on three carries.
Coates finished with six total receptions for 93 yards. He was Berry's favorite target as he completed 31 of 47 passes for 276 yards.
BYU finished the game with a 39:06 to 20:54 edge in time of possession.
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