Defensive numbers staggering in BYU's 41-17 win over Georgia Tech
Raise your hand if you saw that defensive effort from BYU coming. Yeah, right. After Notre Dame runs for 270 yards on BYU last week in that 17-14 win, Georgia Tech and its 339-yard rushing average goes nuts on the Cougars, right? Hardly. The numbers from BYU's 41-17 win in which the Cougar defense held an opponent out of the end zone for the fifth time this season (Washington State, Boise State, Hawaii, Utah State, Georgia Tech) are staggering. A few: The third-leading rushing attack in the country picked up just 117 yards on the ground, and 157 overall. BYU ran 75 plays; Georgia Tech ran 47. BYU had the ball for 38 minutes and 59 seconds; Tech had the ball for 21:01. BYU was 9 of 16 on third-down; Tech was 0 of 10 on third down. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, who joined Chris Petersen, Norm Chow, Mike Leach and Gary Andersen in failing to score an offensive touchdown against the Cougars, summed it up best. "We flat out got our tails whipped," he said. "We got whipped in all three phases of the game." Johnson said Tech couldn't convert on third down on offense and couldn't tackle on defense. "It was a funny game," he said. "We just never got any rhythm going. We came out in the second half and made a couple first downs, seemed to get the ball moving, and then couldn't convert. We just couldn't keep the offense on the field." Johnson said BYU's defensive game plan, masterminded by coach Bronco Mendenhall, had a lot to do with Tech's ineffectiveness. "You have to give BYU credit," he said. "They've got a good football team. They did what they needed to do all game, and what they didn't do was give up big plays. Every time it looked like we were going to get back in the game, they made the big plays they needed. Their kicking [return] game was really a killer. They kept putting our defense in bad positions and really limited us from making good plays." Georgia Tech says it will kick us all out of the pressbox at 10 p.m. EDT, so I will have to post video of Mendenhall's postgame address when I get back to the hotel. Riley Nelson, Daniel Sorensen, Kyle Van Noy, JD Falslev and Jamaal Williams also appeared at the postgame BYU news conference (held in Tech's weight room, no less). Meantime, here's a few odds and ends from the game that might not be included in our coverage already posted online at sltrib.com: * Tech's 157 yards of offense was a season-low and its 17 points tied a season-low. * Falslev, who asked, 'are we gonna chalk up?' when he walked into the weight room for his interview, had 182 all-purpose yards, a career high. * Kyle Van Noy blocked a punt and now has recorded a stat in every major defensive category except one: fumble recoveries. He also had a tackle for loss. * Tech did not score an offensive touchdown for the first time since Dec. 31, 2008, vs. LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl * It was only the second time a Paul Johnson-coached Tech team has failed to score an offensive touchdown. * Tech's 47 plays was the fewest under Johnson. The previous low was 50 against Iowa in the Orange Bowl in 2010.