By Nate Slack
Yes, I know, it’s a little late, but it’s always nice to get a slight review coming off of a bye week. Due to Saturday being the final home game of the season, I figured this would be appropriate.
After losing back-to-back games in the final 5 minutes against two Top 10 teams, BYU finally put together the pieces of brilliance that fans have seen glimpses of all season. The previous 2 weeks had felt like 2 months, and many local media gurus had began to question what the coaches and players were capable of demonstrating on the field. But star players made star plays in what was arguably the biggest gut check of the season, winning 41-27 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kyle Van Noy and Ziggy Ansah were major contributors on the defense, that held yet another opponent to no offensive touchdowns. Van Noy was only credited with one tackle but brought plenty of pressure on Georgia Tech quarterbacks Tevin Washington and Vad Lee. Van Noy also blocked a punt that brought all momentum onto BYU’s side, momentum that BYU never gave back. Ziggy had quite the contribution. (Sometimes it’s hard to believe that he really couldn’t put his own football pads 3 years ago.) Ziggy racked up 8 tackles (5 solo) and 1 sack last Saturday. A big play from Ansah that doesn’t show up on paper, but should, was the pressure he put on Washington that forced the Georgia Tech quarterback into throwing a near-pick 6 to Daniel Sorenson. Jamaal Williams later scored from 2 yards out.
Williams has seemed to be the star of the 2012 football season. The injury to Michael Alisa early in the year went nearly unnoticed when Williams took over, and no one has looked back. Falling just 1 touchdown short of tying the BYU record for touchdowns in a game, the freshman sensation ran 28 times for 107 yards for 3 touchdowns and added 3 receptions for 54 yards and 1 touchdown to that. Williams is now 484 yards away from having a 1000-yard season, and that’s not something too far out of reach. Sometimes, it is hard to believe that he is only 17 years old. How many 17 year olds have you heard of that have had 1,000 yards rushing?
Even though the media, opposing fans, and even some Cougar fans are ripping the remainder of the schedule, it’s still an opportunity to watch BYU play. The improvements made by the team since the Utah and Boise State games have been fun to watch even though I’m pretty sure we all wish they had come earlier. With only 3, probably 4 games left in the season, it’s time to sit back and enjoy some football. There’s still a quarter of the games left.
Senior Night kickoff vs Idaho is at 8:15 MST and will be shown on ESPNU.