ATLANTA (AP) — Jamaal Williams hardly played his age, and it couldn't have come at a better time for Brigham Young.
"I really don't think of myself as 17," the freshman running back said. "I think of myself as a college football player. I'm trying to make it as far as I can."
Williams scored four touchdowns, quarterback Riley Nelson helped account for two TDs and BYU snapped a two-game losing streak with a 41-17 victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday.
The Cougars (5-4) recovered from last week's three-point loss at No. 5 Notre Dame by holding Georgia Tech's triple-option attack without a rushing touchdown for the first time in two years and without an offensive touchdown for the first time since 2008.
Georgia Tech (3-5) has lost four of five. The Yellow Jackets' offense failed on all 10 of their third-down attempts while their defense was gouged for 411 yards.
"I was really encouraged, starting last Monday, with the way that our team's mindset was," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "I could tell in our team meeting that they were really determined. We asked a lot of them."
BYU, which began the afternoon with the nation's fourth-ranked defense, finally got a break on the road after losing its last three away games by a combined seven points.
The Cougars never trailed after opening with a 17-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Williams converting a fourth-and-goal from the 6.
Their lead grew to 38-17 on the first snap of the fourth quarter when Nelson and Williams hooked up for a 39-yard TD. Catching the shovel pass on the right side of the field, Williams reached the end zone without a threat.
"Basically, they blitzed, and it was kind of an easy call," Williams said. "Once I got the ball, I knew I had the outside. I got a great block from our receiver, and it was a walk in the park for me."
Georgia Tech's Jamal Golden returned a second-quarter kickoff for a 97-yard touchdown, but the Yellow Jackets otherwise struggled on special teams before halftime.
Justin Moore missed a 35-yard field goal wide left that would've cut the lead to four, and Ryan Rodwell had a punt blocked by Kyle Van Noy that set up Nelson's 10-yard TD run and gave the Cougars a 21-7 lead.
The Jackets' kickoff coverage was porous, allowing 148 yards on four returns, thanks mostly to the work of specialist JD Falslev.