Coming into their game against Boston College, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-4, 2-3 ACC) were considered among the ACC’s bottom-feeders following their 73-7 loss to Clemson, their worst loss in ACC history.
Well, they proved all their doubters right on Saturday afternoon after a series of bizarre coaching decisions led to a 48-27 blowout win at home for the Boston College Eagles (4-2, 3-2 ACC). The game marked BC’s third-highest point total against a conference opponent since it joined the ACC in 2005.
The gimmick play-calling started on the first drive of the game for the Yellow Jackets.
They marched their way down the field with ease until their progress slowed near the red zone. After a fourth-and-eight attempt was negated by a false start penalty, Georgia Tech attempted to convert again on fourth-and-13 from BC's 29-yard line.
This time, they tried to use a fake punt, but the pass was thrown into double coverage and broken up in the end zone.
Georgia Tech also attempted to recover an onside kick with over 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter. The onside kick failed and gave BC the ball at the Georgia Tech 39-yard line. The Eagles proceeded to capitalize when Zay Flowers turned on the afterburners on a 22-yard end-around for a touchdown.
Among the game's breakout stars was wide receiver CJ Lewis.
Lewis scored each of BC’s first two touchdowns, matching his career total coming into the night. Lewis said he tries to model his game after big-body receivers like Julio Jones and Dez Bryant, and it showed in his ability to be an effective red zone target for the Eagles. On top of his skills as a receiver, Lewis said that he wants to work to help block on runs when needed.
“David [Bailey], Travis [Levy], and Pat [Garwo] do a great job setting up the pass. We can’t let them down when they need us to block,” said Lewis.
The Boston College offensive line played as well as it has all season. Three different ball carriers were able to break off on at least one 20-yard run or longer, and the team as a whole averaged six yards per carry on 264 yards. Additionally, Jurkovec tallied 94 yards on the ground alone. BC’s season-high team rushing yardage in a game before yesterday was 87 against Duke.
Head Coach Jeff Hafley said that he had been expecting the run game to break out for the Eagles.
While the offense has primarily been pass-oriented this season, Hafley said that he isn't worried about the run game based on what he has seen at practice, and that he hopes to integrate it more into the offense next week.
In terms of pass protection, the Eagles’ offensive line did not allow a sack. The added time to throw the ball allowed Phil Jurkovec to look more composed in the pocket and more precise with his passing decisions.
He knew when to wait for the play to develop and when to tuck it and run, and he showed that he has the ability to develop into BC’s best quarterback in over a decade.
On the flip side of the trenches, the Boston College defensive line looked dominant. It held Georgia Tech’s option-based offense to 3.4 yards per attempt and 106 yards on the night. Additionally, the D-line tallied three sacks to go along with six tackles for loss.
The loss of Josh DeBerry due to a targeting penalty in the first quarter hurt BC’s secondary. On the first play after DeBerry’s ejection, Jeff Simms got the Yellow Jackets their first points of the game with a high-arcing 32-yard pass to Ahmarean Brown in the back of the end zone.
That wasn’t the last cheap penalty the Eagles picked up on Saturday. Jason Maitre, Max Richardson, and Brandon Barlow were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct while celebrating Mike Palmer’s scoop-and-score touchdown.
Hafley said that there’s no place for celebrations like that on this team, and called those penalties selfish.
BC will go to Death Valley next week to take on the ACC’s Goliath in the Clemson Tigers (5-0, 4-0 ACC). The Tigers have routed everyone in their path so far this season and will present a hulking challenge to the Eagles.
Follow @BCGavelSports on Twitter for the latest updates on Boston College Athletics.