After starting the season 4–0 with four non-conference wins, Boston College football’s season took a sudden turn for the worse. The Eagles lost four straight ACC matchups but seem to have recaptured momentum following a win over Virginia Tech last weekend marked after Phil Jurkovec’s return.
BC struggled to find Jurkovec a reliable replacement following his wrist injury during the second game of the season, relying on Dennis Grosel and eventually letting freshman Emmett Morehead try his luck under center. With Jurkovec’s return heading into the last leg of the season, BC can hope for a re-energized offense and reliable leadership.
Who is BC playing?
When is BC playing?
Saturday Nov. 13, 3:30 p.m.
Where is BC playing?
Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.
How to watch:
The game will air on NESN+
BC (5–4, 1–4 Atlantic Coast) has faced Georgia Tech (3–6, 2–5) just 10 times, including five since BC joined the ACC in 2003. Of those five, Georgia Tech won three and BC won two, and one was played in Ireland. The Yellow Jackets hold a 7–3 all-time advantage over the Eagles, though BC earned a decisive 48–27 victory last time the teams went head to head. After starting its 2020 season with a pass-heavy offense, BC shifted gears last year against Georgia Tech. The Eagles totaled 264 yards on the ground with Jurkovec’s 94 rushing yards leading the charge. Both Georgia Tech and BC returned much of their talent from last season, so Saturday’s matchup should resemble last year’s affair.
What to expect from Georgia Tech:
Despite a middling season from quarterback Jeff Sims, Georgia Tech’s offense is better than its record would suggest this season. The Yellow Jackets are averaging 28.4 points per game, notably scoring at least 40 points in three separate games this season. Sims and his backup Jordan Yates have shared time under center, combining for 2,081 total air yards this season.
A strong run game featuring three running backs with over 250 yards reinforces the quarterback duo. Jahmyr Gibbs leads the charge, breaking out this season with 591 yards and three touchdowns. Sims is also a threat on the run, ranking second in Georgia Tech rushing yards with 372 of his own. The Eagles have struggled with mobile quarterbacks this season, and stopping Sims on the ground will be key to containing the Georgia Tech offense.
The Yellow Jacket offense also features three talented targets downfield. Wide receivers Malachi Carter and Kyric McGowan have each amassed over 430 yards this season, and Gibbs is also capable of hauling in passes with 440 receiving yards on the year.
Georgia Tech has averaged 29 points over its last three games—all losses—and is capable of explosive wins. The Yellow Jackets beat then-No. 21 North Carolina 45–22 earlier this season despite a scoreless first quarter and amassed 40 points three weeks ago against Virginia. BC boasts a defensive-minded head coach, but Georgia Tech’s offense will not be easy to contain.
Defense is the root of Georgia Tech’s struggles this season. The Yellow Jackets rank tenth in the ACC for total defense, its 29 points allowed per game good for fifth highest in the conference. Georgia Tech’s defense has also recorded the second-lowest number of sacks in the conference this season with 16 while tying for fewest interceptions with three.
In Saturday’s 33–30 loss to Miami, the Yellow Jackets allowed 563 total yards on 24 first downs. Georgia Tech’s weak pass defense was on full display against the Hurricanes, allowing 389 yards and three touchdowns through the air. With Jurkovec back in the lineup, BC’s offensive attack should feature a reinvigorated pass game on Saturday.
If the Eagles can continue to play strong defense while limiting the run, they should extinguish Georgia Tech’s explosive potential. If Jurkovec can provide a reliable presence at the quarterback position and connect with his talented targets, BC will manage quite a bit of yardage this weekend. But if the pieces don’t fall into place, Georgia Tech has proven it’s a power-hungry offense capable of big wins.
Featured Image by Ikram Ali / Heights Editor