Another case of “what could have been?”
On Saturday afternoon in Atlanta, GA, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defeated the Boston College Eagles, 37-17. The Jackets move to 3-4, but the Eagles fall to 1-6 (0-4) and are on the brink of clinching a losing season for the second-straight year.
Georgia Tech started the game somewhat slowly, moving the ball but only scoring one touchdown to take a 7-0 lead out of the first quarter. It was in the second that the Jackets put the game away. Tech scored 21 points before the half, and could have scored more if not by a horrific performance by Yellow Jackets placekickers all afternoon. Georgia Tech rode a 28-3 lead into the locker room, and keeping in mind that Boston College is 1-10 in their previous 11 games when trailing at halfitme, the outlook was not too good.
Indeed, the Eagles dug themselves a big enough hole that they did not come back. Boston College showed some life towards the end of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter, scoring two touchdowns to make it a 31-17 game. The Eagles went for two on both scores, missing the first and making the other (when, in fact, neither play had to be run).
Nevertheless, Boston College did have some forward momentum as the game started nearing its conclusion, and the much-maligned run defense got another stop of the Yellow Jackets offense. Down two scores, Georgia Tech punted the ball away, but well after the kick, Ameer Richardson plowed into the punter for a 15-yard personal foul and a first down. The Jackets would go on to score on that drive and take a 37-17 lead (kicker missed PAT).
Chase Rettig put forth another valiant effort on Saturday. He kept fighting with his team until the bitter end, cementing himself further as one of the leaders of this team. Unfortunately, the leadership from the sidelines is still highly lacking. Athletic Director Brad Bates was in the house for this game, at least part of it, and he saw another miserable, boring Eagles loss. One would wonder how much longer it will take him to fire Frank Spaziani, seeing that the Eagles have lost by a combined score of 88-24 since he arrived.
Boston College allowed 563 yards of offense, including 391 on the ground. Further, the Yellow Jackets had twice as many first downs as the Eagles, at 30 to 15. Perhaps the most egregious stat is how Georgia Tech converted on 13 of 20 third downs while the Eagles only went 1-for-9 themselves. Once more, the defense could not get off the field, as the Jackets controlled the football for well over 43 minutes — which is bad even for this team.
The Ameer Richardson play was extremely stupid. We don’t know what would have happened if the personal foul never happened, but it would be entirely unfair to blame Richardson for the loss. The Eagles dug themselves a four-touchdown hole and spent at least two-thirds of the game going through the motions. Hell, BC’s offense didn’t even have the ball for 17 minutes. The odds would still have been against the Eagles even if the foul had not occurred. Bottom line: bad teams find ways to lose, and there is no debate that BC is a bad team at 1-6 (0-4).
At times, the team appeared to have found something, but there were too many shortcomings to say that there was improvement. It would be difficult to make the case that BC took a step forward when they lost by three touchdowns to a sub-.500 team.
The Eagles come home next weekend to play Maryland in the Wounded Warrior Project game.