After a competitive football game for three quarters, Boston College put their foot on the Yellow Jackets’ necks in the final quarter. Cornerback Elijah Jones came up with two crucial interceptions against Georgia Tech’s quarterback, Haynes King, to seal the victory for the Eagles, 38-23.
The last time Georgia Tech was on the football field, they had pulled off a major upset victory over Miami after a late-game fumble by the Hurricanes. Looking to build off that after a bye week, Tech knew they were in for a fight against Boston College. About five points favored Georgia Tech. You would assume that is a good thing, but that is not the case for Georgia tech under Brent Key. Last season, Tech lost to both Miami and Virginia at home when favored. Earlier this year, they lost to Bowling Green as the favorite.
This game would have to be won on the ground for both teams. Georgia Tech ranked 128th in rushing yards allowed per game, and Boston College ranked 97th. The biggest key for Tech was to contain the Eagles’ quarterback, Thomas Castellanos. They did not accomplish that, as Castellanos ran for 128 yards on 13 carries. King did a respectable job matching him with 150 yards on the ground.
Motivated to win, the Yellow Jackets started strong with a 17-yard completion to Malik Rutherford on the game’s first play. They could not continue that momentum as a false start on 3rd down made it difficult to convert and forced Georgia Tech to punt.
Tech’s defense made a statement out of the gate with a quick three and out to get their offense another chance. Unfortunately, Boston College had the same idea as Tech failed to get a first down their next drive. Due to a lousy decision, King could have easily gained a first down and a new series had he run the ball, on 3rd and short, but he elected to throw a pass which fell incomplete.
The shutout would end there as Georgia Tech had a bend but don’t break mindset. The Eagles quarterback, Thomas Castellanos, connected with running back, Kye Robichaux, for 45 yards. The Yellow Jackets defense would stand strong after that big play and hold Boston College to a field goal. Tech would answer with a punishing ground game on their next drive, as they only attempted one pass and scored the first touchdown on a 16-yard run by King.
Photo Credit: William Curtis
Tech’s defense would build momentum by forcing an immediate three-and-out. Unfortunately, that would be erased as defensive back Amari Jackson picked off King and took it to the house for a pick-six.
The rest of the half would be a back-and-forth battle with two solid drives by both teams. Boston College would be up 17-10 entering half time with them set to receive the second half kick-off. Georgia Tech needed a significant defensive possession out of the half, and that is precisely what they got. Ahmari Harvey intercepted a deep pass by Castellanos in the endzone to give the Yellow Jackets the momentum shift they needed. King would almost immediately break off a 71-yard run for a touchdown.
One word to describe Georgia Tech to start the second half – explosive.
Everything was looking Georgia Tech’s way as their defense only allowed three more points the rest of the quarter while their offense put up six more with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Avery Boyd. The game’s turning point may have been right after that score, as the kicker, Aidan Birr, would miss the extra point.
The fourth quarter is where everything went wrong for the Jackets. Tech’s run defense would disappear as Boston College would run for 153 of their 308 rushing yards in the final quarter alone. The Eagles outscored the Yellow Jackets 21-0 to end the game. The two interceptions by King, both by the same cornerback, Elijah Jones were devastating.
The total stats across the board are remarkably similar for both teams. The deciding factor came down to one major thing: turnovers. Georgia Tech had three turnovers to Boston College’s one. 14 of their 38 points came off of turnovers.
“You can’t have three turnovers,” King said after the game, “it just kills drives, kills momentum, kills everything. Can’t happen.”
This was a crucial game for Georgia Tech if they want to become bowl-eligible this season. The Yellow Jackets fall to 3-4 on the year and have some work to do with number 10-ranked North Carolina as their next opponent.