Sat, 28 Nov 2020

Georgia Tech, Boston College both look to rebound

Field Level Media
20 Oct 2020, 10:40 GMT+10

Georgia Tech and Boston College will aim to bounce back from lopsided losses when they meet in an Atlantic Coast Conference game on Saturday in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Georgia Tech (2-3, 2-2 ACC) was hammered 73-7 by No. 1 Clemson while Boston College (3-2, 2-2) was rocked 40-14 by then-No. 23 Virginia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets' loss to the Tigers was particularly galling for coach Geoff Collins. Not only was the 66-point loss the team's most lopsided in the modern era -- Notre Dame beat Georgia Tech by 55 points in 1977 -- but it also came on the heels of a morale-boosting victory over Louisville.

"We've got to learn how to handle success," Collins said. "We are well-versed in handling setbacks and learning from our mistakes and getting better from there. We've got to get better handling success. We've got to learn and learn quickly. The vision and goal and development of the program is happening, but we've got to learn how to handle success."

Boston College's loss to Virginia Tech was largely about turnovers. Phil Jurkovec passed for 345 yards and two touchdowns, but he was intercepted twice and the Eagles also lost three fumbles.

The collection of turnovers, which led to 20 Virginia Tech points, was an uncharacteristic mess for the Eagles, who had only given the ball away three times in their first four games. They had not turned it over five times in one game since 2009.

"Win or lose, I stress the process and I stress the importance of getting better every week," first-year Boston College coach Jeff Hafley said. "Unfortunately, in football, if you make big mistakes like we did, you can't win. We'll watch the tape closely and we'll get better."

Georgia Tech quarterback Jeff Sims had trouble with the Clemson defense and produced one of his least productive games. The freshman was 6-for-13 for 81 yards, including a 59-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Camp that tied the game in the first quarter. However, he was picked off once and sacked five times.

For the season, Sims has thrown for 1,025 yards and six touchdowns with nine interceptions. He has rushed for 228 yards and three touchdowns.

The Georgia Tech running game is led by freshman Jahmyr Gibbs, who has with 299 yards on the ground. He has scored five touchdowns, two on the ground and three from his 11 receptions for 169 yards.

Georgia Tech, which averages 195.6 yards a game rushing, hopes to keep the pressure on the Boston College defense after Virginia Tech rolled up 350 yards on the ground last week.

"If you can't stop the run, you can't win," Boston College linebacker Max Richardson said, "and I think when (Virginia Tech) got the run game going, the quarterback got a lot of confidence from that and his momentum was going all game."

Previously, Boston College had done respectably well against the run, allowing 134 yards a game, but the Hokies averaged 8.5 yards a carry, dramatically damaging the Eagles' statistics for the season.

On offense, Boston College relies heavily on Jurkovec. The sophomore has thrown for 1,526 yards and 10 touchdowns, with Hunter Long (35 catches, 416 yards, three touchdowns) and Zay Flowers (28 catches, 462 yards, four TDs) the top receivers. David Bailey leads the club with 189 rushing yards.

The teams haven't met since 2016, a 17-14 Georgia Tech victory in a game played in Dublin. Georgia Tech leads the series 7-2. Boston College last defeated the Yellow Jackets in 2007.

--Field Level Media

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