Taking a closer look at Georgia Tech’s loss to Boston College

Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs (1) maneuvers through the Boston College defense in the second half in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. (Daniel Varnado/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
Caption
Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs (1) maneuvers through the Boston College defense in the second half in the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. (Daniel Varnado/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Credit: Daniel Varnado

Georgia Tech absorbed defeat for a fourth consecutive game, losing 41-30 to Boston College on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The Yellow Jackets were outgained in yardage 505-343 despite running 69 plays to the Eagles’ 58.

With their record at 3-7, the Jackets were eliminated from bowl contention for the third consecutive season.

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Key play

Ahead 31-30 midway through the fourth quarter, Boston College faced a third-and-13 from its own 7-yard line. A third-down stop likely would return the ball to the Jackets in front of their 40-yard line, giving them solid field position for a chance to re-take the lead. With the crowd urging on the Jackets, Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec dropped back in the end zone and, throwing from a clean pocket, found tight end Trae Berry for 21 yards and a first down, ensuring that the Eagles could continue running the clock and gain better field position. The drive ended with Jurkovec keeping the ball on a read-option play that Tech botched and running 31 yards untouched for a touchdown and a 38-30 lead with 2:48 to play.

Key stat

The Eagles averaged 23.8 yards per completion, a staggering rate. Jurkovec completed passes of 48, 39, 38, 38, 26 and 24 yards as he finished 13-for-20 passing for 310 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Before Saturday, Boston College had executed 14 pass plays of 30-plus yards in 248 pass attempts, one in every 17.7 attempts. Jurkovec, in his second game back after a wrist injury that had sidelined him for six games, had four 30-yard pass plays in his first 12 attempts Saturday.

Key quote

“I can’t get these games back. It definitely hurts. But everything has a reason to it. Hopefully the young guys learn. I’m Tech for life. Tech is in me. It just hurts that we’re not winning because we work so hard, we go out there every single Saturday, put everything on the line. Guys out there are battling. One arm out there, just doing everything possible just to win. And if you do all that and you still come up short, it’s kind of hard to come in every day to get out there and work.” – safety Tariq Carpenter

Boston College 41, Georgia Tech 30

Key player

Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs continued his sensational season in defeat. He ran back Boston College’s first kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, the first of his career. Attacking open space, he ran for 96 yards on 19 carries and caught a team-high five passes for 29 yards. He finished with 223 all-purpose yards, his third consecutive game with 200 or more yards.

What we learned

The Jackets seem almost incapable of making the necessary plays to win. Ahead 21-7 early in the second quarter, Tech gave away the lead and ultimately the game with penalties, missed blocks, missed tackles, a failure to protect Yates and other missed chances to swing the game in their favor. They do not appear to lack for effort or enthusiasm, but the Jackets – coaches and players – can’t summon the play to end the game with the lead.

What’s next

With ACC play complete, Tech will complete its regular season with non-conference games against No. 9 Notre Dame (road) and No. 1 Georgia (home). The Fighting Irish were 8-1 going into their Saturday night game against Virginia. Notre Dame defeated Tech 31-13 last year at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

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