Saturday night, Boston College lost its highly anticipated Dublin game against Georgia Tech by a score of 17 to 14.
Despite not announcing a starter, it was no surprise that graduate transfer Patrick Towles would be under center for Coach Steve Addazio’s offense. Although Towles was not spectacular, he was a great change after a year of totally inept quarterback play. He moved well for someone of his stature and picked up tough yardage by causing Georgia to miss in tight spaces.
Towles finished the day 11 for 17 with 137 yards and one bad early interception. The pick came on high throw on the Eagles’ first drive, but Towles settled in nicely and performed well despite Addazio's conservative week one play calling.
Outside of one 73 yard touchdown run, tailback Jon Hilliman didn’t have a great game in his return following a season plagued by injury. The rest of the ground game supporting cast looked strong, but Hilliman, who must excel for BC to succeed this season, was not consistently biting off big gains. On his other 16 carries, Hilliman gained just 29 yards.
The worst facet of BC’s game against Georgia Tech was special teams, something that is all too familiar to the Eagles. Kicker Colton Lichtenberg was zero for two on field goal attempts; one blocked, the other shanked. Mike Knoll has taken over the punting duties after the departure of Alex Howell, but he also failed to deliver. Georgia Tech punter Ryan Rodwell averaged two yards more per punt than Knoll in a game where field position was paramount because of the two struggling offenses.
For the third season in a row, Boston College finds itself on the losing end due to poor execution on kicks and punts.
Defensively, Boston College made a clear decision: do not let the Yellow Jackets run. If Justin Thomas is found in space, the Georgia Tech triple option can be unstoppable. However, on Saturday, Georgia Tech rushed for 119 yards on 44 carries. The Jacket's passing attack was very inconsistent, but Thomas threw for nearly 120 yards on only 8 completions.
Up 14 to 10 with about four minutes to play, the BC defense ran out of gas when they needed it the most. A toss play to the left side gave Georgia tech the 17-14 lead with 39 seconds left to win the game.
The experience of playing their first game in Ireland was unfortunately marred by the Eagles inability to play a full four quarters. Georgia Tech converted on kicking opportunities, forcing BC to start its season on a bad note. This left the Eagles still searching for their first ACC win since November 8th of 2014.
BC will take on UMass this coming Saturday, September 10 at Gillete stadium in an effort to tune up before a road game against Virginia Tech.
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