Week 1

Georgia Tech 17, Boston College 14: 5 Things That Matter


Georgia Tech beat Boston College 17-14 in a thriller to start out the epic college football Saturday. What are the 5 things that matter about the Yellow Jacket win?


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Georgia Tech found a way.

The Yellow Jackets struggled all game long against the phenomenal Eagle run defense, but even though it couldn’t seem to break loose, and even though it was a dogfight to get any consistent yards, they had the ball down four with just over three minutes to play and 59 yards to go for a game-winning score. It it’s possible to have a season-defining drive in the opening game of the year, this was it.

QB Justin Thomas converted a 4th-and-19 throw, looked and played like a veteran leader when the team needed him the most, and Georgia Tech, after losing so many close, tight games the offense pulled it out.

It might have taken an entire game, and it might have taken a few clutch throws to make it happen, but when it was time to close, the option got it done.

Both teams are going to be a pain in the butt.

Of course, both Boston College and Georgia Tech just might not be all that good again, and it’s hard to judge too much by playing each other, but the defenses were tough in the muck and the rain, and both were tough as nails. It might not have been an easy game to watch for anyone who likes lots of offense, or any sort of a passing game, but these two are going to be tougher outs than they were last season.

Patty Ice is the difference now for Boston College

The Eagles blew it. They had a few chances to put the game away, there were two whiffed field goals – one got blocked – and there were two key turnovers including a tough interception, but even with the bad pick, the biggest positive for BC going forward this year was the play of its new quarterback.

Now, with former Kentucky starter Patrick Towles at the helm, the Eagles actually have a little bit of a passing game. It’s not going to be dominant, and it’s not going to crank up huge things down the field, but he was able to keep things moving at times and made the short-to-midrange throws while also providing a veteran leader. As the season goes on, Towles combined with RB Jon Hillman gives the Eagles hope.

As far as these things go, it seemed to fit.

Two tough, running teams. Two tough, nasty defenses. Two teams that needed to try more than most in an opening week game, considering it was an ACC battle. Playing in Ireland in the rain and in elements that weren’t antiseptic like some neutral site dome game made it just look like a college football game should be played if it’s going to be played overseas. It was a terrific way to kick off a special day of college football.

What Does This All REALLY Mean?

Now the Yellow Jackets get a few tune-ups before having to dive back into the ACC world. They’re going to have to deal with the nasty Vanderbilt defense in two weeks, but they get to figure out how to make the offense sharper against Mercer next week. How important was this win? The next three ACC games come against Clemson, Miami and at Pitt.

For Boston College, this is an absolute disaster. The ACC win was there to be had, and now it’s going to have to try getting one on the road at Virginia Tech, or against Clemson before hosting Syracuse. The Eagles somehow have to blow off this brutal heartbreaker in a hurry. There are plenty of positives, and the team is better – but the late Yellow Jacket scoring drive might have just ended any bowl hopes.