Boston College heads down to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech (3-6, 2-5) this Saturday. We had the chance to speak with Josh Brundage of our SB Nation sister site, From The Rumble Seat. Josh spoke to us about what we can expect this week and the general malaise that has befallen the Yellow Jackets.
BCI: Sitting at 3-6, it hasn’t been the prettiest of seasons, but a number of close games, a big win over UNC, and credit may be due for really exposing Clemson. Now BC comes to Atlanta, but the last two games after are *checks notes* Notre Dame and Georgia. Sounds like fun. What’s your take on the season?
FTRS: This is year 3 of the Geoff Collins experiment, and for new coaches, year 3 is generally considered the “show me” season. After only mustering 3 wins against a weak ACC schedule and a loss to NIU, it’s hard to see this year as anything but a failure. Please don’t hear me say that this is an indictment on the players, it’s squarely on coaching. By star talent and experience, this is one of the most talented Georgia Tech teams in the last 2 decades.
Realistically, this week against Boston College is the only winnable game left on the schedule, so maxing at 4 wins this year is a pretty worst-case scenario. Multiple opponents have set scoring records against us under his tenure, and he owns arguably 3-4 of the worst losses in our 130ish years of being a football program.
I’m hoping all the talent on the roster doesn’t transfer out after this season, because we can’t afford to fire him until December of 2022 due to the athletic department’s budget and his buyout.
If this Tech team somehow turns an impossibly massive corner and wins the next 3 games, then I’ll change my tune, but that would probably involve Georgia’s team bus getting lost on the way to Atlanta.
BCI: Geoff Collins’s tenure with Georgia Tech has been quite awful. Three wins in the first two seasons, and not looking like much more this time around either as we alluded to. How would you describe the sentiment since his taking over? A malaise, perhaps?
FTRS: Malaise is a good word for it, especially judging by our home attendance this season. I know the pandemic is still somewhat a factor, but he genuinely hasn’t put anything on the field worth paying to see during his tenure, and it was reflected by our barely half-full stadium at homecoming.
The bigger concern, even more so than the losses, is he apparently lives on a different planet where he’s been ultra-successful and doesn’t deserve any sort of criticism. He’s incapable of giving any sort of candid answer or taking responsibility for the myriad of coaching issues that the team displays week after week after week. He even attacked 2 local beat reporters covering the team in last week’s press conference for asking very legitimate questions…. Which spawned this article on our site.
He only speaks in coach-speak and talks about the “historic transformation” he’s put this team through, and every other word out of his mouth is grit, or effort, or some other platitude to avoid answering any sort of poignant question.
He’s very much a coach in over his head and flailing around trying to save his reputation… which appears to be all he cares about.
I think this has rubbed the fanbase wrong and given us more apathy than anything else, regardless of the on-field results.
BCI: Tell us about Jahmyr Gibbs. What makes him so great and how much can he will this team to victory?
FTRS: That dude is just a threat with the ball in his hands. In addition to averaging 5.4 ypc out of the backfield behind an often porous offensive line, he also averages over 15 yards per reception, and has two receiving touchdowns to boot. He’s a tough man to cover and tackle. In general, he just creates mismatches all over the field.
He’s pretty obviously the most talented player on our offense, and he has two very, very good RBs behind him to spell him. Expect to see a myriad of formations with two RBs on Saturday, whether that’s out of the pistol or the gun.
BCI: We had a chance to see Jeff Sims last season, but the game got out of hand quick for the freshman. Still he had some nice plays throughout the game. How has he improved since last year and where do you think he can do his best work?
FTRS: Well you may or may not see Sims this Saturday, as the rumor is that his backup, Jordan Yates has been named the starter. Sims has improved by making fewer poor decisions with the ball - like taking a sack, or throwing it away if he needs to. However, he’s just been super, super streaky this season. Our offensive coordinator did an admirable job scheming receivers open for him against Miami, that he just couldn’t hit last week.
He’s incredibly talented and shows that regularly, it just seems like he gets the yips fairly often. Hopefully that’s something he grows out of, because we all want him to be the Yellow Jacket quarterback of the future.
Yates on the other hand, is the steady, upperclassman. He’s started a handful of games also this season and is just very consistent. He doesn’t have the arm or speed of Sims, but he hits open receivers and knows when to run. So we’ll see what happens for the Yellow Jackets at QB on Saturday.
BCI: BC surprisingly got quarterback Phil Jurkovec back last week. He really is the catalyst for the offense and makes it two-dimensional. Where have offenses typically attacked this Tech defense?
FTRS: In short, everywhere. Our secondary is all 4* recruits and upperclassmen, and they’re often found anywhere but near the ball. We have next to no pass rush, and average less than one sack a game. I couldn’t even tell you the last time we forced a turnover, it’s been weeks.
For a defensively-minded head coach who calls himself, “The Minister of Mayhem,” we have one of the lowest havoc rates in the country.
Jurkovec will likely have a long time to throw if he stays in the pocket, and to make things worse, our linebackers are not very gap-sound in their run fits. Our defense has regressed each year under Collins, and it’s genuinely puzzling how they’re this bad in 2021.
It’s squarely on the coaching staff.
BCI: Who are the key folks to watch out for on defense? Are there any injuries we should be aware of?
FTRS: At the current rate, not a whole lot of threats there :(
Otherwise, Charlie Thomas has been a bright spot at the linebacker position recording 3 sacks and a pick. As far as consistency goes, he’s been about the only one who has stood out every week.
Again, our secondary is crazy talented, they’re just not being put in positions to succeed. You’ll see us probably start in the 3-3-5, and when we get run over, they’ll switch at the half to a 4-2-5, but it honestly hasn’t made much of a difference. It just seems like opposing coaches are having no issues scheming around our defensive staff.
BCI: The two teams don’t see each other much, but here we are meeting back to back years. What’s your score prediction for this one?
FTRS: Geoff Collins hasn’t proven yet that he can win more than 3 games in a season. With BC returning their QB and having some momentum coming into Saturday, I think the Eagles win in an absolutely unwatchable, sloppy game by the score of like 28-24