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Final Thoughts and Prediction: Boston College vs Georgia Tech

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NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Boston College Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Game News and Notes

BC is back above .500 and heading to Georgia Tech (3-6, 2-5) this Saturday at 3:30. The Eagles snapped a four-game losing streak, while the Yellow Jackets have now dropped three straight of their own. Miami and Virginia put up nearly 400 yards passing against the Tech defense, and Virginia Tech funneled nearly 200 yards passing to a single receiver to pair with a steady rushing attack. The GT offense however was able to keep those games very close.

Jeff Hafley’s side is a game away from bowl eligibility, but Geoff Collins’s side is just hoping to get past the three game threshold they’ve been held to for the previous two seasons. The Eagles comfortably won last year’s contest 48-27 at home.

Injury Updates

Tyler Vrabel should be good to go for this one. Trae Barry seems like he has a good chance unless the team wants to play it safe. Brandon Sebastian maybe a step behind still, while IGM is unlikely to suit up. The secondary has been hit hard this season, and as we outlined with the latest two-deep, be on the lookout for some more faces back there.

Matchups to Watch

Jahmyr Gibbs is the man to watch. The do-it-all running back is averaging 5.4 yards per carry and over 15 a catch with over 1,000 yards from scrimmage. BC has had a porous run defense, so Gibbs will continue to put them to the test.

It’s unclear which signal caller we’ll see — maybe even both. We saw Jeff Sims last season and he has played most of the year, but has played inconsistently and been injured. Jordan Yates has seen action in four games himself this season and has proven to be a steady hand. The slightly more seasoned Yates was rumored to be starting for a bit, but Sims now appears to be getting the nod so long as he doesn’t play too reckless. Yates isn’t as mobile as Sims, but it still will give the BC defense something to think about. Either way, Vinny DePalma and Kam Arnold will have to stay disciplined in order to prevent any killer explosive plays.

On the other side, let’s keep an eye on how more smoothly the offense flows. Jurkovec only had to throw 13 times in the heavy ball-control, field-position battle that was Virginia Tech. It may amount to a similar sort of game plan this time around, but getting more crisp when he does throw the ball will set the team up well for the final two games. I think we’re all ready for a big Zay Flowers day, and given the past few weeks for Georgia Tech’s pass defense, major yards should be on the horizon. If Tech sticks to their typical defensive strategy, they’ll open up the door for Pat Garwo and co. should feast early, and Jurkovec should have plenty of time against a meek pass rush. It’s still a talented secondary that hasn’t lived up to expectations, so he’ll need to be sharper to prevent needless turnovers.

Stats Corner

As bad as the Eagles have been against the run, the Yellow Jackets have been a step behind that. BC allows 171.7 ypg and -0.02 EPA/run while GT sits at 174.6 ypg with a -0.14 EPA/run.

Tem Lukabu’s defense has remained top 10 in third down defense at about 30%, but the other side is one of the worst in the Power 5, ceding a 45.1% conversion rate.

Jurkovec completely changes BC’s offensive stats, but Georgia Tech relies heavily on explosive plays to generate offense. Last week against Miami, two long runs from each running back was the difference in leaving them with a 2.8 clip. Per From Rumble Seat, taking out explosive plays Georgia Tech’s offense had zero games where the offense had a positive EPA/play output. BC has been about average at stopping those big plays.

Oddsmakers

BC +2

o/u 54

BC +100 / GT -120

Prediction

It’s fishy that BC is still an underdog here, as this seems like a Grosel-infused line. But we’re on top of the world right now — BC 35 - GT 20

The Narrative

Finish strong. The Eagles are bowl eligible, but they are unsatisfied. BC returns home for the final two contests against FSU followed by Wake Forest. There’s still more to work on, but they’ll be looking to play spoiler in an ACC they feel should have been theirs for the taking. Georgia Tech in the meanwhile has a trip to South Bend and finishes up with a cupcake against Georgia.

Forget those four games, forget what could have been, forget it all — we got Phil