The excitement of the Red Bandana game and the return of Phil Jurkovec reinvigorated the BC fan base, myself included. But falling behind 21 to 7 to Georgia Tech might have made us question if we’d gotten our hopes up too soon. After an exciting opening touchdown drive, with Jurkovec connecting with Zay Flowers on a 48 yard TD, Georgia Tech scored 21 straight points and I began to wonder if BC had been caught flat footed. The defense and special teams showed their more brittle sides, especially when the kickoff team gave up a 98 yard kick return right after BC’s opening score.
But BC would then rattle off 21 straight points to end the half with Jurkovec accounting for all three touchdowns, including two rushing TDs. Ironically, this was how I thought a lot of BC games would go before Jurkovec got hurt: BC’s offense scoring a lot of points to counter the defense surrendering a lot of points. Yet, what we got was bit more of a mish-mash of how BC has been playing this season.
It cannot be understated how much of a difference Jurkovec being back in the mix has made. Anybody can see it. Hafley himself mentioned how with Jurkovec being in BC feels like they can win on every play (paraphrasing). Yesterday was very much the Jurkovec show: 5 TDs, 3 on the ground and 2 in the air, 310 yards passing and 71 yards rushing with an average of 8.9 yards per rush. Jurkovec did a good job of spreading the ball around when he threw it as well, even though both his TD passes went to Zay Flowers. Although Jurkovec did have a fumble that led to a Tech TD.
BC did get Pat Garwo going in the second half as he ended with a 104 yards rushing. While we expected the passing game to be explosive this season, the running game has been much better than expected and it has helped BC whittle down the clock both this week and last week.
Yet, while the defense gave up 21 points on the game they came up with two key stops, right after a fake punt kept a Tech drive alive, the BC defense forced a turnover on downs, and the offense would take the ball down the field and score breaking a 21-21 tie. Then in the third quarter, with BC holding on to a 28 to 24 lead, BC intercepted Tech at the three yard line which led to an 83 yard BC drive that ended with a field goal. The defense coming up with a stop when needed is something BC fans have seen fairly often this season and overall the defense was much stingier in the second half than in the first.
BC did catch what at the time looked like a break when Georgia Tech appeared to be on their way to tying the game only to clang the extra point off the upright. Jurkovec would run it in to give BC an 8 point lead and the defense would come up big again, stopping Tech on fourth down one more time.
BC is now bowl eligible and set to finish the year in style if they can avoid an upset at the hands from FSU and upstage the Demon Deacons. Two weeks ago bowl eligibility seemed but a dream but here we are and BC is better than ever.
While this game was very much a reminder of what could have been if Jurkovec had been healthy all year long it was also an example of how the team grew in his absence. While the defense may not be the Steel Curtain and this is not the ground BC offense of yesteryear, Jurkovec has certainly returned to a team that is a bit more well rounded than it was when he got hurt. The Eagles need to keep this rhythm going because even though Florida State is having a down season...again, they still have top tier athletes and BC doesn’t want to get caught looking forward to their season finale against Wake Forest.