Jackets get thrashed by Boston College

Backup quarterback James Graham (right) hands off the ball to freshman tailback Jahymr Gibbs. Starter Jeff Sims was pulled out of the game in the fourth quarter with the game going out of hand. // Photo courtesy of ACC Media

Tech traveled north to face the Boston College (BC) Eagles on Saturday hoping to return with a .500 record. Both teams looked for bounce-back wins coming off their respective crushing losses the week before. Tech’s offense, led by true freshman quarterback Jeff Sims, looked to regain their rhythm and bounce back from last week’s performance.

Tech’s initial drive to start the game came up just short, where a turnover on downs gave Boston College the ball. The Eagles’ rushing offense took Tech’s defense by force, finishing their drive with a touchdown.

On Tech’s following drive, the Eagles strip-sacked Sims, leading to a fumble recovery and a touchdown on the ensuing drive. Tech’s 3-and-out on the next drive did not help their early deficit, trailing by two touchdowns after the first quarter.

Turnovers continued to plague Tech’s offense, with an Eagles fumble recovery run in for a touchdown early in the second quarter. Down by 24 points but not out, the Jackets answered with four quick plays ending with Sims finding sophomore Ahmarean Brown in the end zone to make it 24-7.

The Eagles capitalized on Tech’s failed onside kick attempt with a short touchdown drive to go back on top by 24 points. A failed fake punt attempt later in the quarter also highlighted the Jackets’ special teams struggle as of late. On the other hand, the return team starring freshman Jahmyr Gibbs and sophomore Dontae Smith racked up 102 total yards on five kick returns, as well as Gibbs’ impressive 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that was unfortunately called back for a holding penalty.

Tech’s offense though had a response on this drive, with a 6 play, 91-yard drive capped by Sims’ beautiful 31-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Peje Harris in-stride. An Eagles field goal on the next drive left Tech down by 20 points with the score 34-14 at halftime.

Tech’s seven penalties for 41 yards in the first half hindered their offense a number of times, while the defense found themselves unable to prevent the Eagles from scoring on all five of their drives. The Jackets slow start was compounded with errors and miscommunication, with both fumbles leading to touchdowns for the Eagles. This trend continued through the second half.

To start the second half, Boston College’s rushing offense continued to batter Tech’s defense, rushing for 60 of their 75-yards,

quickly putting up another touchdown on the board. The Jackets’ defense would allow a whopping 264 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns for the game.

Sims took a couple big hits on Tech’s next drive resulting in two sacks, but the persistent offense eventually found themselves in the endzone with Sims running it in for the score.

Tech’s defense pulled through and stopped the Eagles on the next drive, leading to a punt deep into Georgia Tech’s territory. On the next play, a Sims’ interception put the Eagles in the red zone, setting them up for a short touchdown.

The end of the third quarter marked the end of the game for Sims, who appeared to be shaken up after the previous drive. Sims completed 12 passes on 18 attempts for 171 yards, and led the team with 47 rushing yards.

Down 48-21, Tech’s fourth quarter started on a positive note with the defense forcing the Eagles to punt. The Jackets offense, now with sophomore quarterback James Graham at the reins, made their way to the end zone from mid-field. The drive culminated with Brown’s second touchdown of the game, this time on the ground.

Tech’s successful onside kick that followed put them at mid-field again, but they failed to score as the Eagles defense was able to stop them in the red zone and force a turnover on downs. Both teams punted to finish the game, ending with a final score of 48- 27 BC win. Tech’s defense was unable to contain the Eagles offense, giving up big plays and five touchdowns in total. On the offensive side, the Jackets’ 362 total yards was not enough as missed opportunities and a losing turnover battle overtook their best efforts.