ATLANTA — Disarray seemed to be the common bond between the Eagles and the Yellow Jackets.
Boston College’s season had essentially been on long patch of black ice. Georgia Tech had just recently decided to do a midseason tear-down.
There reasons were understandable. The Yellow Jackets were a preseason favorite, but things turned sour quickly. Between a 2-4 start and allowing at least 40 points in three straight losses, something had to change. With a bye last week, the shake-up included firing defensive coordinator Al Groh.
Georgia Tech had just enough time to transition and prepare for BC, and came away from its 37-17 win looking entirely more stable than an Eagles team that’s continuing a frustrating tailspin.
BC (1-6, 0-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) hasn’t had a start this bad since 1989, when it lost seven of its first eight en route to a 2-9 season.
On Saturday, the Eagles were blown out by at least 20 for the second time in two weeks, something that hadn’t happened since 1999, when they limped into the Insight.com Bowl after being pounded by Virginia Tech, 38-14, then got routed by Colorado, 62-28.
The Yellow Jackets (3-4, 2-3) converted third downs from outrageous distances. They made third and 8s and third and 9s look routine. It was the third and 27 that was morale-crushing.
At the start of the second quarter, on second and 7, Tech was fortunate that Tevin Washington recovered his own fumble. But in the scrum, Robert Godhigh was whistled for a personal foul that pushed the Yellow Jackets back 15 yards.
Washington hooked up with BJ Bostic, who hit the number exactly for a first down. Three plays later, Washington and the Yellow Jackets were in the end zone to go up, 14-0.
It made the third and 11 they pulled off on a later scoring drive look ho-hum.
The tale all season for the Eagles had been that the high-functioning offense was being held back by an injury-plagued, inexperienced, and underperforming defense. But the last two weeks, not even that has been true.
Chase Rettig completed 19 of 31 passes for 264 yards. The running game, which was just starting to show vital signs after Andre Williams’s back-to-back 100-yard games, cobbled together all of 32 yards.
The things that sabotaged them, continued to do so. They stalled out on third down countless times, fumbled four times (lost one), gave up a sack, and let Tech dominate the clock.
Georgia Tech did the same thing that every team besides Maine has done to the Eagles this season, run like tractors up and down the field (the Yellow Jackets gained 391 rushing yards).
Washington’s two rushing touchdowns gave him 15 for the season and 35 for his career.Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.