Greetings Tech Fans,
This year we get to play a couple extra Atlantic division teams that we normally see only once or twice every 6 years. We get the pleasure of traveling to Chestnut Hill, Mass. to play the Boston College Eagles. BC is the farthest possible travel in the ACC for Georgia Tech and this is the first of a two game stretch where we get to play both major Catholic institutions.
We are 7-2 alltime versus the Eagles. They came over to the ACC from the Big East in 2005.
We last saw Boston College in Dublin, Ireland for the 2016 opener. Georgia Tech squeaked out a 17-14 victory. That is one of the few times I ever remember Georgia Tech successfully going on a last minute, game-winning drive. Justin Thomas & Co. converted a 4th and 19 on the way to a Dedrick Mills go-ahead touchdown with only 35 seconds left. It was a thriller. It was also at 7:30am and I recall quite clearly how much I enjoyed my full Saturday after that.
The Eagles got off to a hot start beating
Virginia Tech VPISU at home but suffered an embarrassing loss to Kansas (a 3 touchdown underdog) and sputtered out wins against the less talented ACC teams (think Pitt and NC State) and lost to the usual suspects (ND, FSU, and Clempson). A last game win against former Big East rival Pittsburgh got them to 6 wins and a Birmingham Bowl berth against Cincinnati.
At the end of the season, head coach Steve Addazio was relieved of his duties.
It was a perfectly average season for a team that hasn’t won the division since 2008. They finished 66th (out of 130) in scoring offense behind two quarterbacks. Anthony Brown suffered a knee-injury in the 6th game against Louisville and walk-on sophomore Dennis Grosel came on for the rest of the year. Neither were that great, they combined for a 18-5 TD-INT ratio but never got above 60% completions and only 2,233 yards passing. For reference, Trevor Lawrence put up 3,665 yards passing.
Departing Impact Players:
A.J. Dillon – Junior Runningback
2019 Stats: 318 attempts | 1685 rushing | 14 Rush TD | 195 Rec Yds | 1 Rec TD
The star of the show was unquestionably at RB. A.J. led the team on the ground with 1685 rushing yards and 14 Touchdowns on the ground. He’s a big fella. Standing at 6 foot, 250, he’s described as an absolute monster. A power runner with a tendency to use his size downhill to simply overpower defenders. Not elusive or quick, he’s definitely a prototypical NFL Runningback. That’s probably that’s why the Packers drafted him in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft.
AJ Dillon doesn’t do leg day. His legs do every day.— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) August 15, 2020
( : @RobDemovsky) pic.twitter.com/pxOFZnnJ6i
Returning Impact Players:
Max Richardson - Redshirt Senior (Graduate) Outside Linebacker
2019 Stats: 107 Tackles | 14 TFL | 3.5 sacks | 1 Forced Fumble
We’re talking about Boston College so we have to talk about linebackers. BC has another good one in Max Richardson. He decided to return after a 2019 campaign that led the team in tackles, TFL, and sacks. Named 2nd team All-Conference last year and should garner a high draft pick come spring. He does have Atlanta roots. Max is from Duluth, Ga. and attended Atlanta’s Woodward Academy.
David Bailey - Junior Runningback
2019 Stats: 148 attempts | 844 rushing | 7 Rush TD | 1 Rec TD
The replacement RB for departed A.J. Dillon has a similar size profile and success. The pair were called “Buffalo Bros” and garnered 5.7 yards per carry and 7 Touchdowns behind the star RB. The new head coach Jeff Hafley was co-Offensive Coordinator for Ohio State. They just produced JK Dobbins and a 2000 yard season. Bailey should be able to quickly and efficiently pick up that mantle. He was on watch list’s for the Doak Walker award 2019 and 2020.
Zion Johnson - Junior Left Guard
Yes, Offensive linemen can be impact players. Zion Johnson is on award and draft watch lists around the nation and has had solid success at LG. He only started 7 games last year but gathered a 2nd team All-Conference selection. He originally transferred in from Davidson after two years there.
In summary, BC should be a similar team as last year. A bowl bid would be a good goal and they are likely to be a rushing first team and depend on coverage on defense. They have to replace lots of production on the defensive line and the quarterback play is lacking. Former starter Anthony Brown transferred to Oregon and presumptive starter Dennis Grosel has accuracy issues.
As previously mentioned, they have a new head coach and system. That always comes with growing pains but they might be smoothed a bit by the time we meet them midseason.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 28 – Boston College 16
26 days to kickoff.