Boston College opened the second half of the season with a 38-23 victory over Georgia Tech on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Ga.
BC improved to 4-3 overall, 2-2 in the ACC, with its third straight win and sets up a regional revenge match against UConn on Oct. 28.
“It was a big win and to have momentum to get a three-game win streak going and 2-2 in the ACC,” said BC coach Jeff Hafley. “I was really proud of … how they approached the bye week, they didn’t treat it as a vacation, they worked and kept getting better.”
BC quarterback Thomas Castellanos completed 17 passes for 255 yards and rushed for 128 on 13 carries with two touchdowns. Tailback Kye Robichaux rushed for 165 yards on 21 carries and two scores. BC rolled up 563 yards of total offense and outscored Georgia Tech 21-0 in the fourth quarter.
The three scorers in the game, Castellanos (Waycross), Robichaux (Columbus) and cornerback Amari Jackson (McDonough), who had a pick six, are all Georgia natives playing in front of family and friends.
“This was my first time playing at home in college and my whole family came out because they don’t get to see me play very often,” said Robichaux. “It was a great atmosphere.”
BC began its second possession on its own 12 and reached the Tech 12 on a 45-yard toss from Castellanos to Robichaux. The drive stalled inside the 10 and BC went up 3-0 on a 24-yard field goal by Liam Connor with 8:52 to play.
Georgia Tech countered with a ground based 69-yard drive on 10 plays and went up 7-3 with 3:49 to play. Tailback Jamal King went around right tackle and scored on a 16-yard for his fourth of the season.
BC went up 10-7 on a pick six with 1:42 to play in the first. The Eagles front seven brought pressure on King, who threw a sideline pass to split end Dominick Blaylock. Jackson, a sophomore cornerback, caught the ball with one hand and returned it 30 yards to the house with his first pick of the season.
“Ant time you can get a takeaway and score that early in the game, that was a big play,” said Hafley. “It was cool for Amari, a kid from Georgia, and I’m proud of him and happy for him.”
The Yellow Jackets tied the game 10-10 on a sustained drive that began on the Tech 10 and fizzled out on the BC 29. Place kicker Aidan Birr split the goal posts from 46 yards with 6:03 to play in the half.
BC closed out the half with a 13-play, 75-yard, scoring march that featured two drive extending plays and gave the Eagles a 17-10 lead at the break. Castellanos completed a 30-yard toss to tight end Jeremiah Franklin on second and 22 and followed with an 11-yard run on fourth and one to the Tech 12. Castellanos scored on a keeper with 52 seconds remaining for his eighth rushing TD of the season.
BC opened the third with a sustained drive that was snuffed out Tech cornerback Ahmari Harvey intercepted Castellanos in the Tech end zone. Georgia Tech tied the game 17-17 just four snaps later when King went 71 yards on a keeper with 12:06 to play. The run was the longest play by King in his college career.
Tech went up 23-17 on an 89-yard drive with 2:08 to play. The big play was a 37-yard slide screen to tailback Trey Cooley. Tight end Avery Boyd scored on a 17-yard pass from King for his second of the season. Birr’s PAT kick failed.
Castellanos opened the fourth quarter with a 27-yard pass to tight end George Takacs to the Georgia Tech 2. Robichaux scored over right guard and Connor made the PAT to put BC up 24-23 with 14:27 to play.
BC went up 31-23 when Castellanos ran 43 yards on a fourth and one with 8:44 to play. BC cornerback Elijah Jones picked off King on the Eagles’ 40. Robichaux followed with runs of 57 and three yards to put BC up 38-23. Jones recorded his second pick with under six minutes to play.