Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Boston College Eagles - 9/3/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-9) at Boston College Eagles (3-9)
College Football: Saturday, September 3, 2016 at 7:30 am (Aviva Stadium)
The Line: Boston College Eagles +3 -- Over/Under: 47 See the Latest Odds
The Boston College Eagles and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will be kicking off their 2016 college football season on Saturday, September 3 in an unusual place: Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.
The Eagles are coming off a pretty lousy 3-9 mark last year, and whiffed in all their conference games (0-8). Head coach Steve Addazio, who is in his fourth year, will be trying to turn things in a positive direction in 2016.
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On offense, Boston College will have to do better through the air if they want to get anywhere this season. The Eagles averaged just 110.9 passing yards per game in 2015, relying mostly on the rush (164.7 YPG) to carry the team. Needless to say, there needs to be better balance here.
Patrick Towles, who is a senior transfer this season, will try to get things moving at QB when he takes over as the starter for the Eagles. The good news is that Towles will have the services of RB Jon Hillman, who returns to Boston College after 51 carries, 198 yards and two touchdowns in 2015. Look for Towles to hook up with head WR Thaddeus Smith early and often. Smith managed 17 grabs for 233 yards and a pair of scores last season for the Eagles.
The Boston College defense served as the lynchpin of the team in 2015. The squad allowed just 171.3 yards per game passing and 83.3 yards per game on the ground last season. Steven Daniels, who was the lead tackler (82 total) is gone, but Connor Strachan is back following his 75 takedowns for Boston College last year.
Over on the Yellow Jackets’ side, they managed to go just 3-9 in 2015, with a 1-7 record in the conference. It was one of head coach Paul Johnson’s more trying seasons with the team.
Like Boston College, Georgia Tech relied on the ground game last season on offense, averaging 256.7 yards per game. The Jackets’ comparatively wimpy passing attack netted just 121.3 YPG. Justin Thomas will be back again this year and has his work cut out for him. Thomas managed a total of 1,339 yards through the air last year and put up 13 touchdowns to eight interceptions. Interestingly enough, Thomas also led the team in rushing with 485 yards and six touchdowns on his 144 totes. At RB, Clinton Lynch comes back as well. In 2015 with Georgia Tech, Lynch put up 457 yards on the ground (48 attempts) with 267 receiving yards on 11 catches.
Defensively, the Yellow Jackets allowed 202.9 YPG passing last season, and 165.1 per game on the ground. PJ Davis made his mark as the Jackets’ leading tackler in 2015 (77 total) and will be back on the field this year. Unfortunately for Georgia Tech, however, Jamal Golden and Tyler Marcordes—who were big defensive contributors in 2015—have moved on.
The Eagles are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games on grass, and 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games on a neutral site. Boston College is also 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games in September, and the under is 4-1 in their last five games in September.
As for the Yellow Jackets, they’re 4-1 ATS in their last five games on a neutral site, and 13-6 ATS in their last 19 September games. Georgia Tech is also 1-7 ATS in their last eight conference games, and 0-4 ATS in their last four games overall.
What with the lengthy travel schedule and time change involved here, I’m not expecting to see much in the way of offense. There will also be a lot of mistakes on both sides as each team works the kinks out. Still, I’ll stick with Georgia Tech here, as the line looks pretty friendly.