ATLANTA — Georgia Tech football coach Chan Gailey throws out comparisons to Brett Favre and Phillip Rivers when he talks about the quarterback his Yellow Jackets face this week.
But Boston College's Matt Ryan is not the lone threat in the Eagles' backfield, Gailey admits. The Eagles boast a talented, veteran tailback tandem in seniors Andre Callender and L.V. Whitworth.
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"The thing that is unique about Boston College is they are a dual-threat offense," Gailey said Tuesday. "They can run it and run it well, and they can throw it and throw it well."
Callender has 207 yards rushing through two games, including a 158-yard performance last week against NC State. Whitworth rushed for 59 yards against the Wolfpack after missing the season opener because of injury.
Both run behind a mammoth offensive line, anchored by 6-foot-7, 320-pound left tackle Gosder Cherilus. However, defenses can't focus exclusively on the run with Ryan, the Atlantic Coast Conference
Preseason Player of the Year, always a threat to throw in offensive coordinator Steve Logan's wide-open scheme.
"We have to match up evenly and figure out what they are doing and focus on both the run and the pass," linebacker Philip Wheeler said. "But we do pride ourselves in stopping people from running the football."
Georgia Tech's dominant running game in back-to-back blowouts to start the season have allowed offensive coordinator John Bond to hold back in the passing game.
Quarterback Taylor Bennett threw just 32 passes in the first two games, only three more than he tossed in the 2007 Gator Bowl alone. And he's thrown just 21 balls downfield, utilizing screens and swing passes.
Expect Bennett to stretch his arm Saturday against Boston College, which boasts the nation's fourth-best rush defense. Gailey answered cryptically when asked what passing secrets the Jackets still hold.
"We have some things that we haven't done, and we'll be doing some of them not only this week, but in weeks to come," Gailey said. "You can't throw all those things that you've practiced in he spring and the preseason out there in one week, so we will be doing some different things."
Earls to return
Correy Earls showed potential as a game-breaking kick returner last week against Samford. The redshirt freshman returned one kick 67 yards — only a tackle by the kicker saved a touchdown — and another for 43 yards.
The performance likely earned him more chances this week, Gailey said.
Tailbacks Rashaun Grant, Jamaal Evans and Jonathan Dwyer also return kicks.
Tickets remain for Saturday night's game thanks to Boston College fans, who bought only 1,000 of the 4,000 tickets allotted to the school. Tickets cost $38 and can be purchased through Georgia Tech's Web site, ramblingwreck.com. . . . Boston College is 18-8 on the road since 2003. The Eagles are 5-3 versus ranked opponents on the road dating back to the 2002 season. . . . BC leads the nation in interceptions with nine in its first two games. Cornerback DeJuan Tribble picked off three passes in the season-opening victory over Wake Forest. Safety Jamie Silva intercepted two passes last week versus NC State. . . . This season marks Boston College's third in the Atlantic Coast Conference yet Saturday's game is the first meeting between the Eagles and the Yellow Jackets since 1998. The ACC's unbalanced schedule dictates BC rotates onto Georgia Tech's schedule twice every four years. The Yellow Jackets will visit Boston College next season, and then the two teams won't meet again until 2011. . . . Georgia Tech has won its last three ACC openers. The Jackets defeated Virginia last year, North Carolina in 2005 and Clemson in 2004.