ATLANTA — How good is Georgia Tech?
Notre Dame’s blowout loss to previously winless Michigan on Saturday afternoon made you wonder.
Boston College’s 24-10 pounding of the Yellow Jackets a few hours later turned curiosity into debate.
The Eagles dominated Georgia Tech for three quarters, then held on for victory before a raucous crowd of 51,112 at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
BC improved its record to 3-0 with the win and can now be considered the Atlantic Coast Conference’s frontrunner. All three Eagle victories came against league opponents, and they’ve beaten both teams that played for the ACC Championship last season in Wake Forest and Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets slip to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in the ACC.
BC’s offense totaled 528 yards, 435 courtesy of quarterback Matt Ryan’s arm, as the Eagles’ offensive line and running backs nullified Georgia Tech’s pass rush.
The Yellow Jackets managed just one sack and hit Ryan on only a handful of times, although BC was flagged for six holding calls and a face mask in protecting the ACC’s Preseason Player of the Year.
Boston College’s defense was just as impressive as the offense. The Eagles, ranked fourth nationally in run defense, stuffed the Yellow Jackets’ vaunted running game, holding tailback Tashard Choice to 31 yards on 15 carries.
Choice had more carries than yards until midway through the third quarter and left the game with a hamstring injury prior to the start of the fourth quarter.
The Yellow Jackets had little success in the passing game either. Quarterback Taylor Bennett threw for 204 yards but misfired in key situations and also had several passes dropped. He completed just 20 of 39 throws.
Red-shirt freshman Demaryius Thomas led Georgia Tech’s receivers with five catches for 68 yards, highlighted by a spectacular 43-yard catch that set up a field goal.
The Yellow Jackets’ offense converted just 2 of 13 third downs in the game. They went three-downs-and-out on five of their seven first-half possessions.
BC was much more methodical. Ryan connected on 30 of 44 passes, with six receivers catching three balls or more. Kevin Challenger led with seven catches for 88 yards while Brandon Robinson had five grabs for 128 yards and a touchdown.
BC’s tailback tandem of Andre Callender and L.V. Whitworth combined for 102 yards. Whitworth scored two touchdowns.