Boston College is going to leave for Ireland on Tuesday, a day earlier than Georgia Tech. The Eagles will do so without tipping their hand about who will be their starting quarterback.
The starter is expected to be Patrick Towles, a graduate transfer who started the last two seasons at Kentucky. But Darius Wade, who played some a year ago, has played well in the preseason workouts and could be in the starting lineup on Saturday.
“They both had a great camp,” coach Steve Addazio said. “I feel much better going into this season having two guys that are game-ready. We have a nice group of quarterbacks. They’re talented and they’re capable.”
Not that it really matters to Georgia Tech which one starts. Coach Paul Johnson has always said that the defense prepares for a system rather than an individual player. But Towles and Wade seem to have a diverse set of skills and will be a test for a relatively unproven Georgia Tech defensive front.
The Yellow Jackets must get a good effort from returning tackle Pat Gamble and end KeShun Freeman, who has been bothered by injuries throughout the preseason. Gamble is considered the leader of the group and he knows that others are relying on him.
“It feels different, but I’ve learned from a lot of good guys,” Gamble said. “It’s mytime to lead thse guys and them my knowledge.”
Georgia Tech knows its starting quarterback will be Justin Thomas. The senior will be in that role for the third straight year and is eager to put aside the poor results of last season.
“We kind of hurt ourselves a lot, you know, turnovers, missed assignments,” Thomas said. “This year we need to make sure we take care of those things, make sure everybody knows what’s going on, just trying to stay ahead of the game.”
Thomas certainly has the attention of Addazio. He has seen Thomas on film and recognizes the potential that Georgia Tech’s talented group of running backs bring.
“Georgia Tech has a tough offense,” Addazio said. “They have an answer for everything.”
Boston College fielded the best rushing and passing defenses in the ACC last year. The Eagles allowed just 83.2 yards rushing per game, which was No. 2 in the nation, and only 171.2 yards passing, No. 6 in the nation. Boston College allowed only 15.2 points, fourth best in the nation and first in the ACC.