ATLANTA — For an offense that had been potent for most of the season, the most irritating part of BC’s 37-17 loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday was that the offense spent nearly 44 minutes on the sideline.
The Yellow Jackets dominated the clock, running 91 plays, eating up yards on the ground and at the same time icing the Eagles’ offense.
For all but 16:15, BC’s offense was relegated to being spectators, and they hated it.
“It’s just frustrating not being able to get on the field,” said wide receiver Alex Amidon.
The inactivity led to a rhythmless first half, in which the Eagles mustered just 7 yards on the ground. They came up empty on five of six third downs, and only reached the red zone once, converting a field goal.
“I don’t think it helped that we only had 10 minutes,” Amidon said. “A couple plays got stuffed and we had a couple runs for a loss, and I guess we just didn’t get enough drives to really get going. It was tough. When we do get the ball against a team like this, we’ve got to start faster.”
Meanwhile, Georgia Tech was on its way to rushing for 391 yards. Quarterback Tevin Washington found the end zone twice, and after running up a 28-3 halftime lead, the Yellow Jackets spent their time working the clock.
BC had the ball for all of six-plus minutes in the second half.
After averaging 416.6 yards of total offense in their first five games, this was BC’s second straight week finishing below 300. Solving the problem has less to do with tinkering, Amidon said, and more to do with possessing the ball.
“I think what we’ve really got to do is look at how we’re able to move the ball,” he said. “It’s not like we’re not able to move the ball. That’s just what we’ve got to keep telling people. We have the ability to be a good offense, we’ve got to just fix things and do it instead of talking about it.”
In an entirely imperfect season, kicker Nate Freese is the only part of the BC football team that’s unblemished.
After missing six of 16 field goal attempts as a sophomore last season, he made corrections. As a result, he’s 10 for 10 on field goals this season, making a a 25-yarder on Saturday, and 19 for 19 on extra points.
He’s 5 for 5 from 20-29 yards, and 5 for 5 from 30-39, with a 39-yarder his longest.
“I’m pretty confident right now,” Freese said. “No matter how I’m doing or how I did this week in practice, I try to keep the same level head, because as a kicker you’re not going to do well, and if you are confident, you will.”
With Chris Pantale back on the field for a second straight week, quarterback Chase Rettig didn’t hesitate to look for the big tight end in the red zone, targeting him twice.
The first time, Rettig spotted Pantale in the middle of the end zone in the second quarter on third and 4 from the 8, but but safety Isaiah Johnson broke up the play.
“It was a play I should have made,” said Pantale.
Later, though, Rettig and Pantale connected on a 12-yard touchdown pass that pulled the Eagles within two scores with 13:02 remaining.
“It’s definitely nice to get him back,” Rettig said. “He’s a really hard worker, he deserves to be catching touchdowns, so hopefully that’s what we can get him back to doing. He’s a big target and he’s one of those guys you want to go to war with.”Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @julianbenbow.