Castellanos runs for two TDs to lead resurgent Boston College past Georgia Tech
ATLANTA (AP) — Thomas Castellanos led an impressive Georgia homecoming for three key Boston College players and then proclaimed the Eagles are back as a team to be respected in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Castellanos ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns, including a 43-yard score on a fourth-down scamper in the fourth quarter, and resurgent Boston College beat Georgia Tech 38-23 on Saturday.
Boston College (4-3, 2-2 ACC) has won three straight following a 1-3 start.
“I will say this, we’re turning this thing around,” Castellanos said. “Boston College football is back. We’re no longer the laughing stock of the ACC. We’ve got this thing going.”
Boston College has matched its conference win totals of each of the last two seasons and topped its overall win total of 2022, when it finished 3-9.
The Eagles took control after trailing 23-17 through three quarters. Boston College ran for 153 of its 308 yards in the final quarter while outscoring Georgia Tech (3-4, 2-2) 21-0.
Georgia Tech coach Brent Key said the fourth-quarter turnaround was “a telltale sign of what the issues are.”
The Eagles led 24-23 before Castellanos skipped through the line on a fourth-and-1 run and beat Ahmari Harvey to the goal line, pushing the lead to eight points.
Amari Jackson’s 33-yard interception return for a touchdown gave Boston College its first lead.
Kye Robichaux ran for 165 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles.
Georgia Tech lost despite quarterback Haynes King running for 150 yards, including a 71-yard scoring run. King threw three interceptions, including two in the fourth quarter, while completing 14 of 32 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown.
“Untimely interceptions, and there’s too many of them,” Key said. “We can’t turn the ball over like that.”
Castellanos, from from Waycross, Georgia, had the upper hand in the matchup of dual-threat quarterbacks. Castellanos began the day tied for the nation's lead among quarterbacks with seven rushing touchdowns, including four in a 27-24 win over Army on Oct. 7. He had a 12-yard scoring run in the second quarter and completed 17 of 29 passes for 255 yards with an interception.
“It felt great, it felt like a home game for me,” Castellanos said.
Jackson, from McDonough, Georgia near Atlanta, stepped in front of Georgia Tech wide receiver Dominick Blaylock and caught the pass from Haynes King against his hip with his left hand before running down the sideline for the score and a 10-7 lead.
“To do it in front of my people, my family, it was amazing,” Jackson said.
Robichaux is from Columbus, Georgia.
“They all kind of ran up to see their families after the game,” said Boston College coach Jeff Hafley. “... That’s so awesome to see.”
Castellanos had four carries on a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive late in the first half. Castellanos ran for 11 yards on a fourth-and-1 play from the Georgia Tech 23 before scoring on a 12-yard run. The quarterback took one step back before cutting through the Yellow Jackets' defense on the touchdown run for a 17-10 halftime lead.
Boston College: With running back Pat Garwo held out with a leg injury, Robichaux, a Western Kentucky transfer, moved into a lead role with his big game. Robichaux helped put the game away with a 57-yard gain and 3-yard scoring run midway through the fourth quarter. “It was an emphasis we’ve been working on, finish games strong,” he said.
Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets ranked last in the ACC and 128th in the nation with their average of 214.3 yards rushing allowed per game but were not overwhelmed by the Eagles' ground game, which ranked second in the league, until late in the game. It was a disappointing finish for the defense after Andrew Thacker, who had been Georgia Tech’s defensive coordinator since 2019, was demoted on Oct. 1 following an embarrassing 38-27 loss to Bowling Green. Kevin Sherrer took over control of the defense.
Georgia Tech had two defensive backs, strong safety LaMiles Brooks and cornerback Kenan Johnson, leave the game on Boston College's long touchdown drive late in the first half. Johnson was escorted to the locker room with an apparent arm/shoulder injury.
It was the fourth straight ACC home loss for Georgia Tech, which fell to 5-12 in its last 16 home conference games. Tech hasn’t had a winning home record since 2018. The Yellow Jackets have alternated wins and losses this season, failing to win or lose consecutive games.
Boston College: Takes a break from its ACC schedule when it plays host to Connecticut next Saturday.
Georgia Tech: Hosts No. 10 North Carolina on Saturday, needing an upset to extend its two-game winning streak in the series.
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