After several close calls against teams with better records, the Boston College Eagles finally came out on top of a big game.
On Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium, the Eagles defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies, 34-27. The win snaps a five-game losing streak against the Hokies and gives the Eagles their first win in this series since 2008. Boston College improves to 4-4 (2-3) on the season with four games to play.
Boston College took a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter on an Andre Williams touchdown run, and Virginia Tech would get that score back late in the second on a Trey Edmunds run. Hokie kicker Cody Journell, who had to this point been very shaky, was in good form on Saturday as he ended the first half by making a 56-yard field goal to give the Hokies a 10-7 lead at the break.
In the third quarter, Boston College intercepted Logan Thomas in Virginia Tech territory and turned it into a short Nate Freese field goal, tying the game at 10-10. Virginia Tech followed that score with an 82-yard touchdown drive to retake the lead at 17-10, but then later in the third, a Kasim Edebali sack caused a fumble, recovered by Brian Mihalik at the VT 17. Boston College would then score a Jake Sinkovec touchdown and re-tie the game, 17-17.
The Eagles and Hokies traded field goals early in the fourth quarter, but the game’s turning point came with 7:00 left in regulation. Logan Thomas threw an interception to Kevin Pierre-Louis at the Hokie 33, returned all the way for a pick-six to give the Eagles a 27-20 lead. The Eagles would then go on to hold Virginia Tech on fourth down in plus territory, followed by a one-play Andre Williams drive of 62 yards to give Boston College a 34-20 lead with 4:46 to go. The Hokies added a late touchdown but the comeback was stopped short after a fumble with 1:24 left, their fourth turnover of the day.
Boston College was +4 in turnovers and led in time of possession with 31:45. Andre Williams personally dominated the football game, rushing for 166 yards and two touchdowns against what had been a very stingy Virginia Tech defense. The Hokies were doing everything right on that side of the ball until Saturday, and only the Alabama Crimson Tide scored more (35) on Virginia Tech this season. The turnovers deep in their own territory played a large role, but it does count for something.
Chase Rettig was called upon to do very little, throwing just 14 passes, but he did complete eleven of them and threw a touchdown to Sinkovec.
Boston College’s defense definitely had highs and lows, but the net result was good considering the turnovers and making them turn into significant points. Virginia Tech often had wide-open receivers for big plays, but it was the passes that Logan Thomas did not make that helped his team lose. Thomas was responsible for three of his team’s four turnovers. Additionally, the Hokies would take six penalties, some of which came at very inopportune times and stalled out some drives.
In the end, Boston College came away with their best win in years. Virginia Tech was unranked, but they were favored and they did have five in a row in the bank against the Eagles. This was certainly the Eagles’ most quality win of the season as they now have much more realistic odds of playing in a December bowl game.
Next week, the Eagles head to the desert to face the New Mexico State Aggies in Las Cruces, New Mexico.