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Boston College 33, Virginia Tech 31: Eagles Bowl Eligible For Second Straight Year

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It wasn't pretty. It wasn't necessarily good at times. But when the final horn sounded, Boston College had more points on the board than Virginia Tech. Let the good times roll.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Murphy took the snap, sprung up the middle, received a gorgeous block from Josh Bordner, and saw daylight.

Officially it was 57 yards, but he could've kept running straight to a bowl game.

By the time Murphy met Brad Bates in the back of the end zone, Boston College found themselves on top of Virginia Tech by a 33-24 count. In reality, it turned into the cushion the Eagles needed, and after surviving a touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter, Boston College had a 33-31 victory, their sixth victory, and bowl eligibility for the second consecutive season.

It wasn't without heart stopping moments, however. Virginia Tech took the opening drive 95 yards after misfiring on the first two official ball sets, first receiving a penalty that set them up on their own five, then burning a timeout before the game even played a single snap. They then went to work with a no-huddle offense that flummoxed Don Brown's defense, and in just three minutes time, the Hokies went up 7-0.

But BC settled down and went to work, working through the Hokies defense. After a shutout in the first quarter, the Eagles threatened down the end of the frame, carrying the possession over to the second period. They promptly scored when Tyler Murphy tossed an eight yard touchdown pass to Charlie Callinan. Joey Launceford tacked on the extra point (more on this later), and Eagles tied the score at 7-7.

A back-and-forth second quarter ensued with Virginia Tech grabbing a 10-7 lead before Myles Willis broke off the first major gain of the afternoon. He went 68 yards, outrunning the defense to give the Eagles their first lead of the game, 14-10. Virginia Tech drove the length of the field to take the lead before halftime, but as BC prepared for a potential fake field goal, they ended up blocking a kick before time expired.

The good times rolled into the third quarter as Murphy finally got free of the Hokies defense. Marcus Outlow ran for six yards on first down, setting up second down at the VT 44. Tyler Murphy broke off a 39 yard run, then threw a touchdown pass to Outlow two plays later to put BC up 20-10. Prepared to go up by 11, Launceford instead shanked the extra point.

The ensuing kickoff landed at the Hokies 10 yard line, but Deon Newsome failed to field the ball cleanly. Boston College's Matt Milano dove on the loose ball, taking over inside the red zone. The Eagles failed to punch the ball into the end zone, and Launceford converted a 19 yard field goal to give BC a 13 point lead.

Feeling good to start the fourth, Virginia Tech quickly forced the panic button into loud alarm mode, scoring right away by going 67 yards in 11 plays. After being sacked by Malachi Moore, Tech quarterback Michael Brewer completed a 33 yard pass to the BC 10 yard line, then completed a touchdown pass to Willie Byrn to bring Virginia Tech within six.

The Hokies then did again on their next drive, forcing BC to punt, then going 75 yards in 11 plays and three minutes. Twice Brewer went to the air for considerable gains, including a 33 yard pass to Isaiah Ford and a 17 yard pass to the BC seven yard line that was completed to fullback Sam Rogers. He threw to Bucky Hodges for six on third down, and Joey Slye's extra point gave the Hokies a 24-23 lead.

The Eagles would put themselves in field goal position on their next drive after Murphy completed a 25 yard pass to Josh Bordner. But after three Outlow runs only produced eight yards, BC faced a difficult challenge - go for a fourth down conversion or place trust in a floundering kicking game. Steve Addazio chose to kick with the wind at the offense's back, and Alex Howell booted a line drive over the cross bar and between the uprights to put BC back on top by two.

Virginia Tech then went three and out, giving the ball back to BC and setting up Murphy's run for the roses.

The Hokies did score a 2:31 touchdown drive on nine plays, but the ensuing onside kick was recovered by Tyler Rouse as Mitchell Ludwig popped it up over the first line of the hands team.

For the Eagles, Muprhy went 8-for-15 for 110 yards and two touchdowns (more importantly, no interceptions), adding 122 yards on the ground on 18 carries. The 122 yards gives Murphy just under 1,000 for the season, and his total eclipsed Doug Flutie's career rushing record. What's amazing about the record is that Murphy, in nine games, broke a record for career rushing that it took Flutie, the only Heisman Trophy winner in BC history, three years to amass.

Myles Willis added 79 yards on six carries, and Outlow went for 27 yards on 10 carries. Sherm Alston had 26 yards on three carries, though he was shaken up after one of his runs. Jon Hilliman had six yards on eight carries, seeing limited action in the second half.

As for the Hokies, Brewer was 31-for-48 with 345 yards and two scores, but the entire Virginia Tech team managed only 69 yards (32 from Marshawn Williams).

With the win, Boston College is now 6-3 on the season, bowl eligible for the second straight season. They are also 3-2 in ACC play, which while they cannot win the Atlantic Division, puts them in position to control their own destiny for a top tier bowl game. The ACC Champion is contractually bound to the Orange Bowl (or the College Football Playoff if they're voted in), while the second place team is bound to the Russell Athletic Bowl. BC more than likely could fall in the "Tier Two" bowl games, which include the Gator Bowl, Music City Bowl, Sun Bowl, Belk Bowl, and the Pinstripe Bowl.

Selections are expected to be based on geography, which puts the Eagles on a bee-line potentially for New York City.

Virginia Tech, meanwhile, falls to 4-5, 1-4 in the ACC. The Hokies remain in last place in the Coastal Division. With games left against Duke, Wake Forest, and Virginia, they'll have to win at least one "upset" game this year and avoid a major let down against the Demon Deacons to achieve bowl eligibility.

The Eagles return home next Saturday to host Louisville, while the Hokies are off before heading to Duke on November 15th.