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Boston College 31 Virginia Tech 21: Thumbs Up And Thumbs Down

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Who had strong games against the Hokies? Who didn’t?

NCAA Football: Boston College at Virginia Tech Lee Luther Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College won in comeback fashion yesterday in Blacksburg as they took down the Virginia Tech Hokies 31-21. In BC’s first victory in the series since 2014, BC definitely had their high and low points in the game. Let’s break down the highs and lows from the Eagles seventh victory of the season

THUMBS UP

Travis Levy: When AJ Dillon went down with an apparent head injury, it was the speedster Levy who stepped up and made all the difference for the Eagles. Finishing with 75 yards and two touchdowns, his elusiveness made all the difference for the Eagles. I loved Scot Loeffler’s choice of going with Levy over David Bailey and Ben Glines in this spot (Glines found another role which helped the team). Easily the MVP of the offense, Levy showed that he can add another wrinkle to this offense even when Dillon is down.

Isaiah McDuffie: One of the quietest stories of this year has to be the growth of linebacker Isaiah McDuffie. He led the Eagles in tackles yesterday with 13, and has really become quite the reliable defender. Great knack for the ball, good motor, and is quickly becoming the best linebacker the Eagles have.

Second half adjustments: When BC went into the locker room they were only down 14-7 but it felt like they were down by 40. They couldn’t do anything on offense, and the defense looked a lot like they did against Purdue. They were getting gashed by Steven Peoples on the ground, and Ryan Willis was effectively using screens and slants to rip apart BC’s aggressive defense. On the offensive side of the ball, BC looked lost. Anthony Brown looked completely frazzled, Dillon wasn’t effective and they couldn’t get plays that worked on any level. Fast forward to the second half, all of a sudden BC is running the ball effectively with Levy, Brown is getting manageable reads, and the defense has switched it’s defense to a different zone. This was all created by the coaching staff. Steve Addazio, Scot Loeffler and Jim Reid/Anthony Campanile adjusted, something we haven’t seen much of, and they did a masterful job at it. I think it was their adjustments to what VT was giving them that gave BC the win. Bravo coaching staff.

Colton Lichtenberg: I don’t know about you but I was nervous as hell when he went out there to kick what would be the icing on the cake 28 yard field goal. And what did he do? He freaking nailed it. High pressure situation, and the kid was like ice.

Brandon Sebastian: Was he perfect? No. But he had a handful of great plays, including an interception and a tackle that prevented VT from getting a big first down. I said it last week, but he is going to continue to grow and be a really good player in a year or so. One of the biggest knocks against Hamp Cheevers and Taj-Amir Torres is size, Sebastian is over six feet tall, he is going to be critical as we saw yesterday for those jump balls against good wide outs.

Playcalling on Final BC Drive: BC needs a first down to stem the VT momentum, they line up, everyone and their mother is expecting a run, and what do they do? Brown hits Tommy Sweeney for a 37 yard completion, icing the game in the process. That play call was gutsy, and I LOVED IT.

Korab Idrizi: Had two huge catches for the Eagles. Big game for the big tight end.

THUMBS DOWN

First Half Anthony Brown: There are moments when you look at a QB and watch his play and say “He doesn’t have it tonight”. The first half of that game was a prime example. Brown fumbled at least three hand offs, tripped and fell on a huge third down, and was not accurate at all in his throws. But did Addazio remove him? No, he stuck with the sophomore, who went back out and totally redeemed himself in the second half. What worries me is that he can’t have a “first half” like this one against Clemson. The Tigers defense is ruthless, and BC will be in big trouble.

AJ Dillon’s Health: The announcers made it seem like he had a head injury that he sustained in the third quarter. His status is going to be huge against Clemson.

Aimless First Half: BC got lucky that Virginia Tech kept shooting themselves in the foot that first half. Ryan Willis was playing a near perfect game, and somehow they were only able to muster up 14 points. BC’s offense looked completely lost. BC can not afford to have a half like this against Clemson, or they will be down by a lot quickly. They have to come out of the tunnel clicking, not waiting a half to figure out how to run their offense.