Boston College was soundly defeated in Blacksburg by a score of 40-14. Virginia Tech had a very impressive performance, particularly on the ground. The Eagles had no answer for the running prowess of quarterback Hendon Hooker and the ghost-of-Kansas-past, Khalil Herbert. The duo combined for over 300 yards on the ground. Hooker added three touchdowns on the ground to go with one passing touchdown.
The biggest storyline has to be the self-inflicted wounds committed by the Eagles, however. Entering the game with only three turnovers through the first four games, the Eagles turned the ball over five times (plus one on downs) in the game, including three in the first half. Three fumbles and two interceptions are never going to get the job done. Virginia Tech scored four times off of those five turnovers, with additional 70 yards worth of penalties spelling doom for the Eagles.
The first fumble of the game came after a promising start in the first drive of the game. Pat Garwo coughed up what would be his only carry of the game. Virginia Tech would turn around and miss a field goal, only for Phil Jurkovec to fumble on the very next possession. The Hokies would convert the field goal try this time around.
BC looked to shake off those two early errors with a beautiful drive that ended in a Jaelen Gill catch and run score to take the lead. Virginia Tech, however, would immediately answer that score, and an interception on the Eagles’ next possession meant seven more for the Hokies.
Coming out of the half fortunate only to be trailing 17-7, BC looked to have devised some some key adjustments. They forced a quick three and out, and Hunter Long had a powerful touchdown catch and run. But from there it was all Tech. After the ensuing Virginia Tech touchdown, a poor Levy fumble deep in Eagle territory culminated in another Tech field goal. A quick three and out for the Eagles this time, and Tech quickly marched down the field for a score. BC put together another solid drive, but again turned the ball over, this time on on downs at the Virginia Tech 14 yard line. An errant throw by Jurkovec followed by incomplete pass put that drive to rest. The Eagle defense actually forced another punt, but eventually a forced throw to Long ricocheted into another interception. Hooker the capped off a great performance with another rushing touchdown.
Jurkovec had as high variance of a day as one could have, finishing 28/51 for 345 yards. He had some very impressive throws sprinkled throughout the contest, but way more mistakes than we’re accustomed. In the end, he forced too many throws as the game wore on, and showed clear frustration as the game progressed.
Jaelen Gill broke onto the stat sheet and was probably the one bright spot of the day, coming down with a number of big catches. He ended with 6 receptions, 104 yards. and a touchdown. David Bailey was able to get going on the ground very early in the game, but finished with only 41 yards on 10 carries. As the game progressed and the Eagles fell behind, Travis Levy began handling the ball to no avail.
The team defense was exposed in this game. They were much too slow and still had issues with tackling. Hooker and Herbert consistently broke tackles and BC couldn’t adjust well enough to the quarterback design run plays. The defensive strategy felt right, but the execution fell short. The defense allowed over eight yards per carry, and a total of 350 yards on the ground. Hooker only had to throw for 111 yards given how effective the team was rushing.
The Hokies improve to 3-1, while the Eagles fall to 3-2 and are on to Georgia Tech next weekend.