Shutdown Defense Leads Virginia Tech Hokies to 26-10 Win Over Boston College Eagles
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Shutdown Defense Leads Virginia Tech Hokies to 26-10 Win Over Boston College Eagles

Behind a stellar defensive performance, Virginia Tech knocked off Boston College, 26-10.

Liam OBrien

If the Boston College Eagles (3-6, 0-6 ACC) hope to salvage their season, offensive improvements must be implemented. 

Gaining just 80 yards in a porous first half, the Eagles fell behind 20-0 at the halftime break, leading to a 26-10 home drubbing at the hands of the Virginia Tech Hokies (4-5, 2-3 ACC). 

After taking a sack on the Eagles' first possession, starting quarterback Troy Flutie was relieved in favor of true freshman John Fadule, who appeared fazed under the pressure of the Hokies formidable defense in his first collegiate appearance, completing just eight of his 20 passes for 143 yards and an interception. 

Despite struggling to move the ball in the second half, Virginia Tech racked up the points in the first half to build a commanding advantage. Quarterback Michael Brewer finished 15-of-21 with 180 yards, a touchdown, and an interception, hitting favorite target Cam Phillips on six occasions for 87 yards and a touchdown. 

The Hokies also relied on their running game, feeding running back Travon McMillian 33 times for 105 yards. 

Boston College's rushing attack struggled as a unit, with the team rushing 35 times for a combined 75 yards. Fadule lead the squad with 53 yards on 15 rushes. Running back Tyler Rouse let the team in receiving, snagging two catches for 53 yards. 

After sputtering out on their opening drive of the game, the Hokies capitalized on their second possession, with Brewer hitting Phillips for a 27-yard touchdown to complete a four-play, 47-yard scoring drive. 

Following a Boston College punt, Virginia Tech then drove 35 yards in eight plays, setting up a 47-yard field goal by kicker Josh Slye to garner a 10-0 advantage with 1:13 left in the first quarter. 

After forcing yet another Eagles punt, the Hokies punted from their own 48-yard line, taking over possession at the BC five-yard line after Boston College punt returner Taj-Amir Torres fumbled the punt.

An interception by Eagles cornerback John Johnson followed to halt the Virginia Tech momentum, however, after a defensive pass interference call on Boston College's first play of their subsequent drive, running back Jordan Gowins proceeded to fumble at the BC 34-yard line. 

The Hokies' Andrew Motuapuaka scooped up the loose ball and returned it into the end zone, concluding the unhinged sequence by putting his team up 17-0 early in the second quarter. 

Virginia Tech finished off the first half with a picturesque two-minute possession. Taking over at their own 25-yard line with 1:59 remaining in the half, the Hokies drove 55 yards in nine plays to set up Slye with a 38-yarder as time expired, heading into halftime with a 20-0 lead. 

That advantage then grew to 23-0 midway through the third quarter, as, following a three-and-out, Eagles punter Alex Howell's punt was returned by the Hokies' Greg Stroman for 31 yards down to the BC 22-yard line, setting up a 32-yard field goal by Slye. 

Boston College responded with their first successful drive of the afternoon, traveling 59 yards in 11 plays to set up a 29-yarder by kicker Mike Knoll, cutting the deficit to 23-3 with 3:26 remaining in the third quarter. 

A six-play, 76-yard drive, concluding in a three-yard touchdown rush by running back Richard Wilson, narrowed the gap to 23-10 with 8:09 left. However, a fumble by Fadule at the BC 22-yard line on the Eagles subsequent possession provided Slye with his fourth converted field goal opportunity of the game, a 32-yarder with 1:21 remaining to provide the Hokies with a deciding 26-10 lead.