When the Hokies started the game against the Boston College Eagles, they needed two more wins to become bowl eligible. Leaving Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the Hokies still need two wins. Virginia Tech fell to the Eagles 33-31 after what can be described as a very up and down performance.
The Hokies started the game off with a very impressive drive down the field running the ball effectively and the passing game making positive plays down the field. Marshawn Williams capped off the drive with a tough run up the middle to the end zone. However, for the next two and a half quarters, the Hokies were out played and looked like the team fans have seen the past two games.
The Boston College Eagles took a page out of Frank Beamer’s book and used special teams to keep the Hokies backed up in horrible field position as well as blocking a field goal at the end of the half to kill any Hokie momentum. The most effective player for the Eagles was their punter, Alex Howell, as he was able to flip the field and pin the Hokies deep on more than one occasion.
The poor field position limited the Hokie offense. Michael Brewer played well for the most part going 31-48 for 345 yards and two touchdowns. However, there was not a rushing game to accompany the passing efforts. The Hokies only managed 69 yards on the ground. The front seven of the Eagles were as advertised, plugging up all the running lanes and gang tackling the ball carrier.
The rushing attack was not a problem for the Eagles as they gained a 258 yards on 47 carries. The defense stopped many runs for a loss or no gain, but it was the rushes they did not stop which doomed the Hokies. Tyler Murphy led the way on the ground with 122 yards, most of which came on a back breaking run in the fourth quarter to put the Eagles up for good. The big play has been a problem all year for a young but talented Hokie defense.
The Hokies woke up in the fourth quarter and decided to play like the team fans are accustomed to seeing. Michael Brewer led the Hokies down the field for back to back scores. The first scoring drive was aided by a fake punt, where Derek DiNardo took the snap and rumbled for 30 yards, which was the longest run by the Hokies all day long.
The defense stepped up and got two key stops with Andrew Motuapuaka and Deon Clarke flying all over the field making big tackles. Michael Brewer found Bucky Hodges with a pass and Hodges fought his way into the end zone for a go ahead score 24-23. The Eagles responded with a drive ending in a field goal to take the lead for good.
After a three and out and a poor punt by the Hokies, Tyler Murphy ran up the middle for 57 yards to the end zone and perhaps put the coffin nail in Virginia Tech’s bowl appearance streak. Brewer did lead the offense down the field for a late touchdown to bring the game within two points but a failed onside kick ended the comeback.
The Hokies lost their 5th game of the season and their third straight. The loss gives the Hokies four losses at home which is a definite concern for the Hokie Nation. The Hokies have their second bye next week to hopefully get players healthy and figure out a plan of attack for the final three games.
If the Hokies are to return to a bowl game the game plan will need to change and the execution will need to be better. Otherwise, the streak might end and a career of a coaching legend might come to an end as well.