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|TSLMail #352- October 17, 2008||
VT Hokie News
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Boston College a Thorn in Hokies' Side Since 2003
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com
If there's one team out there that has had success against Virginia Tech in recent years, it's Boston College. The Hokies and Eagles have squared off five times since 2003, with BC winning three of the meetings. This week, we'll take a look back at all five meetings.
In 2003, Virginia Tech met Boston College on Senior Day in Lane Stadium. The Hokies were playing their final Big East football game, and were in the middle of a typical late season slide that Tech fans had grown used to during the 2001 and 2002 seasons. Tech also had a quarterback controversy, and that arguably cost the Hokies the game against BC.
Virginia Tech came out firing on all cylinders offensively, jumping out to a 17-10 lead. Kevin Jones was playing brilliantly in the backfield, and he went on to finish with 222 yards of total offense. With Bryan Randall at quarterback, Tech racked up 10 first downs and 238 yards of total offense in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Frank Beamer put in Marcus Vick at quarterback, and that's when things started to come apart. The Hokies picked up just two first downs in the second and third quarters combined. With Randall back at quarterback in the fourth quarter, the Hokies managed to come back and take a 27-24 lead. However, BC scored the last 10 points of the game and won 34-27.
The teams didn't meet again until 2005. The Hokies joined the ACC in 2004, but BC was stuck in the Big East for one more season. In 2005, as members of the ACC, BC traveled to Virginia Tech for a Thursday night game. It was a huge game, with the Hokies ranked #3 nationally and the Eagles coming in at #14.
Virginia Tech racked up 492 yards of total offense, with 212 coming on the ground and 280 on the arm of Marcus Vick. Vick was phenomenal, completing 22-of-28 passes for 280 yards, with a touchdown. He also had 52 yards rushing on 13 carries. Along with the 2005 WVU game, it was arguably the best game of his bittersweet Virginia Tech career.
BC hung tough, but a 13 yard interception return for a touchdown by Vince Hall with 3:16 remaining in the game clinched it for the Hokies. That big win set up the Saturday night showdown with Miami, a game which didn't quite turn out the way Tech fans envisioned.
The teams met again in 2006 in a game that Virginia Tech fans would like to forget. The Eagles thrashed the Hokies 22-3. The Tech defense played well, but the offense fell apart. Arguments between players broke out on the sidelines, and Brendan Hill danced his way to infamy to the tune of "Sweet Caroline."
Virginia Tech's offense totaled just 181 yards and gained just 21 yards against BC in the second half. 21 yards is a number that is hard to believe. B.J. Raji and Ron Brace (remember those names, you'll hear them again on Saturday night) dominated the Tech interior offensive line. The inside running game was shut down, and Sean Glennon had no time to work from the pocket.
The most famous meeting between the two teams came last year, on a Thursday night in Blacksburg. BC was undefeated and ranked #2 in the nation. The Hokies were #9. This was the biggest game in Lane Stadium since the Miami game in 2005. A pouring rain made playing conditions terrible, and Tech fans loved every minute of it. Well, almost every minute.
Bud Foster came out with arguably the best game plan of his career, which says quite a bit. The BC offense was completely dominated, until the last moments of the game. The Hokies led 10-0, but Matt Ryan threw two touchdown passes in the final 2:11 of the game to give the Eagles a 14-10 victory.
It's a loss that still hurts to this day, but the Hokies aren't the only team whose hearts have been crushed by Matt Ryan in the final moments. As the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, he came up with a miracle play in the final moments to give Atlanta a win over the Chicago Bears this past Sunday.
Virginia Tech did get revenge for that Thursday night loss. The Hokies and Eagles faced off in the ACC Championship Game, with Tech coming out on top 30-16. Boston College jumped up 16-7, but the momentum turned when Brandon Flowers returned a blocked extra point for a two-point conversion to make the score 16-9. The Hokies then scored a touchdown right before halftime to tie the game.
Tech's defense started out shaky in that game, but they buckled down. Matt Ryan scored a touchdown with 5:35 remaining in the second quarter, but the Eagles were held scoreless for the remainder of the game. Xavier Adibi ended things with a 40 yard interception return with 11 seconds remaining. It was a fitting ending, because Matt Ryan's winning touchdown pass in Lane Stadium came with exactly 11 seconds left in the game.
BC is steadily developing into a good rivalry for the Hokies. Not because they are geographically close, and not because of a rabid fan base. It's a rivalry because they have enjoyed some measure of success against Virginia Tech. The Hokies don't play West Virginia anymore, so that rivalry is in hibernation. UVA can't seem to come close to knocking off the Hokies, and Miami is currently in dead last in the ACC.
With Tech's traditional rivals struggling, Boston College has been there to pick up the slack. There is also some measure of resentment from Tech fans for BC coach Jeff Jagodzinski for the dance he performed on the Worsham Field turf last season after Matt Ryan's winning touchdown pass.
A new chapter of this
rivalry will be written tomorrow night in Chestnut Hill. It should be every bit
as entertaining as previous games.
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