Boston College (2)... 0 0 0 14 - 14 Virginia Tech (8).... 0 7 3 0 - 10 Scoring Summary: 2nd Quarter 10:31 VT - Royal 8 yd pass from Glennon (Dunlevy) 3rd Quarter 05:33 VT - Dunlevy 44 yd FG 4th Quarter 02:11 BC - Gunnell 16 yd pass from Ryan (Aponavicius) 00:11 BC - Callender 24 yd pass from Ryan (Aponavicius)
#8 Virginia Tech suffered a heartbreaking loss to #2 Boston College on Thursday night, falling 14-10 on a Matt Ryan touchdown pass with 11 seconds remaining in the game. The Eagles scored both of their touchdowns in the final 2:11 of the game, with Ryan leading the comeback. The Hokies fell to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the ACC with the loss. BC remains undefeated.
Virginia Tech was finally able to get something going on the ground. Branden Ore had 20 carries for 97 yards, a 4.8 yards per carry average. It was his best game of the year, in both yardage and performance level. Ore looked closer to being the player he was last year, when he was First Team All-ACC.
Sean Glennon took every snap at quarterback for the Hokies. He was 15-of-25 for 149 yards, with one touchdown pass and no interceptions. Until the final two BC drives of the game, Glennon was out-dueling Matt Ryan. Overall he played well, and he also managed to make some plays with his feet, rushing for 23 yards.
Glennon’s favorite target was his former high school teammate, Eddie Royal. Royal had four catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. Greg Boone added three catches for 30 yards, while Justin Harper had three catches for 17 yards.
Bud Foster’s defense was amazing, until those last two drives of the game. Tech limited Boston College to 317 yards of total offense, 158 of which came in the final two drives. The Eagles rushed for just 32 yards on the night.
Xavier Adibi led the defense with nine tackles. Sophomore rover Kam Chancellor added six tackles, and also forced a fumble and broke up two passes. The Hokies forced three Boston College fumbles, but couldn’t recover any of them.
The Hokies had three sacks and numerous hurries on Matt Ryan. Chris Ellis continued his excellent play with 1.5 sacks, pushing his season total to 6.5. That’s the highest sack total of his career. Ellis also had four quarterback hurries. Orion Martin added a sack, and Barry Booker had 0.5.
Virginia Tech intercepted Matt Ryan twice, both in the second half. Cornerback Brandon Flowers and free safety D.J. Parker each had an interception.
The first quarter was nothing more than a punting competition between Virginia Tech’s Brent Bowden and BC’s Johnny Ayers. The Eagles won the field position battle in the first 15 minutes of the game. They pinned the Hokies at their own one yard line once, and later pinned them at their nine. However, BC couldn’t take advantage by scoring any points.
The only scoring drive of the first half began late in the first quarter and ended with a touchdown in the second quarter. It was Virginia Tech’s most impressive offensive drive of the season. Virginia Tech moved the ball 91 yards on 16 plays, and took 7:13 off the clock.
Sean Glennon converted some critical third downs on the drive. On third and seven from the Tech 27, Glennon found Eddie Royal for a 21 yard gain. Later in the drive the Hokies faced a third and 10 from their own 48, and Glennon scrambled to pick up 12 yards and a first down.
The Hokies finally punched it in from eight yards out, and it was again Glennon converting on third down. He bought some time by moving to his right, and then found Eddie Royal for an eight yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone. With 10:31 remaining in the second quarter, the Hokies led 7-0.
Boston College threatened later in the quarter. The Eagles drove from their own 30 to the Tech 29. Facing third and eight from the 29, Matt Ryan dropped back to pass, but he was sacked by Orion Martin. Ryan fumbled, but BC recovered. However, the loss of 13 yards on the play knocked the Eagles out of field goal range, and the Hokies went into the halftime intermission leading 7-0.
The Hokies extended their lead in the third quarter. Starting at their own 18 yard line with 8:47 left in the quarter, the Hokies went deep, with Sean Glennon hooking up with Eddie Royal for a 41 yard gain to the BC 41. However, the drive later stalled. On third and seven from the BC 33, Glennon hit Justin Harper for a six yard gain, one yard short of the first down. Jud Dunlevy came on and nailed a 44 yard field goal to make the score 10-0 Hokies with 5:33 left in the third quarter.
A critical play took place late in the third quarter. BC was punting on fourth and 31 out of the back of their own end zone. Dustin Pickle came free up the middle, but was flagged for a roughing the kicker penalty, which gave BC the automatic first down. BC eventually moved the ball to their own 37 before punting. Had Pickle not been flagged, the Hokies would have started their drive at the 50 yard line, rather than their own 33. BC didn’t score off the miscue, but Tech missed a possible opportunity.
With 6:05 left in the game, it was crunch time. BC took over on their own 19, and Matt Ryan promptly threw an interception to D.J. Parker on the first play of the drive. The Hokies had the ball at the BC 31 yard line late in the game, leading 10-0 on a Thursday night in Lane Stadium. Things were looking good.
However, Tech’s offense couldn’t put any points on the board. Two runs by Kenny Lewis netted just two yards, and Sean Glennon’s third down pass to Eddie Royal fell incomplete. The runs by Lewis were his only carries of the game, and he had seen little action the entire night up to that point. The Hokies could have gone for the field goal, but Frank Beamer elected to pooch punt. Jud Dunlevy lined up to kick the field goal, but took the direct snap and punted the ball short, and it was downed at the BC 8.
The Eagles took over with 4:16 remaining in the game, and Matt Ryan finally put his team on his back. He began the drive with completions of 22, 23 and 20 yards, and eventually drove BC to Tech’s 16. Facing third and 10 from the 16, Ryan found Rich Gunnell in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. The extra point made the score 10-7 with 2:11 left in the game.
Matt Ryan did an excellent job on that drive of not taking a sack. Chris Ellis is credited with three quarterback hurries during the drive. Although all three of Ellis’ hurries resulted in incompletions, they did not result in any sacks and a loss of field position by BC.
BC naturally went for the onside kick, and they kicked the ball hard, directly at Josh Morgan. Morgan moved forward to field the ball, but it bounced off of him towards the oncoming BC players. The Eagles’ Tyronne Pruitt fell on the ball at the BC 34. Matt Ryan had the ball back with a chance to win the game.
BC drove to Virginia Tech’s 14 yard line, where they faced second and 10. Matt Ryan hit Rich Gunnell for a touchdown, but the play was called back because of an obvious hold on left tackle Gosder Cherilus. It was second and 20 from the 24, and Ryan’s next pass fell incomplete.
On third and 20 from the Tech 24, Ryan dropped back to pass and faced pressure from several Tech defenders. However, he managed to avoid the rush and hit tailback Andre Callender with a perfectly thrown pass over the Tech defense for a touchdown. The extra point gave BC a 14-10 lead with just 11 seconds remaining.
The Hokies couldn’t get anything going in their last drive. On third down Glennon hit Josh Hyman for an 11 yard gain, who then flipped the ball to Eddie Royal on the hook and ladder. However, Royal was stopped after gaining just three yards, and the game ended.
Virginia Tech returns to action next Thursday night when they take on Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Coverage begins at 7:30, and the game will be televised by ESPN.
STATISTICS VT BC ---- ---- First downs 15 19 Rushed-yards 41-116 18-32 Passing yards 149 285 Sacked-yards lost 3-8 3-33 Return yards 40 58 Passes 15-25-0 25-53-2 Punts 9-37.3 9-45.6 Fumbles-lost 5-2 3-0 Penalties-yards 5-44 9-83 Time of possession 31:49 28:11 Att: 66,233 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING-VT, Ore 20-97, Glennon 14-23, Weatherford 1-3, Lewis 2-2, Morgan 2-1, Royal 1-0, Team 1-(-10) BC, Callender 7-29, Whitworth 7-25, Ryan 11-(-22). PASSING-VT, Glennon 15-25-149. BC, Ryan 25-52-285-2, Flutie 0-1. RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Royal 4-77, Boone 3-30, Harper 3-17, Hyman 2-17, Wheeler 1-5 Weatherford 1-3, Morgan 1-0. BC, Robinson 5-86 Callender 5-38, Challenger 4-60, Purvis 4-40 Gunnell 3-34, Loyte 2-8, Jarvis 1-14, Megwa 1-5.