Hokies Contain Ryan, Win the ACC Championship

Boston College (11)...  7  9  0  0 - 16
Virginia Tech (6)....   0 16  0 14 - 30

Scoring Summary:

1st Quarter
04:10 BC - Silva 51 yd fumble recovery (Aponavicius)

2nd Quarter
11:33 BC - Aponavicius 37 yd FG
08:30 VT - Morgan 5 yd pass from Glennon (Dunlevy)
05:35 BC - Ryan 14 yd run (PAT blocked)
05:35 VT - Flowers PAT return for 2 points
00:43 VT - Hyman 13 yd pass from Glennon (Dunlevy)

4th Quarter
07:12 VT - Royal 24 yd pass from Glennon (Dunlevy)
00:11 VT - Adibi 40 yd INT return (Dunlevy)

This time there was no miracle comeback. #6 Virginia Tech shut out #11 Boston College and Matt Ryan in the second half and came through with a 30-16 victory in the ACC Championship Game. The Hokies have won the ACC for the second time in their first four years in the conference, and are now heading to the Orange Bowl. They also improved to 11-2 on the season, the fourth time they’ve won 11 games in the Beamer Bowl Era, and the second time in the past three years.

Although the game didn’t look good early for Tech, the Hokies stayed the course. Tech scored on offense, defense and special teams. Brandon Flowers returned a blocked extra point for two points in the first half. The extra point would have given BC a 17-7 lead, but instead Flowers’ score made it 16-9, and the Hokies were within a touchdown.

Sean Glennon hit Josh Hyman for a touchdown late in the second quarter, and the game was tied at 16 going into halftime. There was no scoring in the third quarter, but Glennon hit Eddie Royal on a 24 yard touchdown pass with 7:12 left in the game to put the Hokies up 23-16. A 40 yard interception return for a touchdown with 11 seconds remaining in the game by Xavier Adibi sealed the deal. Adibi’s touchdown was sweet revenge for the Hokies, as Matt Ryan hit Andre Callender for the game winning touchdown in Blacksburg with exactly 11 seconds left.

Sean Glennon was Tech’s MVP. The redshirt-junior quarterback was 18-of-27 for 174 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception. For the season, he has thrown 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

The Hokies got solid production from their receivers. Eddie Royal had four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown, while Josh Morgan added 8 catches for 55 yards and a touchdown. Hyman’s touchdown was his first since his freshman season in 2004.

Matt Ryan threw for 305 yards, but it took him 52 attempts to reach that mark. He was 33-of-52 on the day, with no touchdowns and two interceptions. He did have one rushing touchdown.

Perhaps the key stat of the game was third down conversions. Virginia Tech was 9-of-16 on third downs, while BC was just 5-of-16. The Eagles were just 1-of-4 on fourth down conversions.

The Hokies have now outscored opponents 61-0 in the fourth quarter since losing to BC in the final moments on October 25.

Things were not looking good early in this game. Tech’s defense couldn’t stop Matt Ryan, but their special teams were able to keep the team in the game by making a couple of big plays.

The first big special teams play came on the first drive of the game. Matt Ryan moved the Eagles down field pretty easily. BC picked up five first downs on the drive, although they were eventually stopped at the Tech 18. Steve Aponavicius came on for the field goal, but Duane Brown got his hand up and blocked it. Orion Martin caught the ball in mid air for Tech and returned it to the VT 37.

Tech’s offense came on the field and promptly went three and out, and Matt Ryan took over again. He sharply moved the BC offense down the field against the Hokie defense. Tech was having no success stopping him. The Eagles faced a fourth and six from the VT 28, and instead of attempting another field goal, BC elected to go for it. This time the pass was incomplete, and the Hokies took over on downs.

Tyrod Taylor came into the game at that point, and the Tech offense showed a few signs of life. They moved the ball across midfield to the BC 48, and called an option play to the right side. Taylor was met by two BC defenders, and All-ACC safety Jamie Silva took the ball right out of Taylor’s hands and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown. Now up 7-0 with 4:10 left in the first quarter, all the momentum was in BC’s favor.

Tech’s offense didn’t help things on their next drive. They went three and out again. BC took over, and Matt Ryan led his offense down the field on a 16 play drive, picking up another five first downs. However, the drive stalled at the Tech 20, and the Eagles settled for a 37 yard field goal. The score was 10-0 BC with 11:33 left in the second quarter.

Virginia Tech finally got on the scoreboard on an eight play, 77 yard touchdown drive. The drive was aided by a key pass interference penalty on Jamie Silva. Sean Glennon capped the drive with a five yard touchdown pass to Josh Morgan in the left corner of the end zone. That made the score 10-7 BC with 8:30 left in the second quarter.

Tech had a little momentum, but the Eagles and Matt Ryan promptly took it right back. They drove 74 yards for their first and only offensive touchdown of the game. They picked up six first downs on the drive, methodically moving the ball down the field. Matt Ryan capped the drive with a 14 yard scramble up the middle, and it looked like BC was going up by 10 points.

However Duane Brown blocked the extra point attempt, and Brandon Flowers picked it up and ran it back for a defensive PAT. That gave the Hokies two points, and they trailed just 16-9. They were getting thoroughly outplayed, but they were within a touchdown.

They used that to their advantage right before the half. With 2:20 remaining in the half, the Tech offense took over on their own 20. Sean Glennon briskly moved the Hokies down the field with precision. It was easily the most impressive offensive drive of the game for Tech up to that point. Glennon completed 6-of-7 passes on the drive.

Facing third and seven from the BC 13, Glennon escaped pressure and rolled to his right, running towards the line of scrimmage at an angle. Just before he ran past the line, he fired a pass over the middle to Josh Hyman, who made a defender miss and scored a touchdown with 43 seconds left in the half. The Hokies tied the game at 16 with the extra point, and the game was even at halftime.

Neither team could get anything accomplished in the third quarter. In fact, neither team team could do anything offensively in the second half, with the exception of Virginia Tech’s lone scoring drive. Boston College picked up 18 first downs in the first half, but Bud Foster made adjustments at halftime. The Eagles had just four first downs in the second half of play.

The winning drive of the game began with 10:36 remaining, and it began on Tech’s own 16. Tyrod Taylor and Sean Glennon both played big roles in the drive. Taylor got the drive started with a 31 yard run on a quarterback draw that moved the ball out to the VT 31. Branden Ore later had runs of 9 and 14 yards, his most impressive looking carries of the game.

Facing third and 13 from the BC 24, VT went to the play that got them a touchdown late against UVA. Eddie Royal lined up in the slot on the left side and ran a corner post against free safety Jamie Silva. Glennon pump faked to the left side, and Silva bit slightly. Then Glennon fired the post pattern, and Royal hauled it in at the goal line for a touchdown. The extra point put Tech up 23-16 with 7:12 remaining.

The Hokies had the lead, but with Matt Ryan, the game was still very much in doubt. Ryan promptly moved BC down the field on their next drive. The Eagles picked up three of their four second half first downs on this drive. However, they stalled at the Tech 13, where BC faced fourth and four.

On fourth down, Matt Ryan faced pressure and scrambled to his left. He threw back across his body as he was moving away from the line of scrimmage, and the pass was under thrown and intercepted by Vince Hall, who was tackled at the Tech 10.

The play was very similar to the winning touchdown pass by Ryan against the Hokies in Blacksburg. As Ryan rolled to his left, Vince Hall moved in slightly towards the line and to the right of the Hokie defense. He stayed in the middle of the field, but he was shadowing Ryan. A BC receiver came free in the end zone in the exact area Hall vacated. However, this time Ryan was not throwing while moving forward, and he didn’t have enough juice on the pass.

The Tech offense failed to pick up a first down, and BC had one last chance, taking over at their own 35 with 34 seconds left. Facing third down, Ryan was pressured up the middle by Barry Booker. Booker deflected Ryan’s pass, and it wobbled into the waiting arms of Xavier Adibi, who returned the interception 40 yards for a touchdown with 11 seconds left on the clock. With the score 30-16, BC had no chance of coming back.

Virginia Tech is expected to be selected to the Orange Bowl, although losses by #1 Missouri and #2 West Virginia have thrown a wrench into the BCS. #3 Ohio State is expected to jump to #1, but it’s unclear who they will face. Georgia sits at #4, with Kansas at #5 and Virginia Tech at #6. Georgia and Kansas did not win their conference, so there is an argument to be made that the Hokies should be playing for the National Championship against Ohio State.

However, LSU finished 11-2 just like Virginia Tech, and since they won the SEC Championship yesterday, there appears to be a good chance that they could leapfrog those teams ahead of them and play for the National Title. We’ll find out Tech’s destination tonight at 8pm on the Bowl Selection Show on Fox.


                          VT         BC
                        ----        ----
First downs               22          24
Rushed-yards           36-98       25-84
Passing yards            202         305
Sacked-yards lost       4-26         1-6
Return yards              41          88
Passes               21-33-1     33-52-2
Punts                 7-46.3      4-39.8
Fumbles-lost             1-1         0-0
Penalties-yards         7-46        5-49
Time of possession     26:13       33:47
Att: 53,212


RUSHING-VT, Ore 19-55, Taylor 9-36, 
Lewis 1-7, Glennon 7-0. BC, Callender 15-51, 
Ryan 6-35, Whitworth 1-1.

PASSING-VT, Glennon 18-27-174-1.
Taylor 3-6-28. BC, Ryan 33-52-305-2.

RECEIVING-VT, Morgan 8-55, Royal 4-63
Hyman 3-30, Ore 3-15, Harper 2-22, Boone 1-17.
BC, Callender 13-92, Challenger 4-45, Gunnell 4-44
Robinson 3-54, Megwa 3-27, Whitworth 3-16
Purvis 2-14, Jarvis 1-13.