2008 Football Game Recap: Hokies Fall in Boston 28-23

Virginia Tech (17)......  10  7  3  3 - 23
Boston College..........   7 21  0  0 - 28

Scoring Summary:

1st Quarter
13:09 VT - Brett Warren 36 INT return (Keys kick)
09:31 VT - Keys 30 yd FG
04:08 BC - Montel Harris 6 yd run (Aponavicius kick)

2nd Quarter
09:08 BC - Rich Gunnell 65 yd punt return (Aponavicius kick)
06:43 BC - Ifeanyi Momah 10 yd pass from Crane (Aponavicius kick)
01:39 VT - Victor Harris 55 yd INT return (Keys kick)
00:27 BC - James McCluskey 2 yd run (Aponavicius kick)

3rd Quarter
03:08 VT - Keys 45 yd FG

4th Quarter
06:32 VT - Keys 45 yd FG

Boston, MA – Virginia Tech scored two defensive touchdowns and was +4 in turnover margin on Saturday night against Boston College. However, that wasn’t enough in the end. The Eagles scored a special teams touchdown and kept the Tech offense out of the end zone in a 28-23 setback for the Hokies. The loss drops Virginia Tech to 5-2 on the season and 2-1 in ACC play.

Things looked good early in this game for Virginia Tech. BC’s first pass of the game was deflected by Macho Harris and intercepted by Brett Warren, who returned it 36 yards for a touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, Dustin Pickle nailed BC return man Jeff Smith, who fumbled, and the Hokies recovered. A 30 yard field goal from Dustin Keys made it 10-0.

It was a great start, but BC rallied back to take a 21-10 lead. Another interception return for a touchdown, this time by Macho Harris, made the score 21-17 with 1:39 left in the second quarter. However, the Eagles put together a quick drive and took a 28-17 lead into halftime.

In the second half, Virginia Tech’s defense made adjustments. They were hit for some big plays in the first half, but they held the Eagles to just 55 yards of total offense and no points in the final 30 minutes of the game. Despite that effort, the Hokies lost. The offense was ineffective, totaling just 240 yards for the game. The punt team also allowed a 65 yard return for a touchdown by Rich Gunnell.

Tyrod Taylor accounted for 200 of Virginia Tech’s 240 yards of offense. He was just 12-of-27 through the air for 90 yards, with an interception. He ran for 110 yards on 15 carries. Taylor made something out of nothing on numerous occasions when there was no one open down field. He had some throws he’d like to have back, but he also had a couple of critical drops by freshmen wide receivers Jarrett Boykin and Dyrell Roberts.

Tech’s traditional running game was dominated by a very good Boston College defensive front. Darren Evans gained just 27 yards on 17 carries, while Josh Oglesby had six carries for 13 yards. Combined, Virginia Tech’s tailbacks had 23 carries for 40 yards, which is less than two yards per carry.

Danny Coale led the Hokies in receiving with four catches for 28 yards. Jarrett Boykin had two receptions for 19 yards, and Josh Oglesby had two catches for six yards. No other Tech player caught more than one pass, and the Hokie tight ends did not record a single reception all night.

Boston College gained exactly 300 yards of total offense. They hit a few big plays on the Tech defense, but they handed many of those points right back by throwing two interceptions for touchdowns. The Hokies held BC to 82 yards rushing on 37 carries.

Linebacker Purnell Sturdivant led the Hokies with 13 tackles, and he also added two tackles for loss. Cam Martin four tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble. Brett Warren and Macho Harris each returned interceptions for touchdowns, and Kam Chancellor added his first interception of the year as well.

Virginia Tech also committed an uncharacteristic 10 penalties for 76 yards. Three of those penalties came on BC’s first touchdown drive of the game. Two offsides penalties gave the Eagles a free first down, as did a pass interference call on Stephan Virgil on a ball that was underthrown.

Time of possession was virtually equal. The Hokies had the ball for 29:45, while the Eagles held it for 30:15. Virginia Tech blocked a field goal, and BC partially blocked a punt. The special teams battle was pretty equal, with the notable exception of the Rich Gunnell punt return for a touchdown.


This game started as well as a Virginia Tech fan could hope. Facing third and one from their own 39, Boston College committed a false start, pushing them back to third and six. That was an obvious passing situation. Macho Harris knew it, and he jumped the route. He didn’t make the catch, but he deflected the quick slant into the air, where it fell into the waiting arms of Brett Warren.

The r-senior wasted no time in scooting up the sideline 36 yards for the touchdown. The extra point by Dustin Keys made it 7-0 Virginia Tech with 13:09 remaining in the first quarter.

Things got even better on the ensuing kickoff. Dustin Pickle put his helmet on the football, which was carried by Jeff Smith. The big hit knocked the ball loose, and Qullie Odom jumped on it for the Hokies at the BC 29. The Tech offense had great field position.

It seemed that the Hokies got stopped on their third and five play from the BC 24, but a yellow flag came out and BC cornerback Kevin Akins was called for a questionable pass interference, giving Tech a first down at the 15. However, the Hokies hurt themselves with a false start penalty, and the drive stalled. Dustin Keys came on and hit a 30 yard field goal to put the Hokies up 10-0 with 9:31 left in the first quarter.

Boston College got on the board on their next drive, but they were aided by Virginia Tech’s defense. First, two offsides penalties gave the Eagles a first down. Later in the drive, on second and 10 from the BC 27, Stephan Virgil was flagged for pass interference on a pass that was thrown short and out-of-bounds. It was a key play, because the Eagles would have been facing third and long.

One play after the Virgil penalty, the Hokies were flagged for offsides again. The Eagles had advanced the ball from their own 17 to their own 45, and only two of those yards were earned by the BC offense.

That’s when BC finally started to get rolling offensively. A key play in the drive came on third and nine from the Tech 37. Chris Crane, who had been hit quite a bit up to this point, calmly found Clarence Megwa for a 14 yard gain. The Eagles kept moving it, and eventually Montel Harris scored a touchdown from six yards out. Just like that, BC was back in it, trailing 10-7 with 4:08 remaining in the first quarter.

The Hokies began their next drive on their own 33, and on the first play Taylor hit Macho Harris for a 16 yard gain to the 49. He then found Danny Coale for four yards, and two plays later Tech had a first down at the BC 40. After a two yard run by Taylor, the Hokies had the ball at the BC 38, with some momentum. They were moving the football on this drive. However, they were forced to call a timeout on second and eight. After that timeout, the Hokies promptly lost three yards when Tyrod Taylor was forced out of bounds.

Taylor scrambled for six yards on third down, but that only made it fourth and five from the BC 35. The Hokies were forced to punt, and Brent Bowden’s kick went out of bounds at the BC three, pinning the Eagles back.

BC was able to advance the ball to Tech’s 39, mostly by throwing the football. On third and 10 from the VT 39, Bud Foster called a twist up front. The Eagles couldn’t account for Cordarrow Thompson coming around the outside, and he sacked Crane for a big loss. Crane fumbled, but the Eagles recovered and were forced to punt.

Ryan Quigley’s punt was fielded by Macho Harris at the 15, but the Hokies were called for a block in the back and had to start the drive at their own eight. Tech promptly went three and out, setting the stage for a big momentum changer from Boston College.

Brent Bowden got off a terrific 50 yard punt, and gunner Cris Hill was in a position to make the tackle. However, BC punt returner Rich Gunnell made a move, leaving Hill just standing there, and jetted up the field. Several other Hokies missed a tackle on Gunnell, including Jonas Houseright and Andre Smith. The end result was a 65 yard punt return for a touchdown and a 14-10 lead for the Eagles with 9:08 left in the second quarter.

Virginia Tech went three and out again on their next possession, and BC began their next drive on their own 46. It didn’t take them long to score. After a three yard run by Montel Harris, Crane hit Ifeanyi Momah on a 40 yard gain to the Tech 10. On the very next play, Momah got behind Macho Harris for a touchdown in the corner of the endzone. Just like that, BC led 21-10 with 6:43 left in the second quarter.

Tech’s next drive began with a 31 yard scramble from Tyrod Taylor down the right sideline, and he followed that up with an 11 yard pass to Danny Coale. The Hokies had the ball at the BC 41, and they eventually took it to the 27 before the drive stalled. Dustin Keys attempted a 44 yard field goal, but it was just wide left. It was Keys’ first miss since the East Carolina game.

The Tech defense came up with another big play on the next BC possession. With BC facing third and five from their own 46, Chris Crane attempted a quick out for the first down. Macho Harris was there to jump the route again, and this time he hung on, taking it back 55 yards for the touchdown. The Hokies now trailed just 21-17 with 1:39 remaining in the second quarter.

The first half highlights weren’t quite over yet. BC faced a third and 11 from their own 24, and Chris Crane had no open receivers and was flushed from the pocket to his right. When he scrambled to his right, wide receiver Brandon Robinson immediately took his route deep. Macho Harris, who was apparently dialed in on another interception, let Robinson get behind him. The result was a 48 yard gain to the Tech 28.

The BC drive was later aided by another Tech penalty. Stephan Virgil was flagged for another pass interference call, this time in the endzone, and this time the call was completely legit. James McCluskey punched it in for BC from two yards out with 27 seconds remaining in the half, making the score 28-17 Eagles at halftime.

The second half began with the Hokies being forced to punt, and the Eagles taking over at their own 45. On the first play of the drive, John Graves broke free up the middle and punt pressure on Chris Crane, who lofted a pass down the right sideline into triple coverage. Tech free safety Kam Chancellor made the diving interception, giving the Hokies the ball at their own 31.

The Tech offense promptly gave it right back to BC. After a holding penalty pushed the line of scrimmage back to the 21, Tyrod Taylor was intercepted by BC safety Paul Anderson, and Eagles were in business at Tech’s 31.

The Hokie defense, with obviously made adjustments at halftime, held their ground. BC was forced to attempt a 39 yard field goal, which was blocked by Tech defensive end Jason Worilds. The Hokies took over possession at their own 29.

This time the Tech offense was finally able to put points on the board. Tyrod Taylor completed passes of eight yards and 14 yards to Dyrell Roberts and Jarrett Boykin, and had a nine yard run of his own. Ultimately the drive stalled, but Dustin Keys hit a 45 yard field goal to make the score 28-20 Boston College with 3:08 left in the third quarter. Virginia Tech was right back in it, and it was now a one possession game.

Tech’s defense provided a golden opportunity for the Hokie offense on BC’s next possession. Whip linebacker Cam Martin blitzed from the outside, and nailed quarterback Chris Crane. Crane fumbled, and the ball was picked up on the BC 39 by John Graves.

Tech took over in great field position. Darren Evans gained five yards on first down, and then Josh Oglesby got another four on second down. It was now third and one from the BC 30, and the Hokies had the momentum. On third down, Tech went with a Darren Evans run, which gained on yards. Frank Beamer elected to go for it on fourth down, and Evans was stopped yet again. The Tech offense had let the golden opportunity slip through their fingers.

The Tech defense again provided the offense with good field position for their next drive. With BC facing third down from their own 35, Crane was sacked by Tech rover Dorian Porch for a huge 19 yard loss to the 16. The Ryan Quigley punt was fair caught by Macho Harris at Tech’s own 43.

The VT offense turned this solid field position into points. Tyrod Taylor had runs of nine and 12 yards on the drive. Tech had first and 10 at the BC 24, but another holding penalty pushed them back to the 34 and made it first and 20. This Tech offense can’t afford to play behind the chains, and the Hokies were unable to pick up a first down. Dustin Keys did hit another 45 yard field goal that made the score 28-23 BC with 6:32 left in the game.

The BC offense didn’t do much in the second half, but they did just enough on their final drive. The Eagles picked up three first downs against the Tech defense, and forced the Hokies to spend their remaining two timeouts. The Hokies eventually took over the football with 1:08 remaining on their own 29, but they had no timeouts.

In the end, it didn’t come down to timeouts. The Tech offense failed to pick up a first down, and the Eagles ran out the clock.

Virginia Tech is back in action next Saturday at Florida State. The game will kickoff at 3:30pm and it will be televised by ABC.


                          VT          BC
                         ----        ----
First downs               14          22
Rushed-yards          38-150       37-82
Passing yards             90         218
Sacked-yards lost        1-3        3-39
Return yards              91          65
Passes               12-27-1     16-32-3
Punts                 4-30.3        2-42
Fumbles-lost             0-0         3-2
Penalties-yards        10-76        3-19
Time of possession     29:45       30:15
Att: 66,233


RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Taylor 15-110, Evans 17-27,
Oglesby 6-13. BC, Harris 15-61, Haden 9-38, McCluskey 1-2,
Crane 11-(-19).

PASSING-Virginia Tech, Taylor 12-27-90.
BC, Crane 16-32-218.

RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Coale 4-28, Boykin 2-19, Victor
Harris 1-16, Pickle 1-10, Roberts 1-8, Oglesby 2-6, Evans 1-3.
BC, Robinson 4-97, Momah 3-57, Jarvis 2-19, Gunnell 2-15, Megwa 1-14,
McCluskey 2-8, Haden 1-6, Purvis 1-2.