CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Boston College scored 17 points off of Virginia Tech turnovers, and that turned out to be the difference in the game as the Eagles downed the Hokies 34-27 in an ACC game played Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium.
With the loss, Tech fell to 6-3 overall on the season and 3-2 in the ACC. Boston College – which has lost to the Hokies five straight times – moved to 4-4 overall, 2-3 in league play.
The Hokies finished with 446 yards of total offense, but two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown, and two fumbles proved to be their unraveling in their second straight loss.
“Things just aren’t going our ways sometimes, and then, we’re not making it go our way,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “We’re not making the plays we need to make or take care of the ball the way we need to take care of it.
“You’ve got to work your way out of these funks. You’ve got to do the things that we’ve done. I don’t think it’s beyond question that we can get it done because we’ve done it. We’ve played great defense and so forth. I feel like we can get back to that, but we’ve got to do it. You can’t beat teams playing like we played today. I thought our effort was great, but we didn’t do the things in the second half that good football teams do.”
Tech trailed 34-20 late in the game, but tacked on a touchdown with 2:54 left when quarterback Logan Thomas found Trey Edmunds for a 22-yard touchdown pass. That capped a 52-yard drive that ate up less than two minutes, and Cody Journell’s extra point made it 34-27
The Hokies then got the ball back with 1:49 remaining, but Thomas fumbled at the Tech 33 and BC recovered, then running out the clock to end the game.
“Turnovers are the story again,” Thomas said. “We’ve got to take care of the football or we wouldn’t have been in the position we were in. The defense played well, other than we gave put them in bad field position.
“We did everything we wanted to [Saturday]. They couldn’t stop us. We stopped us ourselves.”
Tech led 17-10 in the second half Thomas found tight end Kalvin Cline for a 1-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal from the 1. Journell’s extra point gave the Hokies the seven-point bulge with 6:13 left in the third quarter.
But Thomas took a backside hit on the Hokies’ next possession and fumbled, and BC recovered at the Tech 17. The Eagles took advantage, tying the game at 17 on a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Chase Rettig to Jake Sinkovec. Nate Freese’s extra point with 1:20 left in the third quarter tied the game at 17.
The two teams traded fourth-quarter field goals, with Journell hitting from 47 yards and Freese hitting from 43. But BC got the huge play midway through the quarter when Kevin Pierre-Louis intercepted a Thomas pass intended for Demitri Knowles and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown. Freese’s extra point gave the Eagles a 27-20 lead with seven minutes left in the game.
“I was trying to throw it away,” Thomas said. “I was getting pushed, and I kind of floated it. Obviously, it was a big mistake. I was trying to throw it into the dirt at Demitri’s feet.”
“We turned a guy loose off the edge right from the go,” Beamer said. “Then one mistake led to another.”
Tech drove into BC territory on its ensuing possession, getting to the Eagles 38. Facing a fourth-and-6, the Hokies went for it, and receiver Charley Meyer couldn’t corral a Thomas pass, thus giving BC the ball.
The Eagles basically put the game away on the next play. Tailback Andre Williams went 62 yards for a touchdown, and Freese’s extra point gave the Eagles a commanding 34-20 lead with 4:35 left.
Thomas completed 24 of 41 for a career-high 391 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Josh Stanford accounted for most of Thomas’ yardage, as the redshirt freshman caught six passes for a career-high 171 yards.
In addition to Thomas’ two interceptions, he fumbled twice, giving him four turnovers on the day. In fairness, one Thomas interception hit a receiver in the hands and bounced into the air right into the hands of a BC defender. And on the first fumble, he never saw the defender, getting hit in the back as he started to throw.
Beamer stood by his quarterback after the game.
“Never wavered in Cody Journell, and I’ll never waver in Logan,” Beamer said. “He’s too good of a competitor and he’s too smart. Everything is right about him. Maybe he tries too hard, but that’s not a bad fault. Logan gives us an opportunity to win.
“Logan is fine. We just need to help him a little bit.”
Journell enjoyed his best game of the season, hitting a career-best 56-yard field goal with one second left in the first half and added the 47-yarder in the second half. The 56-yarder was tied for third-longest kick in Tech history and the longest in Beamer’s tenure.
Williams became the first running back to rush for more than 100 yards against Tech’s defense this season. The senior finished with 166 yards on 22 carries. He amassed most of BC’s 289 yards.
The Hokies will try to right the ship next Saturday when they travel to Miami for a pivotal showdown with the Miami Hurricanes at Sun Life Stadium. Kickoff for the game will be announced on Sunday.