It Started with a Mixed Bag and Some Worries
There is no shading this game, the Virginia Tech Hokies needed a win in so many ways that it was nearly painful to observe the coin toss, let alone the opening kick-off. The game didn’t start out exactly as either side had wanted. BC Quarterback Thomas Castellanos is dangerous, and he’s capable of making a huge impact on any game.
It’s just that the Virginia Tech defense, blessed with Pop Watson running the scout squad, was prepared on the opening series. The Eagles lost the toss (shock of all shocks) and elected to try to run the ball back. The Tech Special Teams beat the touchback by three yards. With BC on their 23 on first and 10, they called an intermediate pass pattern that Corner Back Dorian Strong doped out perfectly. He picked off the pass and dropped out of bounds at the Boston College 37. Then the doubts crept in.
Tech’s offense took the field and after a couple of sharp passes the Tech offense had a procedural penalty on 3rd down and 1 on the BC 5 that forced them to trot John Love on to the field to kick a -4. That was disappointing enough, but then BC took the ball starting at their own 35 and drove the length of the field in a snappy offensive push to take back the lead, 7-3.
That stomach disturbing feeling came with the next Tech series that went three and out with a decent Bhayshul Tuten opening run for 4 yards, and then two incomplete hurried passes. It was as Yogi said, “Deja Vous” all over again.
Then Something Clicked for the Hokies
It seems that Dorian Strong was absolutely convinced that he had Castellanos figured out, because after Tech was victimized by a 12 yard QB run and BC got a little bit overconfident. Ole #44 jumped in front of another pass and picked Castellanos off, again. This time at the Virginia Tech 31. It was go time instead of slug time for the offense. Drones hit Dae’Quan Write for a 25-yard pass. Bhayshul Tuten found traction with a 5-yard burst on 2nd down, and as Hokie Nation took a breath and wondered if John Love was going to try for a 45+ yard field goal (ball was on the BC35) for another typical blown opportunity, someone got some stones, and recognized that Kyron Drones was quarterback. Tech needed a yard, Drones got 2. From then on it was the Drones and Tuten exchange show. Eventually Bhayshul (who was not to be denied, today) punched the ball over the goal line on a 7-yard burst. Love added the PAT, and the Hokies re-took the lead. They didn’t give up another point to BC until garbage time started in the 3rd quarter.
Beamer Ball Came Back
You’d think that at 10-7 in the first quarter the Hokies would just blast the ball out of the endzone on the kickoff, and work on stopping the BC offense, again. You’d have missed something completely because Kyle Lowe got the signal from someone with a really cheeky attitude going, and placed an on-side kick into the Hokies hands.
The 1st quarter ended and the 2nd quarter picked up where that drama left off, because after 12 yards of 1 - 2 punches from Drones and Tuten, Stephen Gosnell shook loose for a 22-yard touchdown pass that pushed the Hokie lead to 17-7.
The remainder of the 2nd quarter was a lather rinse and repeat cycle. BC would get a few things going, stall out either with a stop or a penalty that put them behind the sticks and they stopped themselves. And then the Tech offense would get the ball and not worry about field position because Drones and Tuten were running all over the place. On the next drive after the touchdown, Drones cut it up field off tackle for a huge 59 yard rip. Tuten added 11 yards on the ground, and then Drones hit Jaylin Lane for a 5-yard TD to push the score to 24-7.
Again, BC looked like they were going somewhere only to be stopped and give the ball back to the Hokies who did manage to go somewhere, namely the end zone. This drive included a beatiful deep seam route to Da’Quan Felton that ended on the BC 9-yard line. With a minute and a half left in the quarter (and 1st half) Bhayshul Tuten blasted his way into the endzone on a 5-yard and then a 4-yard, not to be denied) touchdown run series.
The remainder of the half was fairly inconsequential with an ineffective series by BC and then the Hokies looking like they might be playing for a half ending field goal, sort of having a flashback. But it really wasn’t all that bad since Tech would get the ball back, first, in the 2nd half.
The Final Spear was the Opening Drive of the 2nd Half
At the kickoff, the Hokies were firmly in the lead 31-7, and the chances that Boston College could come back from that were beginning to wane, greatly. Tech drove in the final actual insult making it a five-score game by eating up a huge chunk of the 3rd quarter with an eleven play 76-yard drive that ended in a Tuten 4-yard impression of an Abrams tank.
With the score at 38-7 the Tech defense bent a bit. They played fairly loose and let BC burn up clock with an inconsequential touchdown and two-point conversion. That also would end BC’s scoring for the entire game. The 3rd quarter ended with the Hokies driving again, and as the first few seconds of the 4th ticked away, Malachi Thomas got into the scoring act with a 35-yard nearly untouched streak into the endzone.
All the Rest was Garbage Time
Grant Wells nearly scored a TD on a scramble but fumbled the ball out of bounds in the endzone for footballs most stupid rule... which turned the ball over on a touchback. He did lead the Hokies to a Hokie field goal (46 yards for Love). Pop Watson got a reward for his scout duty work and did a nice job in the closing minutes of the game, and BC even put in their backups.
It was an excellent ending opportunity for bench and backup players to get some snaps in, and neither team was really a threat to score.
It was a Dominant performance and much needed momentum for the Hokies.