Download Your
VT/BC Roster
Card Here!

Fold it down the
middle -- VT on one side,
BC on the other!
Print out several
dozen and take them
to the game or
sports bar for your
fellow Hokies!

Click here for a version
with slightly larger print

(some clipping of text
occurs on roster)

(Note: the roster card
is in PDF format.
You'll need Adobe
Acrobat Reader.
Click below.)

Boston College

Official Site
BC Football
Message Board
Alliance Site
Alliance Msg Bd
Boston Globe
USA Today
Game Preview:
Boston College at Virginia Tech
by Will Stewart,, 10/11/01
Click here for Blacksburg Weather

BC at Virginia Tech
Saturday, October 13th, 2001, 6:30 pm

Boston College has only visited Lane Stadium three times, but two of those games are steeped in Virginia Tech lore: the 1995 season-opening Thursday night game that the Eagles won 20-14, and the 1999 season-ender that Tech won 38-14.

The 1995 game was Jim Druckenmiller's debut. Druck threw for 296 yards, setting a Tech record for passing yardage in a quarterback's first start, but it was for naught, as the 20th-ranked Hokies lost. It was the last time BC beat Virginia Tech.

In 1999, Michael Vick torched the Eagles for 290 yards passing and 76 rushing, propelling the Hokies to a big win and the final act of their 11-0 regular season. The Hokie team, coaches, and fans stayed in the stadium and celebrated into the dark of night as Tech looked forward to a trip to New Orleans and the national championship Sugar Bowl game.

Saturday night, Boston College brings one of the Big East's better teams into Lane Stadium for a 6:30 start (ESPN2). This game will be Tech's only home night game of the 2001 season, and the Tech crowd is expected to be large, loud, and rowdy.

Boston College Fast Facts: BC is 4-1 overall, 2-0 in the Big East. Out of conference, they have wins over Army (31-10) and Navy (38-21) combined with a loss to Stanford (38-22). In conference, they have trounced WVU (34-10) and Temple (33-10).

Last season, the Eagles were 7-5, including a 3-4 mark in the Big East. They topped Arizona State 31-17 in the Aloha Bowl. BC was ranked preseason #44 by Athlon Magazine this year.

Head Coach: Tom O'Brien is in his fifth year as head coach at BC, and he currently has a 27-24 record with the Eagles. O'Brien has taken BC to bowl games the last two years and is on track to do it again this year. Before coming to BC, he was an assistant at Virginia for 15 years, the last 6 as offensive coordinator.

The Last Time: The Hokies topped BC 48-34 in Chestnut Hill last year in a game that featured 633 total rushing yards -- 420 by Tech, 213 by BC. Michael Vick set a Tech record for rushing yards by a QB with 210 yards on 16 carries (including a highlight-film 82-yard jaunt to seal the game for the Hokies), and Lee Suggs added 145 yards on 22 carries. Vick had 3 rushing TD's, Suggs 2. Andre Davis had a 71-yard punt return for a TD. For Boston College, William Green had 117 yards rushing and 2 TD's on 25 carries, but BC only had 74 yards passing.

Depth Chart: Athlon's preseason edition listed BC as returning 9 starters on defense from last year, but the depth chart released for this game by Boston College shows just 5 returning starters on defense. When reviewing the BC injury notes, the additional "starters lost" don't appear to be due to injury, so the discrepancy is hard to figure out, unless you're familiar with the team. On offense, where 5 starters returned, wideouts Dewalt and Burke and running back Green are experienced, but QB Brian St. Pierre is a first-year starter, and there are three first-time starters on the OL.

Best Offensive Players: Junior RB William Green (#1) is fifth in the nation in rushing yards per game (142.6). Junior QB Brian St. Pierre (#2), a highly-rated local recruit from several years back, has good stats (75-136, 899 yards, 12 TD's, 4 INT's) and is 34th in the country in passing efficiency. The Eagles are led in receiving by Dedrick Dewalt (#11, 20 rec., 242 yds, 12.1 ypc, 2 TD's), a small but speedy receiver who burned the Hokies for a 97-yard TD reception in 1999, a Tech record for longest pass completion by an opponent.

Best Defensive Players: BC has a tight cluster of four players at the top of their tackling stats: LB Scott Bradley (#54) leads with 35 tackles, and three players have 34: LB Vinny Ciurciu (#40), SS Doug Bessette (#18), and DE Antonio Garay (#85). Their leading sacker is DE Sean Guthrie (#99), with five (the team has 13 overall), and Ciurciu leads the team with two interceptions (BC has 8 INT's overall).

Special Teams: Junior Kevin McMyler (#47) doubles as punter and placekicker. He averages 42.7 yards per punt and is 6-7 on field goals.

Offense, Defense Ringing up 3's: BC's offense is #3 in the Big East in total offense (401.4 yards per game) and #3 in scoring offense (31.6 ppg). Their defense is #3 in the Big East in total defense (295.8) and #3 in scoring defense (17.8 ppg).

Offensive Philosophy: Boston College will use the two-back set a lot, lining Green and fullback Greg Toal up behind St. Pierre. BC is a very balanced offense, running the ball 215 times and passing 143 so far this season (versus a 256-136 split for Tech). BC utilizes a short passing game, averaging fewer yards per catch (11.8) than the Hokies (12.4). Their wideouts all average just 11 or 12 yards per catch, so they don't stretch the field often. The fullback almost never carries the ball; starting FB Greg Toal has just 5 carries this season, and in the 20 games prior to this season, BC fullbacks had zero carries -- zero.

Defensive Philosophy: the Eagles run a 4-3 (four DL's, three LB's) and do a lot of what Tech Offensive Coordinator Rickey Bustle calls "zone pressures" -- BC will blitz a linebacker, safety, or cornerback, and instead of playing man-to-man, will play zone with the players left in coverage. It will be important for Tech QB Grant Noel to read this properly and not throw interceptions into zone coverage when he's pressured.

The Lowdown

Boston College is a good football team, but they don't match up well with the Hokies and haven't for years. Tech leads the series 6-2, including wins in the last 5 contests.

Boston College hangs its hat on the running game, but the Eagles have only been able to defeat Tech when they get outstanding performances from their quarterback and wideouts. In 1993, when BC destroyed Tech 48-34 in Alumni Stadium in Boston, they did it behind QB Glenn Foley, who shredded Tech for 448 yards passing. In the 1995 game, Mark Hartsell "only" threw for 273 yards, but his wideouts and tight ends made a variety of circus catches and thoroughly outplayed the Hokie defense. But in recent years, the Eagles haven't put together a QB/wideout combination the caliber of what they had in the mid-90's.

The problem for Boston College is speed. They've got some, but not nearly as much as the Hokies do. BC builds big, huge offensive lines that are tough and physical and average over 300 pounds per man, but they're typically not athletic enough to handle a team with as much talent as Tech has on defense.

As a result of the above factors, BC has struggled on offense versus the Hokies in recent years. From 1996 through 1999, Boston College averaged just 7 points a game against Tech. They broke out for 34 points last year, but the pendulum figures to swing back in Tech's direction Saturday night, now that the Hokie defense is a year older and will be playing in front of a raucous night crowd at Lane Stadium.

Defensively, the Eagles have been solid and have had good players here and there in recent years, but they're not a top-flight defense and have not been able to control the Hokies in recent years. Since 1995, Tech has averaged 33 points a game on Boston College.

Despite the lack of a marquee player like Chris Hovan, the Eagles have one of their best defensive lines in recent years. Antonio Garay, Douglas Goodwin, and Sean Guthrie have combined for 10 sacks and 20 tackles for loss so far this season.

I'll say this for the Eagles: at least they're living up to expectations. 4-1 is about right for them at this point in the season. At least they're not embarrassing themselves, like Pitt and WVU are.


Last week's 23-10 prediction of a Tech victory over WVU was my worst prediction since 1996, when I said the Hokies would beat Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. At least I got the won-loss part right, but the score was way off.

In recent years, I've adopted the attitude that Boston College, currently a respectable mid-level Big East team, can't compete with the Hokies. Recent history has proven me right, and for that reason, I'm taking a "show me" approach to the Eagles. Until they show me they can put up a good fight and seriously threaten (or defeat) Tech, I'm not going to believe they can.

Boston College is good, William Green is good, and this game will be more competitive than Tech's first five, but the Hokies will roll.

Virginia Tech 30, Boston College 7.


TSL Football Page

TSL Home