Virginia Tech
28, Boston College 23
October 10, 2002
by Will Stewart,

                         1   2   3   4    F
                        --  --  --  --   --
Boston College           0   7   7   9   23
Virginia Tech (4)        7   7   7   7   28

1st Quarter:
VT-Wilford 44 pass from Randall (Schmitt kick), 10:43 remaining

2nd Quarter:
VT-Suggs 1 run (Schmitt kick), 12:12
BC-Burke 83 punt return (Sciortino kick), 1:03

3rd Quarter:
BC-Knight 5 run (Sciortino kick), 6:39
VT-Jones 4 run (Schmitt kick), 0:42

4th Quarter:
BC-FG Sciortino 49, 10:35
VT-Suggs 27 run (Schmitt kick), 5:41
BC-St. Pierre 1 run (conversion pass failed), 0:49

Boston, MA - Virginia Tech used their punishing ground game to overcome 15 penalties and poor special teams play, downing Boston College 28-23 in Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill.

The Hokies got off to a fast start, going up 14-0 early in the second quarter, but the Eagles tied it at 14 midway through the third quarter. Tech responded with two long scoring drives, taking a 28-17 lead with 5:41 to go, before giving up a late TD for the final margin of 28-23.

The Hokies rolled up 334 yards rushing on 61 carries, including 154 yards by Lee Suggs (26 carries) and 144 yards by Kevin Jones (18 carries). Suggs scored two rushing touchdowns, a 1-yarder and a 27-yarder, and Jones added one from 4 yards out. QB Bryan Randall had 37 yards on 15 carries, as those three players accounted for all of VT's rushing yards.

In the passing game, the Hokies were typically conservative, throwing just 7 times. Bryan Randall completed 4 passes for 86 yards and a TD, a 44-yarder to Ernest Wilford. That score came on Tech's opening drive. Wilford had caught a 27-yarder just two plays before his 44-yard TD, giving him 71 of Tech's 86 receiving yards, all of it in the first five minutes of the game.

The rushing attack helped the Hokies overcome an uncharacteristically undisciplined performance, one in which they had 15 penalties for 96 yards, including 9 penalties for 67 yards in the first half.

The Hokies were also soundly thrashed in the kicking game. Boston College had 279 yards in kick returns, including an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown by Jamal Burke. BC had 4 punt returns for 105 yards and 174 yards on 5 kickoff returns. By comparison, the Hokies had just 76 yards on kick returns (1 punt return, 7 yards; 5 kickoff returns, 69 yards).

Tech was the beneficiary of four Boston College turnovers (3 INT's, 1 fumble), while not turning the ball over themselves. Three of Boston College's turnovers were critical, as they fumbled into the Tech end zone on one possession and threw interceptions at the Tech goal line on two other possessions.

For the Eagles, tailback Derrick Knight rushed for 94 yards on just 15 carries; QB Brian St. Pierre completed 16-of-30 passes for 232 yards, 3 INT's, and 0 TD's; and Grant Adams led in receiving with 5 catches for 75 yards. The Hokies outgained the Eagles 420-315.

Game Recap

The Hokies led this one 14-0 early in the second quarter and were threatening to run away with it when true freshman kicker Nic Schmitt, subbing for Carter Warley, missed a 41-yard field goal that would have made it 17-0 with 8:05 to go in the first half.

The Hokies scored on their first possession when Randall hit Wilford for a 44-yard TD. Wilford outjumped the BC defender at the five yard line and took it into the end zone. After a missed BC field goal, Tech went up by two TD's when Lee Suggs scored from one yard out with 12:12 to go in the second quarter. The TD marked the 19th straight game in which Suggs has scored a touchdown.

The Eagles blew three scoring opportunities in the first and second quarters. Boston College made it inside the Virginia Tech 20 on three of their first four possessions and failed to score a single point. BC punched it down to the Tech 5 yard line on their first drive, but a dead-ball personal foul and a sack by Nathaniel Adibi pushed BC out to the VT 30, and the Eagles wound up missing a 36-yard field goal.

On BC's third possession, they returned a kickoff 83 yards to the Tech 17 yard line. Two plays later, BC's Derrick Knight burst up the middle to the Tech 5-yard line, where Mike Daniels hit him and stripped the ball. The fumble rolled into the end zone, where a free-for-all ended with Tech's Garnell Wilds on the bottom of the pile with the ball.

On BC's fourth drive, they drove from their 24 to the Hokie 14-yard line, but on third and 9, Tech safety Willie Pile stepped in front of BC's tight end at the goal line and intercepted the ball, returning it 43 yards to the Tech 43 with just 2:42 to go in the second quarter.

With the Hokies in control at 14-0 and the first half winding down, BC turned it into a game when Burke fielded a punt at his 17 yard line and raced 83 yards to make it 14-7, Hokies, with just 1:03 to go in the first half.

BC tied it at 14 on a 5-yard run by Knight with 6:39 to go in the third quarter. Knight's run culminated a 10-play, 80-yard drive in which St. Pierre completed 4 of 4 passes for 70 yards.

Their backs to the wall, Tech responded with a 14-play, 73-yard drive to go up 21-14. The Hokies ran on 12 plays of the drive, gaining 69 yards, and Kevin Jones finished it off with a 4-yard TD on a toss sweep. Tech led 21-14, with just 42 seconds to go in the third.

BC drove to the Tech 32 yard line and opted to go for it on fourth and 6. St. Pierre threw to the goal line, where Tech's Vince Fuller intercepted the ball at the one-yard line. Tech punted after three straight running plays, and BC converted the good field position into a 49-yard field goal by Sandro Sciortino. That closed the gap to 21-17, Hokies, with 10:35 to go.

Tech turned the screws with another long drive, a 9-play, 75-yarder that put them up 28-17 with 5:41 to go. The Hokies ran the ball nine straight times on the drive, ending it with a 27-yard run by Suggs in which he bounced an off-tackle run outside and raced up the sideline for the game-clincher.

DeAngelo Hall picked off a St. Pierre pass on BC's next drive, but late in the game, a prevent defense by Tech surrendered a 78-yard drive that made it 28-23 with 49 seconds to go. BC went for 2, but it was intercepted by Michael Crawford. Tech recovered BC's onsides kickoff and ran out the clock by taking a knee.

With the win, the Hokies move to 6-0 (1-0 Big East) and almost certainly assured themselves of at least a number 3 ranking heading into next week (#2 Texas plays #3 Oklahoma Saturday). Tech will have 9 days off before finally playing at home again after a 37-day absence from Lane Stadium. The Hokies take on Rutgers on October 19th at 1 p.m. There is no TV for the game.

Game Notes:

  • With a 4-0 turnover advantage in this game, Tech is now winning the turnover battle for the season, 20-5 (+2.5 per game). The Hokies have given up 3 fumbles and 2 interceptions, while their opponents' numbers are 12 and 8, respectively.

  • On their first drive, the Hokies threw 3 passes and ran the ball 4 times (one of which was a sack). From that point on, they ran 57 times and threw it just 4.

  • Lee Suggs now has 40 career rushing TD's, and 42 TD's overall. Both are Big East records.

  • Tech's scoring drives were 7 plays, 81 yards; 14 plays, 75 yards; 14 plays, 73 yards; and 9 plays, 75 yards. ESPN announcer Lee Corso said that 11 of Tech's last 14 touchdown drives have been longer than 70 yards.

  • Highlight of the TV broadcast: ESPN play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico (who loves VT's special teams) prematurely blurting out "Blocked!" as Tech's Cols Colas rushed up the middle untouched on a BC punt. Colas failed to block the punt, though he may have gotten a hand on it.

  • The win is Tech's 7th straight over Boston College, and 8th of the last 9.

  • This is the fourth straight season Tech has started out 6-0.

  • The Hokies were led in tackles by Vegas Robinson, with 7 (6 unassisted).

  • Official stats only had the Hokies with one sack, but they actually had three. Nathaniel Adibi, Jim Davis, and Tim Sandidge each had a sack for -5 yards. In the official stats, Davis was credited with Tech's "only" sack. BC was also credited with just one sack, but they actually had four, for 23 yards in losses.

Click here for TSL's post-game analysis


                          BC          VT
                        ----        ----
First downs               15          21
Rushed-yards           26-83      61-334
Passing yards            232          86
Sacked-yards lost       3-15        4-23
Return yards             279         124
Passes               16-30-3       4-7-0
Punts                 6-39.0      5-37.2
Fumbles-lost             2-1         0-0
Penalties-yards         5-40       15-96
Time of possession     22:10       37:50

Att: 42,826

Individual Statistics

RUSHING: VT-Suggs 26-154; Jones 18-144; Randall 15-37; Team 1-(-2). BC-Knight 15-94; Dodd 1-6; St. Pierre 10-(-17).

PASSING: VT-Randall 4-7-0-86. BC-St. Pierre 16-30-3-232.

RECEIVING: VT-Wilford 2-71; Witten 1-8; Johnson 1-7. BC-Adams 5-75; Knight 5-63; Burke 2-56; Hemmings 1-17; Daniels 1-9; Hazard 1-9; Ryan 1-3.


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