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TSLMail #352- October 17, 2008    
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Boston College a Thorn in Hokies' Side Since 2003
by Chris Coleman,

If there's one team out there that has had success against Virginia Tech in recent years, it's Boston College. The Hokies and Eagles have squared off five times since 2003, with BC winning three of the meetings. This week, we'll take a look back at all five meetings.

In 2003, Virginia Tech met Boston College on Senior Day in Lane Stadium. The Hokies were playing their final Big East football game, and were in the middle of a typical late season slide that Tech fans had grown used to during the 2001 and 2002 seasons. Tech also had a quarterback controversy, and that arguably cost the Hokies the game against BC.

Virginia Tech came out firing on all cylinders offensively, jumping out to a 17-10 lead. Kevin Jones was playing brilliantly in the backfield, and he went on to finish with 222 yards of total offense. With Bryan Randall at quarterback, Tech racked up 10 first downs and 238 yards of total offense in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Frank Beamer put in Marcus Vick at quarterback, and that's when things started to come apart. The Hokies picked up just two first downs in the second and third quarters combined. With Randall back at quarterback in the fourth quarter, the Hokies managed to come back and take a 27-24 lead. However, BC scored the last 10 points of the game and won 34-27.

The teams didn't meet again until 2005. The Hokies joined the ACC in 2004, but BC was stuck in the Big East for one more season. In 2005, as members of the ACC, BC traveled to Virginia Tech for a Thursday night game. It was a huge game, with the Hokies ranked #3 nationally and the Eagles coming in at #14.

Virginia Tech racked up 492 yards of total offense, with 212 coming on the ground and 280 on the arm of Marcus Vick. Vick was phenomenal, completing 22-of-28 passes for 280 yards, with a touchdown. He also had 52 yards rushing on 13 carries. Along with the 2005 WVU game, it was arguably the best game of his bittersweet Virginia Tech career.

BC hung tough, but a 13 yard interception return for a touchdown by Vince Hall with 3:16 remaining in the game clinched it for the Hokies. That big win set up the Saturday night showdown with Miami, a game which didn't quite turn out the way Tech fans envisioned.

The teams met again in 2006 in a game that Virginia Tech fans would like to forget. The Eagles thrashed the Hokies 22-3. The Tech defense played well, but the offense fell apart. Arguments between players broke out on the sidelines, and Brendan Hill danced his way to infamy to the tune of "Sweet Caroline."

Virginia Tech's offense totaled just 181 yards and gained just 21 yards against BC in the second half. 21 yards is a number that is hard to believe. B.J. Raji and Ron Brace (remember those names, you'll hear them again on Saturday night) dominated the Tech interior offensive line. The inside running game was shut down, and Sean Glennon had no time to work from the pocket.

The most famous meeting between the two teams came last year, on a Thursday night in Blacksburg. BC was undefeated and ranked #2 in the nation. The Hokies were #9. This was the biggest game in Lane Stadium since the Miami game in 2005. A pouring rain made playing conditions terrible, and Tech fans loved every minute of it. Well, almost every minute.

Bud Foster came out with arguably the best game plan of his career, which says quite a bit. The BC offense was completely dominated, until the last moments of the game. The Hokies led 10-0, but Matt Ryan threw two touchdown passes in the final 2:11 of the game to give the Eagles a 14-10 victory.

It's a loss that still hurts to this day, but the Hokies aren't the only team whose hearts have been crushed by Matt Ryan in the final moments. As the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, he came up with a miracle play in the final moments to give Atlanta a win over the Chicago Bears this past Sunday.

Virginia Tech did get revenge for that Thursday night loss. The Hokies and Eagles faced off in the ACC Championship Game, with Tech coming out on top 30-16. Boston College jumped up 16-7, but the momentum turned when Brandon Flowers returned a blocked extra point for a two-point conversion to make the score 16-9. The Hokies then scored a touchdown right before halftime to tie the game.

Tech's defense started out shaky in that game, but they buckled down. Matt Ryan scored a touchdown with 5:35 remaining in the second quarter, but the Eagles were held scoreless for the remainder of the game. Xavier Adibi ended things with a 40 yard interception return with 11 seconds remaining. It was a fitting ending, because Matt Ryan's winning touchdown pass in Lane Stadium came with exactly 11 seconds left in the game.

BC is steadily developing into a good rivalry for the Hokies. Not because they are geographically close, and not because of a rabid fan base. It's a rivalry because they have enjoyed some measure of success against Virginia Tech. The Hokies don't play West Virginia anymore, so that rivalry is in hibernation. UVA can't seem to come close to knocking off the Hokies, and Miami is currently in dead last in the ACC.

With Tech's traditional rivals struggling, Boston College has been there to pick up the slack. There is also some measure of resentment from Tech fans for BC coach Jeff Jagodzinski for the dance he performed on the Worsham Field turf last season after Matt Ryan's winning touchdown pass.

A new chapter of this rivalry will be written tomorrow night in Chestnut Hill. It should be every bit as entertaining as previous games. Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!

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For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. Updates From the Past Week

Keys to the Game, Matchups to Watch and Game Prediction: Boston College

October 17, 2008
Once again the Hokies will meet the Boston College Eagles in a pivotal ACC match-up for both teams. Both teams come off bye weeks and each team needs to make a statement as the conference season heats up. Early in the series, Virginia Tech was able to dominate the Eagles, but ever since the Thursday night blow-up in Chestnut Hill two years ago, the Hokies have had their hands full with BC. Should we expect the same this year?

ACC Weekend Football Preview: Week 8
October 17, 2008
The ACC conference schedule kicks into high gear this weekend, with just two out of conference games between now and November 29th. This weekend is all in-conference clashes, highlighted by BC-VT Saturday night. Here's a look at the other four games this Saturday.

Other 1A Programs Pursue VT Commit
October 17, 2008
King William (VA) defensive tackle Nick Acree, a 6-6, 305-pound prospect who may be one of the top juniors in the country, verbally committed to Virginia Tech at Tech's first 2008 camp in June. That hasn't stopped other Division 1A programs from trying to get involved, but is the big-time junior interested in checking out a few of those programs?

TSL Audio: The Jerry Miller Show, 10/14/08
October 16, 2008
Tuesday, Chris Coleman and Jerry Miller talked about the Clemson job opening and Bud Foster, and they also looked ahead to Saturday's BC game (WMA format, approx. 3.0 MB, approx. 13 minutes long).
The Jerry Miller Show appears on The Sports Addict Radio Network every afternoon from 1:00-3:00 pm in Blacksburg (1430 AM), Charlottesville (840 AM), and Bluefield (1050 AM), and from 2:00-4:00 in Martinsville (1160 AM).

"Late Night With the Hokies" This Friday
October 16, 2008
Friday night will be your chance to catch the Virginia Tech basketball teams in action. "Late Night With the Hokies" will take place in Cassell Coliseum, on Friday, October 17 at 9pm. The event will follow the volleyball team's match with Wake Forest, and Tech fans will get a chance to have an early viewing of a men's basketball team that is projected to finish in the upper half of the ACC yet again. The first 4,000 fans in attendance will receive free T-shirts.

Exum Excelling in Senior Season
October 16, 2008
6-0, 200-pound Deep Run (Glen Allen, VA) star Antone Exum has excelled in the 2008 season. The senior, the Wildcats starting quarterback, defensive back and punt returner, has led his team to a 6-0 record so far this season, performing well especially on the offensive side of the ball.

Football Game Preview: Virginia Tech at Boston College
October 15, 2008
Virginia Tech is back on the road again this weekend. This time they'll face Boston College, who is challenging for the ACC's Atlantic Division title yet again. It will be a stern test for the Hokies, but if they pass it, you've got to like their chances of winning the Coastal Division for the second season in a row.

More on Gough's Commitment
October 15, 2008
On Monday night, Liberty (Bealeton, VA) offensive tackle Kory Gough and his parents met with Eagles head coach Tommy Buzzo to discuss what would happen if Virginia Tech decided to offer a scholarship - the Tech staff had a meeting scheduled for yesterday and Gough was one of the prospects to be discussed. A Virginia Tech fan growing up, Gough knew what he would do if an offer came his way.

Hokies Land Liberty Star
October 14, 2008
Virginia Tech has picked up its 15th commitment of the 2009 recruiting class this afternoon. Liberty (Bealeton, VA) offensive lineman Kory Gough is the latest recruit to commit to the Hokies, choosing Tech over offers from Arkansas, Army, East Carolina, James Madison and Marshall, among others. He had received interest from North Carolina, Penn State and Virginia.

Hokie Hotline Notes for 10/13/08
October 14, 2008
Monday night's guests were defensive coordinator Bud Foster, athletic director Jim Weaver, and head football coach Frank Beamer.

Atkins Excited to Become a Hokie
October 14, 2008
Tucker (Stone Mountain, GA) guard/forward Manny Atkins, one of Virginia Tech's four 2009 class commitments, made his official visit to Blacksburg last month. The 6-7, 200-pound prospect has not wavered from the verbal commitment he made in June, but the official visit certainly helped to further solidify his decision.

Collins One of the State's Best
October 13, 2008
Brooke Point (Stafford, VA) defensive end/tight end Lanford Collins quietly has become one of the most highly recruited prospects in the state of Virginia's 2009 class, totaling double-digit Division 1A scholarship offers according to head coach Jeff Berry. The 6-4, 240-pound senior simply goes about his business on and off the field.

Monday Thoughts: The Halfway Point
October 13, 2008
Virginia Tech's 2008 football season has been a roller coaster ride so far, but in that respect, the Hokies are no different than college football as a whole. Every weekend, we're treated to twists and turns we didn't imagine, from Alabama's meteoric rise up the charts, to West Virginia and Clemson's freefall from the top ten to nowhere, to UVa's yo-yo act. If you think the Hokies have taken you on a thrill ride, it's just par for the course around the nation.

FSU Game Time and Network Set
October 13, 2008
Virginia Tech's October 25th date with the Florida State Seminoles is scheduled to kickoff at 3:30pm, and the game will be televised regionally by ABC. It will also be available on ESPN2 in other parts of the country.
Also: Hokies-Eagles to Be Shown on ESPN2; Clemson's Tommy Bowden Fired; UNC's Brandon Tate Out for Season

Around the ACC: Week 7
October 13, 2008
Many ACC teams were off this week, but Thursday night saw the preseason conference favorite all but eliminated from contention in the Atlantic Division. Georgia Tech narrowly made it past a 1-AA opponent, while Virginia looks to be a rapidly improving football team, at least when they play at home.
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