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Cheers and Jeers: Virginia Tech vs. Boston College

By Justin Cates | November 12
Screen Shot 2023 11 11 at 9 24 14 PM
Grant Pearrell/Sons of Saturday

People complain about having to play Boston College all the time, but there's something decidedly autumnal about watching the Hokies and Eagles play on a crisp day. It feels familiar in a slightly comforting way until you remember that Matt Ryan went there. Plus it's an incredibly even series with the teams splitting the prior ten meetings before this one. You could do a lot worse for a regular opponent. Of course, it's easier to say that after a comfortable road win — the first in nearly a full calendar year — that leaves a clear path remaining to a bowl bid.


Bean Town Rebound

Last week it was all negative. This time around the Hokies inverted the script and put on a complete performance in a huge 48-22 win against Boston College. Right from an interception by Dorian Strong on the first pass by Thomas Castellanos, it was on. The Hokies put on a fine showing and easily the most well-rounded example by Tech of everyone's new favorite football phrase "complementary football".

The offense exploded and the defense was lights out apart from a handful of QB runs and a long scamper by Alex Broome. There were some late scoring drives sure, otherwise it was yet another gem from Chris Marve and the crew. Even John Love hit a season and career-long 46-yard field goal. Once again, when the Hokies start fast and manage to put it all together they're a formidable foe. Boston College didn't stand a chance even on their home turf.

Ruthlessly Efficient

Kyron Drones completed 70% of his passes for 219 yards with two scores and rushed for 135 yards. The law firm of Tuten and Thomas were judicious in their own right. Bhayshul Tuten carved up three touchdowns on 4.9 yards per carry and Thomas had a 35-yard touchdown run on just three touches. It's rare for the Hokies to roll up massive offensive numbers. It's even less likely to see them crank out 600 total yards and 48 points but it was that kind of day in Chestnut Hill for the right shade of maroon.

The defense had a similar outing and despite not recording a sack, the pressure was intense. Dorian Strong picked off two passes and Castellanos was frustrated throughout the day as BC floundered on early downs leading to conversions on just three of 12 third down tries.


Oh yes! Oh...Oh No!

The Hokies fell victim to some weird turnovers and goofy loose balls, especially late. You just have to feel bad for Grant Wells and the result of his long run in garbage time. He made a smart play and looked set to score but ran out of gas and, well you saw what happened. That's just some rotten luck to have the ball poked out and squirt through the end zone. And yes, he should have switched ball hands but that's still a tough deal.

There was the muffed punt in traffic by Tucker Holloway that went to BC as well. Then there were some close calls on a muffed kickoff that several Hokies touched, plus a weird non-contact drop by Kyron Drones. The bounces went largely Tech's way though a few wandered towards the Eagles. Thankfully, the game wasn't remotely close enough for it to matter.

Vee Tech

It's unusual to tune in to a game on a network you watch regularly and not know any of the broadcasters. Perhaps I'm not watching quite enough ACC Network — that seems unlikely — but this was a new crew for me and boy, did Orlando Franklin leave an impression. Comically, Franklin manged to only say Vah Tech once that I can recall, but quickly pivoted hard to Vee Tech instead. Something tells me the younger crowd had fun with this constant buzzword as they imbibed. I just found it unintentionally hilarious.

I liked Franklin's enthusiasm and his analysis was quite solid at times, especially when you consider he's new at this and that he went to Miami. We all latch on to certain words and they can get stuck on a loop in our speech patterns but man did a producer fail him by not giving a friendly, "Hey man you're doing great, but you're saying this one thing a lot...".

And yes, you know it's a good day when one of the biggest complaints focuses on the telecast.

Final Thoughts

See what I meant last week about "burning the tape"? Sometimes its best to just completely forget about a thing, reset, and try again. Tech did that perfectly this week and that's a credit to Brent Pry's program top to bottom. Now, the Hokies are in a great spot to win at least one and quite possibly two games to finish the year with a bowl. The schedule has been more than manageable to this point but you can probably still count the folks who expected a 4-2 ACC record on one hand and you'd probably have fingers to spare.

Both remaining games will be a challenge. NC State is "good" by State standards though they just involuntarily switched QBs to our friend Brennan Armstrong. His old team the Cavaliers have gone through an unbelievable amount of adversity —actual adversity, not whatever Michigan has been complaining about — but they've looked pretty dangerous at times including this week against Louisville. These opponents are wild animals. They're unpredictable and dangerous, but the Hokies know what has to be done...

So here we go! We're primed for a weird and wild finish to the regular season with, dare I say it, expectations. Now that's a familiar foe we can all agree is good to see again.


My Dad graduated from Tech in 1981 and I’ve been attending Virginia Tech sporting events since I first moved to Blacksburg in 1988. I myself graduated in 2008 with a Communication degree. During my time as a student I was the Sports Director for WUVT and helped establish and run Planet Blacksburg, an independent student-run news website. I’ve since written for numerous publications including SBNation, Inside The ACC, and Sports Illustrated's AllHokies. Currently, I host The Justin Cates Show in addition to other contributions here at Sons of Saturday and various other sites as the need arises. I now live in a fortified compound in upstate New York with my wife and numerous animals. The smell of popcorn makes me think of Cassell.

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