Five Things We Learned: Boston College
1. Tech’s devastating running attack
The Virginia Tech Hokies amassed 350 yards on the ground in the contest against Boston College and have now recorded over 260 yards rushing in all four of their games this season, all coming against ACC opponents. They had only accomplished this one time against a Power Five Conference opponent in the previous six seasons. Hendon Hooker recorded his first 100+ yard rushing game of his collegiate career and did so in style, finishing with 164 yards and three touchdowns (5, 7, and 17 yards) on 18 carries. The team also got a major contribution in the form of 143 yards from senior Khalil Herbert and a 28-yard score by Raheem Blackshear. The Hokies were third in the nation in rushing yardage per game heading into Saturday, and leave having moved past Army for possession of second place at 312 YPG.
Arguably the biggest reason for the team's victory, Virginia Tech recorded FIVE takeaways courtesy of two interceptions by Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec and three fumbles from different members of the Eagles’ offense. What made the turnovers even more important were that two of the fumbles came on the first consecutive Eagle possessions of the game, allowing Tech to stabilize after faltering early on offense. Devin Taylor and Brion Murray came down with an interception each while Divine Deablo and Chamarri Conner were credited with forced fumbles, and Amare Barno, Alan Tisdale and Dorian Strong were there to land on the recoveries.
3. Herbert Herbert-ing all over Lane Stadium
The nation’s leader in all-purpose yards had to make an appearance on the list. The fifth-year man served again as the featured back, posting 143 rushing yards while averaging 7.9 yards per carry. Herbert also had the longest play from scrimmage after taking an outside zone to the weak side down the left sideline for 57 yards. He then added on a 29-yard touchdown recepetion from quarterback Hendon Hooker and even returned a kickoff for 31 yards. This was the star back’s fourth straight game with over 100 yards rushing, making him the first Hokie to do so since David Wilson ran for 100+ in seven straight games during the 2011 season. Herbert haunted the Eagles’ defense everywhere he went, proving once again why he has earned so much respect from opposing defensive coordinators.
4. Defensive consistency
Despite there seeming to be a lack of Virginia Tech pressure in the Boston College backfield for most of the first half, the Hokies manifested their “lunch pail” mentality on the defensive side of the football. The Eagles scored just seven points in each of the game’s halves, gaining 190 yards in the first half and 245 during the second. BC Quarterback Jurkovec grew more and more flustered by his team’s lack of productivity as the game progressed, and the trailing Eagles were forced to abandon a running game that had seen early success.
5. Dorian Strong
The freshman defensive back had the play of the night going full extension at top speed to break up a would-be 39-yard touchdown pass. Strong showed off his track speed (11.2 seconds in the 100m) during his recovery to the ball after shading BC receiver Zay Flowers to the inside on a 20-yard post route from the right side across the middle of the field. Considered by many to be a mistake in the recruitment process and a “zero-star prospect,” Strong added to his impressive performance by scooping up a loose ball in the third quarter at the Boston College 17-yard line that kicker Brian Johnson ultimately converted into three points for the Hokies.
Next up for Virginia Tech: a clash at Wake Forest next Saturday at 3:30pm EST.