Boston College is heading to Blacksburg on Saturday to face off with the #23 Virginia Tech. This is the 29th matchup between the two schools, with the Hokies holding an 18-10 edge over the Eagles. However, BC has won the previous two matchups, including the season opener last year in Chestnut Hill 35-28.
Virginia Tech is a tale of two teams. On the offensive side of the ball, they are explosive, especially on the ground. Transfer running back Khalil Herbert, a name many BC fans should recognize for his time at Kansas, is averaging more than ten yards a carry through the first three games. Quarterback Hendon Hooker is set to get his first start of the season, and he can score points in a hurry. But on the defensive side of the ball, the lunch pail defenses of Bud Foster haven’t shown up this year. Last week against UNC the Hokies defense allowed 56 points, along with 400 yards on the ground.
Let’s look at our talking points heading into this game.
When Boston College Throws The Ball: Edge Boston College. It is incredible that in just a year, BC went from a run heavy offense, to a passing attack that is 18th in the country. There should be room for Phil Jurkovec to throw the ball, as the Hokies are 48th in the country in passing yards allowed.
When Boston College Runs The Ball: Edge Virginia Tech. Just as incredible as the pass game has been is that in just a span of year, BC can’t seem to find their run game. In the first four games BC has rushed for 60 yards a game, and David Bailey has been a virtual non-factor. However, VT has been even more inconsistent defending it. This isn’t a huge edge for the Hokies, but let’s give them a bit of an advantage here.
When Virginia Tech Passes the Ball: Edge Boston College. It is hard to evaluate what this passing attack will look like this year with Hendon Hooker at the helm. BC’s pass defense has been very good so far through four games, and Virginia Tech’s passing attack could be the weakest group they have faced in the past two weeks.
When Virginia Tech Runs the Ball: Edge Virginia Tech. This matchup may be the key to the game. The Hokies have one of the best rushing attacks in the country, while BC’s rushing defense has been inconsistent. If BC can hold Herbert and company in check they could be in great shape for an upset, but if he does to BC what he did to them last year, the Eagles could be in big trouble.
Beer of the Game: Pumpkin Patch: Wormtown Brewery
I live out near Worcester, and have made multiple trips out to this brewery. Highly recommend it when it is safe to do so, they recently redid the seating area, more space. And the beer they make? Very delicious. This offering is no different.
Song of the Game
For many who have followed my predictions post, you know I usually pick a rap song. This season I’m changing it up, and showing off my versatility. For a season that is unusual, and frankly, weird, we are going to go with funk and soul all season long.
Per special request it is Tower of Power with What is Hip. If this song doesn’t get your toes tapping, get to a doctor.
Fan Excitement: 10/10
In the first four games, Hafley has done the following:
* Completely adjusted a gameplan at halftime and thrashed Duke in the second half.
* Won on a game winning field goal with time expiring against Texas State
* Almost roared back against a Top 10 team, and was a failed two point conversion away from tying the game late in the game.
* Defeated Pitt in overtime on a missed extra point.
The fanbase can just sense that there is something building in Chestnut Hill. A win over a Top 25 team, especially one that looks on paper to be an even matchup with BC would be the icing on the cake so far. Fans are pumped.
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We will have a live game thread for Saturday’s game and instant reactions as soon as it’s over.
AJ’s Prediction: At this point it feels like I would be negligent to pick against Jeff Hafley, especially in big moments like this weekend. The key for this game will be shutting down Virginia Tech’s running game, or at least slowing it down. Defensive coordinator Tem Lukabu along Hafley should be able to cook up something, and I expect Max Richardson and Isaiah McDuffie to be the stars in this game. The rational part of my brain is yelling Virginia Tech, but I think BC is going to vanquish another ghost this week with their first Top 25 win in over five years. Boston College 31 Virginia Tech 28.