FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Stadium (44,500) -- Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Television: ACC. Home Record: VT 1-1, BC 2-0. Away Record: VT 0-0, BC 0-0. Neutral Record: VT 0-1, BC 0-0. Conference Record: VT 0-0, BC 0-0. Series Record: Virginia Tech leads, 12-6.
The Eagles enter the contest with a week of rest behind them and since they joined the ACC in 2005, BC is 5-1 when returning to action following a bye. An extra week of preparation certainly could help BC, which hasn't been all that impressive in its first two games. The Eagles opened the season with a 38-20 victory over Weber State before topping Kent State, 26-13, on September 11th.
As for the Hokies, they are surely happy to see the ACC season arrive considering their prior success in the league. Not to mention they have struggled early on against non-conference foes this season. Following a heart- breaking 33-30 season-opening loss to Boise State, VT fell victim to one of the biggest upsets of the season, a 21-16 setback against James Madison, a FCS program. The Hokies finally found their way into the win column last weekend, pasting East Carolina by a 49-27 score.
Tech leads the head-to-head series with BC, 12-6, and that includes a 48-14 beating in Blacksburg last season.
Tailbacks David Wilson and Darren Evans accounted for 180 yards and three TDs on the ground, as Tech scored the final 28 points in a 49-27 victory over ECU last weekend. The duo saw an increase in their workload after starter Ryan Williams left with a hamstring injury. Williams, who broke VT's single-season rushing record last season (1,655 yards), is listed as questionable for this game. QB Tyrod Taylor actually paces VT's ground attack, which is averaging 205.0 ypg, with 191 yards. He had just 32 yards via the run last weekend, but did a nice job throwing for 199 yards and two TDs on 8-of-16 attempts. Jarrett Boykin has been Taylor's favorite target up to this point and he showed that by catching three balls for 118 yards and a score last weekend. He now has 229 of the team's 509 receiving yards for the season.
Defensively, the Hokies got off to a slow start last weekend but turned things around in the second half. After the intermission, VT allowed just three points and 83 total yards to ECU, while also receiving a 68-yard INT return for a TD by Rashad Carmichael, who finished with two picks. Those represented the first two INTs of the season for VT, which hasn't forced many turnovers, but has done a decent job in limiting opponents to 326.3 total ypg. Bruce Taylor currently paces the defense with 26 tackles and 6.5 TFLs, to go with a sack.
The Eagles were less then impressive in their last game against Kent State, as they managed just 305 yards of total offense. After rushing for 188 yards in a season opening win over Weber State, BC was held to just 87 yards on 40 carries last game. TB Montel Harris even had his run of 100-yard games stopped at six straight, as he finished with 80 yards on 29 carries versus Kent State. That put more pressure on QB Dave Shinskie, who played well in the second half and finished with 214 yards and two TDs on 18-of-27 throws. Johnathan Coleman has been Shinskie's top target early on, reeling in seven balls for 150 yards on the season.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Eagles have made a lot happen and have created eight turnovers thus far. Five of them came against Kent State, including three INTs. BC also limited Kent State to a mere 205 total yards, a nice improvement after allowing 381 yards to Weber State. BC's run defense has been especially strong, giving up just 108 yards on the ground through two games. Luke Kuechly has been a big part of the success against the run, leading the team with 21 tackles and four TFLs.
Tech may be off to a slow start, but there is still high expectations for this club. Expect the Hokies to get their ACC slate with a solid all-around win over the Eagles this weekend.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia Tech 27, Boston College 21
Saturday, September 25th, 12:00 p.m. (et)