After a mistake-riddled offensive night proved costly in Old Dominion, Virginia Tech cleaned things up offensively while the defense looked like an old school lunch pail defense on Tech's way to a comfortable victory over Boston College.
Virginia Tech beat Boston College 27-10 to improve to 1-1 (1-0 ACC) on the season and give Brent Pry his first win as a head coach with the Eagles falling to 0-2 (0-1 ACC).
Tech's defense shined early as they held Boston College to -6 yards and 0 first downs on their first 7 possessions while Tech's offense turned an early Armani Chatman interception into a 14-yard touchdown drive capped off with a Jalen Holston touchdown run. Tech kept it going with a field goal and a Keshawn King 65-yard TD run that was perfect blocking and running execution by all.
However, Tech's offense had its struggles as well with Boston College lingering around with a late first half field goal followed by a third quarter touchdown to make it 17-10 and make the game interesting. However, Tech responded with arguably their best drive of the night going 78 yards on 9 plays capped off with a Kaleb Smith touchdown.
Tech finished it off with a fourth quarter field goal from Will Ross to make it an insurmountable three-score lead.
Tech's defense was absolutely dominant holding BC without a first down on 10 of their 14 drives while also forcing a turnover and sacking Phil Jurkovec five times. Tech's pass rush was dominant all night led by TyJuan Garbutt with Jurkovec having no time to do anything and taking lots of big hits with Tech's pass coverage being good overall outside of a couple moments. The Hokies only allowed also held BC to an insane 2.6 yards per play after holding ODU under 4 yards per play last week while Tech outgained the Eagles 284-155.
Meanwhile, Tech's offense had their ups and downs but cleaned up the mistakes with no turnovers tonight even if Grant Wells was far from perfect. However, Wells had some good moments while Connor Blumrick and Kaleb Smith both made plays as receivers with Keshawn King adding the biggest play though a mid-game injury that he didn't return from leaves his status up in the air.
Importantly, Tech went from 15 penalties for over 100 yards and 5 turnovers last week to 0 turnovers and only 5 penalties for 25 yards this week in what was a massive improvement in that regard.
TyJuan Garbutt was the biggest star of the night for the Hokies with 3 tackles that were all for loss including a sack plus a 1 forced fumble, a pass breakup, and 4 QB hurries. Garbutt was in the backfield on almost every play he was on and dominated offensive tackles on both sides of the field.
Dax Hollifield had another strong performance as well leading the Hokies with 8 tackles including 1.5 for loss with 1 sack while CJ McCray had 4 tackles including 1 sack. Armani Chatman had an interception plus 3 tackles including 0.5 for loss while Dorian Strong had 4 tackles including a pass breakup.
Grant Wells was much improved from his Hokie debut going 16-25 for 140 yards and a touchdown in what was a solid even if unspectacular performance. Keshawn King only had 4 carries but finished with 64 rushing yards including a 65-yard rushing touchdown plus a 5-yard reception though he suffered an injury and didn't return. Jalen Holston added 48 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries plus an 8-yard reception.
Tech's receiving corps wasn't great but Connor Blumrick emerged as one of Tech's top passing threats leading Tech with 5 receptions that went for 46 yards. Kaleb Smith added 3 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown despite not being 100% most likely after suffering an injury last week. Stephen Gosnell had 2 catches for 30 yards with Da'Wain Lofton adding 2 catches as well and no other Hokie having a reception of 10+ yards.
After a mistake-filled opener in Norfolk, Virginia Tech's offense wasn't spectacular but didn't shoot themselves in the foot while Tech's defense built on a strong night in Norfolk with an even more dominant night this evening. Yes, Boston College isn't very good and may only win 3 or 4 games this year, but the Hokies got a much-needed win in comfortable fashion to truly get things rolling in the Brent Pry era.