Virginia Tech Dominated By Boston College in 17-3 Loss

Virginia Tech Dominated By Boston College in 17-3 Loss
Photo Credit: Dave Knachel/Virginia Tech Athletics
Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas | @TimThomasTLP

TLP: Editor
Nov 05, 2021

Phil Jurkovec's return and the Red Bandanna game may have boosted Boston College's spirits but a messy offensive night plus an inconsistent defense and penalty issues proved more than costly for Virginia Tech to fall on the road in Chestnut Hill.

Boston College beat Virginia Tech 17-3 to pick up their first ACC win of the season and end their four-game losing streak while the Hokies fell to 4-5 on the season including 2-3 in ACC play.

Yes, Virginia Tech had to adapt offensively to not having Braxton Burmeister after he suffered a rib injury early, but Tech's QB development once again had lots of questions with Knox Kadum struggling. Kadum did gain some rhythm as the game went on yet the Hokies had some bizarre playcalls given Kadum's skill set trying to run a guy who has some mobility but isn't a runner.

The Hokies had some rushing success at times with Malachi Thomas and Raheem Blackshear, and showed some productivity that has you going what if when Braxton Burmeister was in the game. However, Tech's offense without a mobile QB was built on forcing Kadum into a style that doesn't fit him and then either repetitive, predictable playcalling or just things that didn't make sense outside of Tech's one drive that reached the red zone, but crumbled after a Tayvion Robinson on a weird interior screen.

Worst of all, this is Virginia Tech's first game without scoring a touchdown since their infamous overtime game with Wake Forest with the Frank Beamer meme. For a guy who was supposed to bring an offensive revolution in year 6 against a Boston College team on a four-game losing streak, that;s bad.

Virginia Tech's defense was a little inconsistent giving up a few big plays while having a couple bad luck moments with Dorian Strong fumbling an INT that gave BC the ball in the red zone and a Tae Daley deflection that went perfectly to a BC receiver several yards away. BC turned those two drives into 10 points while also scoring a touchdown on a 93-yard drive to open the second half.

Outside of that, Tech's defense was solid giving up a couple big plays, but bending and not breaking when they didn't get quick stops. Tech only allowed 5.2 yards per play which is fairly good though there were a couple times when they couldn't get off the field. However, holding BC to 346 yards on a night where the Eagles had the ball for almost 37 minutes compared to VT's meager 23 minutes makes this still an okay performance and clearly better than the offense.

Penalties were an issue for the first time all season as the Hokies had 7 for 55 yards while they also gave up a couple solid returns to Boston College in what wasn't the best night for Tech's kick coverage units.

Malachi Thomas and Raheem Blackshear did have solid offensive nights though as Thomas had 70 yards on 13 carries while Blackshear had 67 yards on 12 carries with both averaging well over 5 yards per carry. Tayvion Robinson led the receivers with 4 catches for 44 yards while Knox Kadum had a tough night as a passer going 7-16 for 73 yards.

Dax Hollifield and Tae Daley led the Hokies with 10 tackles each with both players having a tackle for loss. Nasir Peoples also added 9 tackles including 1 for loss while Norell Pollard had 1.5 tackles for loss. Dorian Strong had 2 tackles, 1 interception, and 1 pass breakup to lead the CBs while Jermaine Waller had 5 tackles and 1 pass breakup.

Tonight reinforced the reality that the Justin Fuente era is going to be coming to an end within the next few weeks, but tonight's game raised more questions about whether it's worth pulling the plug even sooner.

Yes, this is a lost season for the Hokies and finding a way to avoid paying the full $10 million buyout either with a negotiated buyout down to just over $7.5 million after the UVA game or waiting till December 15th when it formally drops to $7.5 million makes more financial sense.

However, there are times where the seemingly irrational move becomes necessary and this is one of those times. The fact is that there was very little urgency which faded to nothing on the Hokies' final offensive drive when, down 2 scores with a little over 7 minutes, ran the ball multiple times while taking their time and running checks like it was still the first half.

Yes, the odds may be low but at some point, you have to stand up and keep fighting even if the battle is almost over. In this case, the playcalling and urgency from the top to the team reflected that the white flag had been raised though you could argue that it was raised offensively earlier than that as well. The fact is that the playcalling and lackadaisical approach to taking time and running through checks showed a mindset of concession in only a two-score game where a comeback was still possible even if it seemed unlikely.

That is completely unacceptable and given things like that combined with tonight's latest offensive mess, penalty issues popping up after being a strength all season, something that shouldn't change regardless of injuries, and a lackluster performance on the road at an 0-4 ACC team, that's a mess.

It may be a clearly lost season for Virginia Tech with the Hokies likely to finish with a losing record for the third time in four years and a split coming after this season, but sometimes it's worth it to move sooner even if it isn't rational. If I was Whit Babcock, I'm not sure what I would do whether to wait till the end of the season or end it now.

But at some point, enough is enough.