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November 2, 2013

Turnovers Again Culprit in 34-27 VT Loss

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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - For the second week in a row, senior quarterback Logan Thomas' downfalls proved to be a big downfall for Virginia Tech.

Thomas threw a pair of interceptions, the latter resulting in a fourth-quarter interception return for a touchdown as Boston College handed the Hokies their second loss in a row, 34-27. Thomas also fumbled on a last ditch effort by Virginia Tech with just over a minute to play, which was recovered by the Eagles.

Offensively, the Hokies put up some big numbers, with 391 yards passing, 171 of which went to redshirt freshman wide receiver Joshua Stanford. But Thomas' mistakes proved to be the biggest deciding factors.

"Things just aren't quite going our way sometimes, and then we're not making them go our way," coach Frank Beamer said. "We're not making the plays that we need to make or taking care of the ball like we need to take care of. Their last touchdown, our defense, guy should be right there in the hole and he's not there, and all of a sudden it's a long touchdown. You've got to work your way out of these funks. We've got to do the things that we've done. I don't think it's beyond question that we can get it done."

In a back and forth game, the Eagles struck first, before the visitors picked it back up.

After exchanging punts, Boston College got rolling. Senior quarterback Chase Rettig scrambled for 19 yards down to the Virginia Tech 19 yard-line. Senior running back Andre Williams then capped off the 10-play drive with a 19-yard run in which he bounced to the right sideline, shedding a pair of tackles on his way to the end zone to put the Eagles up 7-0 with 1:25 left in the first quarter.

The Hokies responded with a 22-yard pass to senior D.J. Coles on the ensuing drive and appeared to be moving. But the drive stalled and Virginia Tech punted three plays later.

Following a Boston College punt, the Hokies again looked to have something going, with a 21-yard pass over the middle to freshman tight end Kalvin Cline. Four plays later, Thomas found junior wide receiver Willie Byrn over the middle for a 13-yard gain before finding Coles for a 25-yard pass down to the Eagles' one yard-line.

Two plays later, redshirt freshman Trey Edmunds punched in a one-yard touchdown run, aided by a tackle, to get Virginia Tech on the scoreboard and tie the game at seven with 5:15 before halftime.

But the Hokies weren't done seizing back some momentum. After a Boston College punt, Virginia Tech rebounded from back to back holding penalties for an 18-yard catch by sophomore wide receiver Demitri Knowles on third and 17. Two plays later, Knowles caught another big pass. Edmunds had a 46-yard screen pass for a touchdown negated on a holding penalty, but senior kicker Cody Journell gave the Hokies a boost.

With six seconds left in the first half, Journell connected on a 56-yard field goal attempt that would have been good from 60 yards to give Virginia Tech a 10-7 advantage. Journell's make was the longest under Beamer and the Hokies' longest since 2010.

Virginia Tech got moving to begin the second half as well, following an Eagles punt. Thomas found Burn down the left sideline for 20 yards, but two plays later, his pass to Knowles was a bit behind. Knowles tipped the ball, which was intercepted by Boston College junior cornerback Manuel Asprilla and returned 49 yards to the Hokies' 15 yard-line.

Luckily for Virginia Tech, the Eagles couldn't do much in response. After a three and out, Boston College senior kicker Nate Freese connected on a 24-yard field goal to tie the game at 10 with 10:27 left in the third quarter.

On the ensuing drive for the Hokies, Thomas connected on a 69-yard pass over the middle to Stanford, who shook a few tackles before getting tackled at the one-yard line. Three plays later, on fourth and inches and after a recovered Thomas fumble, Thomas play-faked to Edmunds before finding a wide open Kalvin Cline in the end zone for a touchdown. The grab gave Virginia Tech a 17-10 lead with 6:13 left in the third quarter.

After a Boston College punt, Thomas gave some of the momentum back on the Hokies' next drive. On the second play, Thomas was sacked and fumbled, with the Eagles recovering the ball at the Virginia Tech 17-yard line.

Six plays later, Boston College capitalized. On a play action pass, senior fullback Jake Sinkovec hauled in a two-yard touchdown pass to knot the score back at 17 with 1:20 left in the third quarter.

Thomas answered on the Hokies' ensuing drive with 23 and 18-yard passes to Stanford before the drive stalled thanks to a sack. Journell continued his kicking prowess though, nailing a 47-yard field goal with 13:08 to play to put Virginia Tech back up 20-17.

Thanks to 15 and 25-yard passes though on the Eagles' next drive, Boston College knotted the game back up. Freese hit a 43-yard field goal with 8:45 to play to tie the game for the fourth time, this time at 20-all.

But on the next drive for the Hokies, Thomas made his most costly mistake of the game. On third and five at his own 30 yard-line, Thomas was pressured and let loose a pass over the middle, off his back foot. The pass was intercepted by senior linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis and returned 33 yards for a touchdown to give the Eagles a 27-20 advantage with seven minutes left in the game.

"I was trying to throw it away," Thomas said. "I was getting pushed so I kind of floated it and obviously, it was a big mistake. I was trying to throw it into the dirt under Dimitri's feet so obviously it would have been (intentional grounding.)"

Thomas gathered himself on the next drive and on third and four at his own 31 yard-line, found Stanford down the left sideline for 27 yards. Boston College was called for a pass interference on fourth down, but after a review, a called tipped pass negated that penalty.

A fourth down pass to redshirt freshman receiver Charley Meyer fell incomplete and on the first play of the ensuing drive, the Eagles' Williams took off, 62 yards for a touchdown with 4:35 to play for a commanding 34-20 Boston College lead.

The Hokies had another gasp though, as they drove 52 yards in eight plays, capped by a 22-yard screen pass to Edmunds for a touchdown. With 2:54 to play, the deficit was cut to 34-27.

Virginia Tech had one last effort, after forcing a punt, but again, Thomas was the culprit. With 1:21 to play, Thomas scrambled ahead and fumbled. Boston College recovered the ball and ran out the clock.

The Hokies have now lost two in a row to fall to 6-3 on the season and will play No. 7 Miami next Saturday.

"I thought we really gave great effort as a football team," Beamer said. "We just didn't do the things in the second half that good football teams do. That's the bottom line. The way I see it, if Miami loses tonight, we go down to Miami with a chance. If we can beat them, I think we're right back in it. I'm not going to give up hope on this thing."



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