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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (hokiesports.com) – Travon McMillian rushed for 105 yards, Joey Slye booted four field goals and the Hokies’ defense scored a touchdown, helping Virginia Tech down the Boston College Eagles 26-10 in an ACC game played Saturday at Alumni Stadium.
The win snapped the Hokies’ two-game losing streak. Tech is now 4-5 overall, 2-3 in the ACC. BC fell to 3-6 overall, 0-6 in league play.
“I’m just proud of our organization and what we’re all about and how we came into a tough place and handled it,” Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “It wasn’t an easy thing for us to do. I’m proud of them.
“We’ve talked a lot about it [bouncing back], and we practiced great this week. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this crowd. After a gut-wrenching day last week and the way these guys came back … it doesn’t happen every day.
The Eagles came into the game ranked in the top 10 nationally in nine defensive categories, but the Hokies got off to a good start, and the Eagles offense, which has struggled much of the season, couldn’t make up the difference.
Tech’s defense held the Eagles to just 218 yards and forced four turnovers, including three fumbles, and didn’t give up a touchdown until the fourth quarter. Tech’s offense finished with 275 yards of offense, led by McMillian’s 105 rushing and Michael Brewer’s 180 throwing. McMillian, who carried the ball 33 times, rushed for more yards against BC than any tailback this season.
“We wanted to execute and establish the run and keep it balanced,” McMillian said. “We knew that we had to have a balanced attack, and today, we definitely executed.”
The Hokies got on the board first in this one, scoring on their second possession. They went 47 yards in just four plays, with the drive ending on a 27-yard touchdown pass from Brewer to Phillips. Slye’s extra point gave Tech a 7-0 lead with 6:44 left in the first quarter.
“That was big to open the game like that,” Brewer said. “We put some points on the board early. Any time we get in the red zone, we want to put points on the board. We want to score seven. That didn’t happen all day today, but we said all day that we wanted to end every drive with a kick, and for the most part, we did that.”
Tech’s third drive ended in points as well. The Hokies marched to the BC 27, but the drive stalled after that and they settled for a 47-yard field goal by Slye. That gave them a 10-0 lead with 1:13 left in the first quarter.
Tech’s defense accounted for the Hokies’ second touchdown, as mike linebacker Andrew Motuapuaka stripped Jordan Gowins at the BC 34 and grabbed the loose ball. He returned it 34 yards for a touchdown, and Joey Slye’s extra point gave Tech a 17-0 lead with 11:01 left in the first half.
“We’re always trying to force turnovers to help our offense out,” Motuapuaka said. “That’s what happened today. I was lucky enough to make contact with the guy and he had the ball loose, and I just yanked it out. I had it and I started running. I was a little surprised, but I thought it was going to be a fumble on the ground, but it just stuck with me.”
Tech’s final score of the first half came on a nice, two-minute drive that was extended when BC roughed punter A.J. Hughes after the Eagles had stopped the Hokies at the Tech 17.
Tech retained possession and marched 55 yards to the BC 20, using big pass plays of 25 and 16 yards to Isaiah Ford and Phillips, respectively. Slye nailed a 38-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to give Tech a 20-0 lead at halftime.
The teams traded field goals in the fourth quarter, with Slye adding a 32-yarder. That marked the third time this season that he’s hit three field goals in a game and the sixth time in his career.
The Eagles finally got on the board toward the end of the third. An 11-play, 59-yard drive ended when Mike Knoll hit a 29-yard field goal that cut the Hokies’ lead to 23-3 with 3:26 left in the third. The Eagles added a touchdown on a 3-yard run by Richard Wilson with 8:09 left in the game.
The Hokies now get a week off before heading to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech in a Thursday night affair on Nov. 12. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.