College Football: Boston College vs Virginia Tech - D1SportsNet


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Boston College vs Virginia Tech

BOSTON -- Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente had a simple message for his team after the Hokies lost to No. 2 Clemson in Blacksburg on Saturday night.

Move on.

"I think our kids understand the challenges in front of them," Fuente said Monday.

"None of them are happy about what happened. My message (Sunday) was, 'Don't even walk in here and feel sorry for yourself. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. It's up to us to change the situation we're in.'"

The Hokies, who won four non-conference games before losing to Clemson to fall four spots to No. 16, now hit the road for Saturday night's ACC game at Boston College (2-3, 0-2).

Virginia Tech last week turned the ball over three times, missed a field goal and failed to convert on a fake field goal during a second-half comeback attempt.

"I would say that we should've played better at every single position," Fuente said.

"I mean, at quarterback, at offensive line, at defensive line, at linebacker, at defensive back, at punter. Greg Stroman at punt returner was probably as good as you could get. Other than that, I would give our whole team a very average grade."

BC was picked to finish last in the Atlantic Division but was tied 7-7 with Clemson, in Death Valley, going into the fourth quarter before crumbling. The Eagles have a pair of wins against the MAC, opening their season with a tight victory at Northern Illinois, then losing three straight before handling Central Michigan 28-8 at home last week.

Boston College offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler, who was Frank Beamer's coordinator from 2013-15, is the man who recruited Virginia Tech redshirt freshman quarterback Josh Jackson to Blacksburg. He, too, is working with a rookie QB -- redshirt freshman Anthony Brown.

"We only have 12 shots. That was five," Brown said after the win over Central Michigan. "Sixth one is coming up against a really good team, and it really just helps our confidence and keeps us building."

Brown continues to be a work in progress, last week throwing for 85 yards and a touchdown. Freshman running back A.J. Dillon appears to be on the threshold of something special, last week running for 120 yards, teaming with Jon Hilliman for a solid backfield tandem.

Among the Hokies' defensive standouts is massive linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, who leads the team with 42 tackles and is third with 4 1/2 tackles for loss.

"We know we have a big, big challenge ahead of us here Saturday night," Eagles coach Steve Addazio said. "Virginia Tech is an outstanding football team and ... one of the best defenses in the country."

The Eagles lead the ACC in fewest passing yards allowed (154.0) and pass efficiency defense (90.6 rating). Senior defensive end/outside linebacker Harold Landry is a first-round prospect who led the nation with 16 1/2 sacks last season. He picked up only his second of the year last week and needs to be a factor if BC is to have a chance.

Virginia Tech will test that defense with Jackson, who has completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 1,378 yards, 12 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Two of those picks came against Clemson's ferocious defense. Jackson is second among freshman quarterbacks in passer rating at 159.3.

Wide receiver Cam Phillips is only five receptions shy of breaking the school record of 210, set by Isaiah Ford.

The Eagles, powerful against the run last season, have been pushed around for big plays by the good teams they've seen in the first five weeks. Boston College has given up an average of 39 points in losses to Clemson, Wake Forest and Notre Dame and ranks 122nd nationally against the run.

"They are a big, strong, physical football team," Fuente said. "They're built a certain way, in terms of playing really good defense and playing really well on special teams and running the football. Trying to maybe shorten the game a little bit. Trying to find a way to make a couple plays, enough to win games."

The Hokies have won the last two meetings and seven of the last nine games played between the old Big East pals.

"We've beaten them two out of four years. Let's not forget that either, OK," Boston College coach Steve Addazio said.

BC has only two wins in its past 18 ACC games and hasn't won a conference game at home since beating Syracuse 28-7 on Nov. 29, 2014.


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