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Football Preview: Virginia Tech at Boston College

by Brittany Gropp
September 22, 2010

Virginia Tech (1-2) came out strong this past Saturday, defeating East Carolina University (2-1) 49-27 and picked up its first win of the season.

The Hokies got off to a slow start as they found themselves down 10-0 to the Pirates in the first quarter. Tech fans began to brace themselves for another long game.

But before they had a chance to hang their heads too low, things started to turn around.

Down 24-21 at the end of the second quarter, the Hokies came out with an explosive second half. They gave up just one field goal--at the start of the third quarter--and then proceeded to put up 28 unanswered points.

"I feel like after halftime, as a whole, as a team, we grew up," said cornerback Rashad Carmichael. Carmichael had two interceptions against the Pirates on Saturday; one of which was returned for a touchdown.

The momentum gained from Saturday's win will certainly help the Hokies this weekend as they travel to Chesnut Hill, Mass. to kick off ACC play against Boston College.

"When conference play gets started, you really have to turn it up a notch," said offensive guard Greg Nosal. "And to have this game under our belt is really a confidence booster."

The Hokies will need more than confidence and momentum, however, to defeat the Eagles in Alumni Stadium, where they have not won since 2002.

"This is typical Boston College," said coach Frank Beamer. "Big, strong, tough, well-coached. And it's a tough place to play up there. We better get ready to play a tough, tough football game."

Indeed, Tech does have a lot to prepare for: BC has one of the best running backs in the country in junior Montel Harris, who is the active ACC leader in rushing yards; they have quarterback Dave Shinskie, who threw for 2,049 yards and 15 touchdowns as a true freshman in 2009; and they also have a tenacious, veteran offensive line with an average height of 6-4 and weight of 307 pounds.

"Last week we had more of our speed pads on," said Carmichael. "This week, Coach Foster said we've got to put our big boy pads on."

Tech will also have a lot to prepare for before facing Boston College's defense. In its first two games this season, the Eagles defense forced eight turnovers. In addition, Eagle star linebacker Mark Herzlich is back, after battling--and defeating--a rare form of bone cancer last season.

"I think (the key on offense) is establishing our run game," said Nosal. "We have these great backs, and we just need to start off strong and really get it going."

Although the Hokies will be without star running back Ryan Williams--who left the ECU game in the second quarter with a pulled hamstring--they clearly illustrated the depth of their backfield on Saturday. Junior Darren Evans rushed for 91 yards and one touchdown and sophomore David Wilson rushed for 89 yards and two touchdowns.

Another encouragement factor for Tech is that even though the team destroyed its hope for a national title with its 0-2 start, the hope for a conference title is still very much alive.

"Our bigger picture is kind of shot," said Evans. "But we still realize that there's another championship to be played. And to go to that game, it takes everybody, offense and defense."

Although the Hokies are prepared to battle for an ACC title, they realize that it's still early.

"I think you judge the ACC over a period of time," said Beamer. "I don't think you think about down the road. I think you think about this game with Boston College. That's where I keep the focus."

The Hokies take on Boston College at Alumni Stadium this Saturday. Kickoff is at noon.

Comments (1)

What I'm interested much now is the Hokies’ game against the Stanford Cardinal in the Orange Bowl. I hope the Hokies will do well. The game is going to be so tough as the Stanford has completed a turnaround from doormat to elite team.

Virginia Tech football tickets | December 28, 2010 5:40 AM