Less than three weeks after breaking his right forearm, Virginia Tech tailback Cedric Humes will return for No. 3 Virginia Tech for Thursday night's nationally televised game against No. 13 Boston College at Lane Stadium.

Humes, a senior from Virginia Beach, broke his arm during the Hokies' 41-14 win over Marshall on Oct. 8. He didn't play in Virginia Tech's 28-9 victory at Maryland last Thursday after undergoing surgery to place an eight-hole plate and six screws in his arm.

"There are going to be no limits for me," Humes said Tuesday. "The pain went away two days after the surgery. Running is going to be no problem for me."

Hokies Coach Frank Beamer said Humes, senior Mike Imoh (Robinson High) and redshirt freshman Branden Ore all will get carries against the Eagles. Boston College leads the ACC and is fourth in Division I-A in rushing defense, allowing only 77.7 yards per game and three rushing touchdowns in seven games.

"They're big, but they're not big and slow," Beamer said of the Eagles.

Eyes on the BCS

Beamer rarely has talked about the Bowl Championship Series ratings this season, except to say that college football's system for determining which two teams will play for the national championship will ultimately work itself out. The Hokies, who are third in the BCS standings behind No. 1 Texas and No. 2 Southern California, are one of six undefeated teams left in Division I-A.

Beamer said the fact that the Longhorns moved past the two-time defending national champion Trojans this week gives him a little hope the Hokies can make up ground with their remaining schedule. After playing the Eagles, who are No. 14 in the BCS, Virginia Tech plays Miami at home Nov. 5, followed by a game at Virginia and a home game against North Carolina. The Hurricanes are No. 7 in the BCS.

If Virginia Tech wins the ACC's Coastal Division, it would probably play either Florida State, No. 10 in the BCS, or Boston College in the ACC championship game Dec. 3 at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla.

The top two teams in the final BCS ratings, released on Dec. 4, will play in the Jan. 4 Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., for at least a share of the national championship.

Paying the Piper

After the Hokies were penalized three times for 41 yards for personal fouls in the Maryland game, Beamer instituted a new policy that requires players who commit those infractions to run at 6 a.m. the following week. The policy goes into effect next week, Beamer said. Players who commit the penalties are required to run 100 yards for each yard of penalty.

"I know what I did," said senior cornerback Jimmy Williams, who was penalized 11 yards for a late hit at the Hokies 22 on Maryland tailback Lance Ball. "I thought I might get away with it. It's just something to keep us on our toes. Outbursts like those can cost us points."

Extra Points

Boston College senior quarterback Quinton Porter will start Thursday night, Coach Tom O'Brien said, despite being replaced in the fourth quarter of the Eagles' 35-30 comeback win over Wake Forest on Oct. 15. Sophomore Matt Ryan came off the bench in that game and completed 7 of 9 passes for 134 yards and two late touchdowns. . . . Virginia Tech backup rover Cary Wade (Robinson High) sprained his ankle in Monday's practice and is questionable to play against BC.