BLACKSBURG, Va. — Virginia Tech’s first ACC game of the season started with a good omen: a Boston College turnover. The Hokies, who had lost nine fumbles in their first two games, most in the nation, took advantage of an Eagles fumble on their first possession of the game when Boston College wide receiver Michael Walker ran smack into Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark.
Andrew Motuapuaka snatched the spinning, airborne ball for a nine-yard return, and eight plays later the Hokies had notched their first touchdown of a 49-0 rout of Boston College in front of 60,054 at Lane Stadium. It was Virginia Tech’s most lopsided victory in a conference game since beating Maryland, 55-6, in November 2004.
The Eagles’ opening turnover was a sign of things to come Saturday in Blacksburg, when the Hokies did everything right and Boston College couldn’t catch its breath.
“We played well today against a big, physical team,” Virginia Tech Coach Justin Fuente said. “We did a better job taking care of the football. We didn’t eliminate all mistakes, but for one week, we were a more disciplined football team.”
Virginia Tech’s offense pummeled a vaunted Eagles defense, No. 3 in the nation in yards allowed entering Saturday’s game after ranking first last season.
Quarterback Jerod Evans tied a program record with five touchdown passes, his second time in three games throwing at least four. The junior college transfer completed 16 of 23 passes for 253 yards, threw one interception that he couldn’t be blamed for — the ball bounced out of Isaiah Ford’s hands — and was sacked once. He also ran the ball nine times for 48 yards.
Boston College’s offense, on the other hand, was downright impotent in Virginia Tech’s first ACC shutout since a 38-0 win at Virginia in 2011. The Eagles finally got 100 yards of total offense with a minute left in the third quarter. The Hokies (2-1, 1-0 ACC) outgained their opponents 476-124, with Evans’s interception standing as their lone turnover. The Eagles (1-2, 0-2) lost their ninth consecutive conference game dating from November 2014.
“I tell you what,” Hokies defensive coordinator Bud Foster said, “shutouts are hard to come by, I don’t care who you’re playing against. That’s something I’m really, really proud of for our kids.”
Evans capped a strong first quarter with a seven-play, 55-yard scoring drive that ended with an easy fade to Ford on a short field.
Virginia Tech followed up by going three and out on its first possession of the second quarter, but Bud Foster’s defense stymied any hope Boston College had of shifting momentum.
Foster’s familiarity with the Eagles’ offense was plain to see: Offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler spent the past three years in the same capacity under Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech, and the Hokies’ defense always had a step on Loeffler’s squad.
Foster said that familiarity helped especially with the passing game — Boston College quarterback Patrick Towles completed just 9 of 28 attempts for 80 yards. But the Eagles couldn’t run the ball either, rushing for a paltry 44 yards.
“I like the way our kids are playing right now,” Foster said. “We talked in this offseason about trying to get more eyes on the ball. I liked that, and I like how we’re fitting, they’re confident in the guy around them and we’re playing fast. I hope it’s just the start of good things to come.”
The lone score of the second quarter was a highlight for Virginia Tech.
After punt returner Greg Stroman stumbled but ran 29 yards to Boston College’s 30, Evans chucked a pass toward the end zone and Ford, who was double-covered. But Evans had bet correctly on all afternoon, and his best wide receiver leaped, arms stretched well above his two defenders, and caught a 30-yard touchdown pass to put Virginia Tech up 21-0.
Ford finished the day with four catches for 91 yards and the two scores.
Evans opened the second half shuttling Virginia Tech 77 yards in a six-play scoring drive that included a 36-yard completion to wide receiver Cam Phillips. He led two more scoring drives in the third before backup quarterback Brenden Motley ran 26 yards up the middle for a final touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles had one good chance for a score in the third quarter, but tight end Tom Sweeney lost the ball as he ran into the end zone with Brandon Facyson on his heels.