The opening day loss to top-ranked Alabama was expected.
The midseason loss to Duke was not.
Now Virginia Tech will try to recover from its loss to the Blue Devils when the Hokies travel to Boston College on Saturday. Virginia Tech (6-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) had won six in a row and risen to No. 16 in The Associated Press Top 25 before falling 13-10 at home last weekend.
“After a very disappointing loss, I think we’re going to be challenged this week. How we come back from that loss, how we react this week, we’ve got to put it behind us and get going,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “So it’s quite a challenge for our football team.”
The Eagles (3-4, 1-3) have lost two in a row.
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Here are five things to look for in Saturday’s game in Chestnut Hill:
LOGAN’S RUNNING: Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas has thrown for 208 yards per game, but he’s also run the ball 100 times for a net of 437 yards and four touchdowns. He’s 6-foot-6, 260 pounds, making him a presence in the pocket and hard to bring down there or in the open field. “From what I understand, when you see him in person, he’s bigger than you think,” BC coach Steve Addazio said.
RUNNING DOWNHILL: Boston College running back Andre Williams has been one of the few bright spots for the Eagles. He has 1,040 yards and eight touchdowns so far this year. “I like the contact, somebody coming right at me,” defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins said. “But I look forward to power running, power blocking.”
BY AIR, TOO: The Hokies’ defensive line gets good pressure and leads the country with 17 interceptions. With the offense struggling like it did against Duke, it would help if the defense contributes some points on its own. Addazio said the Hokies might be the best defense BC has played this year. “We’re playing people right now. Make no mistake about that,” he said. “They’re legit. I knew they were good, and now after watching the tape, I’m like, ‘Wow. Here we go.”’
FOR THE CHASE: BC quarterback Chase Rettig needs to recover from a game against North Carolina in which he completed just 10 of 20 passes for 57 yards. Addazio said he met with Rettig on Monday morning just to make sure his confidence was still high. “Our passing game was a non-factor,” Addazio said, blaming it more on bad down and distance, dropped passes and sacks than in anything Rettig did wrong. “He’s devastated, just like I am.”
NOT-SO-SPECIAL TEAMS: Virginia Tech placekicker Cody Journell is just 8 for 14 on field goals for the year, missing from 40 and 45 yards last week. Journell, a senior, has missed either a field goal or a point after in each of the last five games. Those two missed field goals were costly in the three-point loss to Duke, but the Hokies are hoping it doesn’t come down to a kick against Boston College this week.