By Matt Jones, sports editor
Much like the rest of the season, Virginia Tech’s 30-23 overtime win over Boston College was not pretty.
After struggling to put anything together in the first half, Logan Thomas and the offense rallied for 27 points in the third and fourth quarters and overtime to stay in the hunt for six wins.
“It’s been way too long,” Thomas said. “It feels great.”
The Hokies will host rival Virginia next Saturday with their bowl streak on the line. For now, here’s what Frank Beamer and some players had to say about the win.
Marcus Davis comes back
It’s tough to imagine a harder week for a college athlete than the one Marcus Davis went through leading up to the Boston College game.
A YouTube video, which highlighted Davis’ poor blocking and effort against Florida State, was the talk of Hokies practice this week. Whether it had a role in Davis’ absence in the first half, we’ll never know.
Davis, who finished with over 100 yards receiving and a touchdown, did not start the game or play at all in the first half. At halftime, he received the word he would go in.
“Coach just came to me in the second half and said, ‘get ready,’” Davis said.
His touchdown near the end of the third quarter gave the Hokies their first lead of the game. Earlier on that drive, Davis caught a key third-and-six pass on the sideline.
“It was just a takeoff route,” Davis said of this touchdown. “Good ball, good catch and I just had to make the play.”
His quarterback had complete confidence in him to come back after a tough game last week.
“I’m extremely proud of him,” Thomas said. “He’s the type of guy that can go make a play at any time. He got a lot of scrutiny last week, and I couldn’t be more proud of the way he went out and attacked the ball and made a big play in the endzone.”
Although he didn’t start, Davis’ focus remained on impacting the game.
“I didn’t take it personally at all,” Davis said. “It was a coach’s decision. When my number was called, the first thing on my mind was to make an impact.”
Scales runs hard
Senior tailback Martin Scales, who has been used sparingly this season, had his shining moment on a third-and-one play in overtime.
Scales took the handoff from Thomas and ran left, but it looked as if the play would be stopped short of the first down line. However, Scales put his head down and dragged the defender for the necessary yardage.
“I was just running the play, and I kept moving my feet,” Scales said. “I can’t go down, and we’re taught you don’t let one person bring you down.”
The 5-foot-11, 222-pound Scales hasn’t had his number called much this season, but got a majority of the short-yardage carries against the Eagles. He finished with 27 yards on seven carries.
“I don’t think (the defender) was supposed to be there, but they brought a safety blitz, and a lot of times if they bring that, it’s hard for the offensive line to pick that up,” Scales said. “It was one guy, and you have to make him miss.”
Three plays later, Thomas completed the game-winning touchdown pass to Randall Dunn.
Dunn makes his mark
Redshirt-senior Randall Dunn, making his first career start for the Hokies, caught the game-winning touchdown from Thomas on the first possession in overtime.
“I was waving my arms like crazy because I know he should’ve thrown it to me,” Dunn said. “It was right on time, and I told him to make sure he puts some air under it, don’t throw it too low. He did it.”
It was Dunn’s only catch of the game, and his third career touchdown. It could not have come at a better time for the Hokies.
“It’s usually a play we run on two-point conversion late in games,” Dunn said. “I don’t know what made the coaches call it, but it was a hell of a call. Hell of a call.”
The message was simple to Thomas before the play.
“I told him to throw it up, I told him I’m going to make a move and I’m going to win,” Dunn said. “Just throw the ball up and give me a chance to get it.”
Defense steps up
The Hokies defense held the Eagles to just 291 total yards, a performance largely helped by the fact that the Hokies had a season-high seven sacks.
“It’s great when those guys up front are able to get pressure on the quarterback like that,” said Antone Exum. “It makes our job in the secondary that much easier because they only have a little over one second before he’s got to tuck it or he’s feeling pressure. Those guys have been doing a great job these past couple weeks.”
Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig was just 13-of-30 for 129 yards and a touchdown. He also threw one interception, and his longest completion was for 23 yards.
“Some of (the pressure) we’ve blitzed our way into it, but a lot of it is just those four (defensive linemen),” said Frank Beamer. “That’s big. Charley Wiles is doing a good job of keeping them rested, but when you’ve got a front four that can get some pressure, that allows you to play a lot of different coverage on the back end.”
- The Hokies wore new helmets to go along with their all-white uniforms. On one side was a Hokie bird, and on the other side was the players number.
- Tech can keep their bowl streak alive with a win over UVa Saturday. They have played in a bowl game in 19 straight seasons.
- Michael Branthover handled the kickoffs against Boston College, replacing Brooks Abbott.
- Alonzo Tweedy got the start again against the Eagles. He started last week against Florida State, and had seven tackles, two sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss against Boston College.
- With Davis on the bench to start the game, the Hokies opened the game with Demitri Knowles, Corey Fuller and Kevin Asante at wide receiver. Dyrell Roberts saw his first action late in the second quarter.
- The first Hokies touchdown, which came just minutes into the second half, was set up by a Knowles kick return down to the Boston College 20. Thomas finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown run.
- Most of the calls went the Hokies way on Saturday. Logan Thomas recovered two of his own fumbles, Eagles defenders dropped several would-be interceptions and most official reviews went to the Hokies.
- The Hokies are now 2-0 in overtime this season. Their other win came in the season opener against Georgia Tech.