Virginia Tech 48, Boston College 34
September 30, 2000
by Will Stewart, HokieCentral.com
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VT-Ferguson 1 run (Warley kick)
Chestnut Hill, MA - If this is an off day for Michael Vick, Hokie fans will take it.
On a day when Michael Vick only accumulated 61 yards passing, the Virginia Tech Hokies rode his magical legs, along with the fast legs of Lee Suggs, to victory over Boston College. Vick had 210 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and Suggs added 145 yards and two TD's as the Hokies got out front early and stayed out front on the way to a 48-34 victory.
As a team, Tech had 420 yards rushing, their highest total since compiling 453 yards rushing against Akron in a 1995 victory over the Zips. Defensively, Tech may have given up 34 points, but they only surrendered 287 total yards, including just 74 yards passing to a Boston College team that was leading the league in passing coming into the game.
On the down side, Boston College averaged 5.3 yards per rush and often ran up the middle with ease on the Hokies. In going 5-for-17 passing, Vick missed open receivers deep several times, and he had three bad turnovers, two of which led to Boston College scores.
In the end, though, it's another win for Tech, and with #3 Florida's loss to Mississippi State, Tech will likely move up to #3 in the nation when this week's polls come out.
Tech opened the game with a 12-play, 80 yard drive, capped by Jarrett Ferguson's 1-yard TD run, to make it 7-0. After a three-and-out by Boston College, Tech's Andre Davis caught BC's punt, avoided the first wave of tacklers, turned left, and raced 61 yards to a score to make it 14-0 with 7:41 to go in the first quarter.
Then it was BC's turn. The Eagles used their power running game and sandwiched two TD drives around a three-and-out possession by Tech to tie the ball game at 14-14 with 13:32 to go in the second quarter. Boston College's first drive was a 6-play, 68-yard drive with tailback Cedric Washington in the game, and it culminated in a 16-yard run by Washington for a TD. Their second TD drive was a dominating 14-play, 61-yard drive that utilized both William Green and Washington, and ended in a short 6-yard TD pass to Jamal Burke.
With the score tied, Tech responded with their own drive, a 9-play, 81-yard affair that ended in a 24-yard toss sweep to Lee Suggs for a touchdown. Suggs's touchdown came with 9:28 to go in the second quarter, and after another three-and-out by Boston College, Tech put together a 6-play, 58-yard drive that ended in a 27-yard TD by Michael Vick on an option keeper.
With the score 28-14, the Hokies once again stopped Boston College and took possession on their own 49, with a chance to go up by three touchdowns and start putting the Eagles away. On Tech's first play, however, Vick turned the wrong way on an option and pitched the ball into open space. There was a mad scramble for the fumble, and BC got it on Tech's 33 yard line.
Given new life, the Eagles scored in just three plays. The highlight of the drive was a 27-yard option run by quarterback Tim Hasselbeck to the Tech 3 yard line, and William Green ran it in one play later. BC missed the extra point, and it was 28-20, and still very much a game with 4:24 to go in the half.
The Hokies kept the pressure on, coming right back with another TD drive. Wayne Ward returned the kickoff to the Tech 41, and the Hokies scored from there in 9 plays, capped by Vick's second rushing touchdown, an 11-yard option keeper in which the Hokies QB ran into a pile of BC and VT players at the five yard line and powered his way into the end zone. The score came with 1:17 to go in the quarter, and the Hokies took a 35-20 lead into half time.
At the half, Tech had 227 yards rushing and 259 total yards, to Boston College's 173 total yards (including 122 rushing yards).
Boston College opened the second half and did very little with their first possession, and Tech responded with yet another touchdown, Lee Suggs running 10 yards with 7:06 to go in the third quarter. The TD by Suggs capped a 9-play, 57-yard drive that took nearly 5 minutes off the clock, and with the pressure Tech was putting on offensively, effectively put the game out of reach at 42-20.
Throughout the second half, Vick continued to alternate mistakes with brilliant plays. After the Hokies stonewalled BC on the Eagles' next possession, Boston College punted, and the Hokies took possession on their own two yard line. Vick threw an interception on an out route, and when BC took over on Tech's 10 yard line, their first play was a run by William Green down to Tech's one yard line.
Their backs to the wall, the Hokie defense came up with their third goal-line stand in their last three trips to Boston College. BC unsuccessfully tried three straight running plays, and on 4th and goal from the Tech 3 yard line, threw a corner route that was broken up by Tech's Ronyell Whitaker. It was BC's last gasp, and it came with just over two minutes to go in the third quarter. The quarter ended with VT up 42-20.
Boston College closed the gap early in the second quarter to 42-27 on a 17-yard slant route from Tim Hasselbeck to Jamal Burke, and then Michael Vick posted his SportsCenter highlight of the game.
Vick scored on a remarkable 82-yard scramble in which he avoided a heavy Boston College blitz by squirting straight up the field and then motoring down the left sideline. Late in the run, he cut back to the center of the field, twisted the last Boston College defender around with a juke move, and then shook off a facemask and high-stepped the last five yards into the end zone. Tech radio announcer Bill Roth later said, "Twenty years from now, when they show a highlight film of Michael Vick's Tech career, you'll see that play."
Vick's score boosted Tech back up to a 48-27 lead with 11:04 to go. He would later fumble in Tech territory, leading to Boston College's last score of the game, but it's not the two fumbles and the one interception by Vick that were shown around the country on sports shows Saturday night, nor was it any of his 12 passing incompletions; it was the 82-yard run that college football fans saw on their wrap-up shows.
The game showed Vick's inconsistency (he was spectacular running the ball, but poor passing the ball) and Tech's defensive weakness (BC ran the ball up the middle with ease behind their massive offensive line). In the end, it was a victory that no coach will complain about -- the Hokies made some mistakes and gave up 34 points, but they won anyway, rather handily.
The score is a mirror image of the 1993 Tech/BC game, when the Glenn Foley-led Eagles shredded Tech 48-34. Much like that game, this one wasn't really that close. Now 4-0, the Hokies and their fans will take it.
Tech's Larry Austin left the game early with a knee injury. It wasn't clear if the injury was a sprain or cartilage damage. Michael Vick also got hurt, early in the second quarter, on a long 32-yard scramble.
The Hokies' next game is at home against Temple on October 7th. Kickoff is scheduled for noon, and the game will be televised on ESPN2 or ESPN+.
RUSHING: Virginia Tech-Vick 16-210, Suggs 22-145, Kendrick 10-49, Ferguson 6-18, Andre Davis 1-6, Hawkins 1-0, Team 1-minus 8. Boston College-Green 25-117, Washington 10-63, Hasselbeck 5-33.
PASSING: Virginia Tech-Vick 5-17-1-61. Boston College-Hasselbeck 10-23-1-78, St. Pierre 1-1-0-minus 4.
RECEIVING: Virginia Tech-Johnson 4-42, Slowikowski 1-19. Boston College-J Burke 3-33, Dewalt 3-15, Guazzo 2-19, Comella 1-9, Daniels 1-2, Utzler 1-minus 4.