Virginia Tech Football: Winners and Losers from Week 11 Game vs. Boston College
Virginia Tech's hopes of playing in a bowl game for the 20th consecutive season became even more promising in Saturday's 30-23 overtime victory over Boston College.
It wasn't pretty, but the Hokies persevered after a tough start that saw them trailing 13-3 at halftime.
Quarterback Logan Thomas played another solid game, and for the first time in several games, he did not turn the ball over. Thomas finished with 233 yards passing, two touchdowns and a rushing touchdown.
The Hokies play host to in-state rival Virginia this weekend, and a win will guarantee a postseason berth. The Hokies have won 11 of the past 12 meetings with the Cavaliers.
Here are some winners and losers from Saturday's win at Boston College.
Winners: Pass Defense
Entering Saturday's game, Boston College was ranked 32nd nationally in passing offense.
The Hokies held the Eagles and junior quarterback Chase Rettig to 129 yards passing and sacked him seven times. Rettig was only 13-for-30 with one interception.
The Hokies' pass rush continues to be terrific. They now have 30 sacks on the season. Twenty-three of those sacks have come in the last five games.
The secondary has played much better over this span as a result of the pressure created by the defensive front. This is the performance Bud Foster expected from this group before the season.
Winner: Marcus Davis
After two somewhat forgettable weeks, senior wide receiver Marcus Davis had an excellent game on Saturday against Boston College.
Davis finished with five receptions for 104 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown catch.
After his recent struggles, he was no longer listed on top of the depth chart at split end and did not start Saturday. It wasn't punishment for Davis but more of a way to push him.
Keep in mind, Davis leads the Hokies with 43 receptions for 858 yards and is tied for the team lead with five touchdown receptions. He is averaging 20 yards per catch.
Davis needs just 105 yards against Virginia to break the single-season record for receiving yards in a season set by Andre Davis in 1999.
Davis deserves credit for handling his situation with class and working even harder to get back on the field.
Winner: Alonzo Tweedy
Senior linebacker Alonzo Tweedy has taken advantage of his opportunity to start at outside linebacker. On the first play from scrimmage, Tweedy sacked Rettig and set the tone for the Hokies defense.
Tweedy would get another sack in this game and also had seven tackles.
Tweedy has long been known as the Hokies' best coverage player on special teams but didn't get a lot of snaps on the defensive side of the ball. However, with injuries and the struggles of those ahead of him, Tweedy has now solidified the position.
Unfortunately for Tweedy, his elevation to the starting lineup came so late in his career.
Losers: Run Defense
Boston College was ranked 118th in rushing offense before Saturday's game against the Hokies. Led by junior Rolandan Finch, the Eagles rushed for 167 yards with Finch getting 138 by himself.
The Hokies defense had been excellent in recent weeks against the likes of Clemson and Florida State, so allowing Boston College to run the ball this well is not going to sit well with Bud Foster.
Before this game, Finch has just 149 yards on the season after being benched in September.
Virginia doesn't possess an outstanding rushing offense either, but expect them to exploit this area if the Hokies prove incapable of stopping the run.
Losers: Special Teams
Beamerball seems a thing of the past for the Hokies these days.
Head coach Frank Beamer made his name by coaching an outstanding special teams unit for years. That hasn't been the case for some time now.
On Saturday, the Hokies gave up another long return to Eagles returner Spiffy Evans that set up a score. Coverage has been a major problem at times this season.
Also, punter Michael Branthover took over kickoff duties from freshman Brooks Abbott and struggled mightily, kicking one out of bounds that gave the Eagles terrific starting field position. Abbott, by the way, hasn't been much better in that role this season.
As bad as this group was overall, give kicker Cody Journell credit. He was 3-for-3 on Saturday and had two field goals over 40 yards. It has been a nice season for Journell.