Boston College at Virginia Tech
BLACKSBURG – The last time Boston College entered the national rankings it was roughed up on the road at Purdue. The Eagles have built themselves back up and carry the 25th spot in this week’s Coaches Poll into Virginia Tech on Saturday, hoping to avoid a similar fate and keep pace in the ACC Atlantic Division.
AJ Dillon returned from a two-game absence to run for 149 yards and a touchdown as Boston College picked up a 27-14 win over Miami (Fla.) at home last Friday. The Eagles, who earlier this season were knocked from the rankings with a 17-point loss at Purdue, are 1 1/2 games behind Clemson in the division race and they host the high-powered Tigers next week. In order to make that a major event in Chestnut Hill, Boston College has to take care of a Hokies team that has had plenty of time to stew over a 49-28 loss to Georgia Tech last Thursday in which it gave up 465 rushing yards. Virginia Tech has dropped three of its last five while allowing an average of 47.7 points in the three defeats.
TV: 3:45 p.m. ET, ACC Network. LINE: Boston College -2
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (6-2, 3-1 ACC): Dillon ran 32 times against the Hurricanes in his return from an ankle injury and head coach Steve Addazio indicated he would like to give his sophomore an even greater workload against Virginia Tech’s suspect run defense. Controlling the time of possession could prove critical for the Eagles, whose last visit to Blacksburg in 2016 resulted in a 49-0 loss. “I’m not wasting a lot of time talking about what that experience was like, it is what it is,” Addazio told reporters of the difficulty playing in Lane Stadium, an experience he has tried to simulate with a loud speaker at the team’s practice facility. “But understanding what the environment was like, that’s another story and that’s real and we are going to assimilate that.”
ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (4-3, 3-1): The Hokies are giving up 216.2 yards per game on the ground in league play – 10th in the ACC – and could be without three defensive starters for this one, including lineman Jarrod Hewitt. “Hewitt’s obviously a big, big factor for us, being a guy inside that is our most experienced guy after Ricky [Walker] as far as playing inside,” defensive coordinator Bud Foster told the media. Junior quarterback Ryan Willis completed 15-of-22 passes for 201 yards and two TDs in the loss to Georgia Tech and he has accounted for 11 scores – two on the ground – over the past four games.
1. Dillon was held to 35 yards on 10 carries in a 23-10 loss to the Hokies at home last season. He ran for 272 yards the following week at Louisville.
2. Virginia Tech WR Damon Hazelton is averaging 106.3 receiving yards at home.
3. The Hokies have won three straight matchups by a combined score of 98-20.