BLACKSBURG, Va.—Myles Willis didn’t look back.
And there was no reason to—the Boston College kick returner had just broken a tackle and saw nothing but open field ahead of him. Willis high-stepped past the pylon for what he thought was a game-tying touchdown and an explosive answer to Virginia Tech’s first score of the game.
It would be the closest that the Eagles would get to the end zone all day.
Thanks to a block-in-the-back penalty, the touchdown was called back and BC started one of its 10 three-and-out drives, in what turned out to be a fitting metaphor for the whole afternoon at Lane Stadium.
Nothing went right for BC (1-2, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) against the Hokies (2-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) in a 49-0 defeat, a public execution in front of 60,000 frenzied fans in Blacksburg, Va.
The loss marks the worst of the Addazio Era, an embarrassing all-around effort that featured 13 punts, a BC record for Mike Knoll. The other two drives ended in an interception and a fumble. It is the worst loss in program history since the Eagles fell to Ole Miss, 54-0, on Oct. 7, 1950.
The first half belonged to Virginia Tech, as quarterback Jerod Evans rebounded from a shaky performance at Bristol Motor Speedway to throw for three touchdown passes in the first half-hour of play alone. First-year head coach Justin Fuente did his research on the vaunted Eagle defense, largely avoiding the front seven and instead scorching the secondary through the air.
After a quiet opening drive, Tech’s offense came alive after BC wide receiver Michael Walker fumbled and the defense recovered. From there, the Hokies pieced together an eight-play, 58-yard drive that was capped off by a Travon McMillian touchdown catch.
Evans followed it up by leading the uptempo Tech offense down the field again, this time finding Isaiah Ford on a perfectly placed fade route at the end of the first quarter.
Then, with 1:42 remaining in the half, Evans spiraled a dart into double coverage, somehow locating Ford in the back of the endzone for a 30-yard touchdown pass.
Between each Tech score was a series of frustrating offensive possessions for BC, most ending in quick three-and-outs. Every attempt by head coach Steve Addazio to establish the run game was promptly shut down. The Eagles managed just five rushing yards in the first half.
It didn’t get any better in the second half. Evans continued to pour it on the BC defense with consecutive touchdown drives to begin the third quarter. First, he connected with freshman tight end Chris Cunningham. As if it couldn’t get any worse, Evans dumped it off in the flat to running back Sam Rogers, who scampered into the endzone to extend Tech’s lead to 35-0.
Not only did Evans’s fifth touchdown pass of the day equal the total from his first two games combined, it also tied the school record for most touchdowns in a game.
When the junior quarterback did finally make a mistake, the offense could not capitalize. Free safety John Johnson picked off Evans in the third quarter and gave the Eagles superb field position and an opportunity for a morale-boosting touchdown. But Patrick Towles and the offense only went backwards, retreating out of field goal range and eventually punting.
The Hokies would tack on two more rushing touchdowns, courtesy of McMillian and backup quarterback Brenden Motley, before the bloodbath was finally complete.
It’s the type of loss that humiliates a program. It’s the type of loss that makes a lot of jobs very, very insecure. And it’s the type of loss that makes the trip home from Blacksburg feel like returning from a funeral.
This story is being updated.
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor