Coming off similar Week One upsets—Boston College lost to Rutgers, and Virginia Tech to Old Dominion—both teams will look to use Saturday night’s matchup to get their seasons back on track. The contest will serve as both teams’ first taste of ACC play and a prime opportunity to clarify the pecking order in a conference that boasts five AP Top 25 teams.
Who is BC playing?
When is BC playing?
Saturday, Sept. 10, 8 p.m.
Where is BC playing?
Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, Va.
How to watch:
The game will air on ACC Network and BC Sports Network on WEEI 93.7 FM/850 AM.
Virginia Tech holds a 19–11 edge in the all-time series, though the Eagles won the last time the two programs squared off. Aided by Phil Jurkovec’s return from injury and a stifling defensive performance, BC coasted to a 17–3 Red Bandanna Game victory. BC will look to pick up its first win in Blacksburg since the then–No. 24 Eagles beat the Hokies 31–21 in 2018.
What to expect from Virginia Tech:
Limited mainly by erratic passing, Virginia Tech and first-year head coach Brent Pry struggled against Old Dominion to revive an offense that ranked second to last in the ACC a season ago. Starting quarterback Grant Wells threw four interceptions, resulting in a 31.7 quarterback rating from ESPN.
The Hokies’ main source of offense came in the form of junior running back Keshawn King. King put up a breakout performance, piling up 111 yards on the ground and another 22 through the air. Supporting King was an offensive line that only gave up one sack.
Expect a predominantly ground-based offense from Virginia Tech until it can find reliable play at the quarterback position.
Virginia Tech’s defense fared better in Week One than its offense did, only allowing 13 points, with Old Dominion’s other seven points coming on special teams.
The Hokies’ linebacker corps put on an especially strong performance. Senior linebacker Dax Hollifield was a standout, registering 11 total tackles and a forced fumble. His statline landed him the second highest Pro Football Focus linebacker rating of the week. Nasir Peoples racked up double-digit tackles as well, with 12 on the game.
The defense faltered late, however, letting Old Dominion execute a 74-yard game-winning drive.
A weak Virginia Tech passing game could again prove to be its downfall, especially against a strong BC secondary. The Eagles’ pass defense finished first in the ACC last season and returned several members of its secondary, including one of the conference’s best cornerbacks in Josh DeBerry. Should the Hokies’ passing woes continue, BC’s defense could feast.
The youth and inexperience of the Eagles’ offensive line were on full display during Week One in a performance plagued by miscommunication and a lack of discipline. Keeping Jurkovec upright and the offense running smoothly will be a necessity for a BC victory, and improved play from the offensive line will be critical.
King could be in line for another strong performance, given how vulnerable BC’s run defense looked against Rutgers.
Winning the turnover battle and limiting penalties—areas in which both teams struggled a week ago—will also be imperative in preventing BC’s first 0–2 start since 2011.