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Battered and bruised Virginia Tech football team falls to Boston College

Battered and bruised Virginia Tech football team falls to Boston College

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BLACKSBURG—Virginia Tech football looked like a team ready to catch the flight home.

The Hokies suffered a series of setbacks on the way to a 17-3 defeat Friday night at Boston College that dropped them to 4-5 on the season. It was the first time since the infamous 2014 game against Wake Forest the team didn’t score a touchdown.

Tech lost starting quarterback Braxton Burmeister and starting center Brock Hoffman to injuries and that was on top of top receiver Tre Turner (upper body injury) not making the trip.

It was the injury to Burmeister that proved insurmountable for a Tech offense that has struggled all season.

“You have to play better on the road in an environment like that to deserve to win the game,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said.{p class=”tncms-inline-link”}McFarling: Fuente, Hokies reach the sad stage of acceptance

Tech’s misfortune came as Boston College got a lift thanks to the surprise return of starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec.

Jurkovec suffered what was thought to be a season-ending hand injury in Week 2, but was on the field with his teammates for early pregame stretching. The school officially announced he would be in the lineup about 40 minutes before kickoff.

He had 177 yards of offense (65 rushing) with a touchdown and completed a pair of long throws in the second half that helped the Eagles close out the win.

Those pedestrian numbers were better than what Tech managed.

Backup quarterback Knox Kadum grew more comfortable in the second half, but it was much too late by then. Much of his production (7 of 16 for 73 yards) came on the Hokies only extended drive of the game came in the fourth quarter and ended with a fumble inside the red zone.

Kadum threw for first downs to Tayvion Robinson (22-yards) and Nick Gallo (12-yards) with a nice gain on a direct snap from Malachi Thomas in between that got the Hokies down to Boston College’s 12-yard line.

The drive fell apart from there with a false start call on Kaden Moore and Robinson fumbling two players later.

“That was still at a point in the game where, I mean, if we can get in the end zone right there, you don’t know what outcome comes,” Kadum said. “We have plenty of time. I think there were six minutes left. Still had two timeouts. We were set in a good position right there. And we just didn’t execute, like you said, and so I think that had a big outcome on how we approached the rest of the game.”

Tech’s only points came in the third quarter on a 47-yard field goal from John Parker Romo, who was wearing the No. 25 jersey.

Tech wanted to rely on the same run-heavy attack that powered them to a victory over Georgia Tech—that was on display right out of the gate with the Hokies opening the game with seven consecutive runs—but those plans went out the window when Burmeister went down.

Without the hint of a passing threat, Boston College bottled up Tech’s running backs and went into halftime with a shutout.

Tech’s lone completion in the first half came with 19 seconds left.

Kadum didn’t see anybody open down field and took a few quick steps towards the line of scrimmage. He made a last second decision as he was about to cross the line of scrimmage to throw a short pass to Raheem Blackshear.

The defense was all over it and Blackshear was hit immediately as he caught the ball. Kadum, who was 1 of 6 in the half with 3 yards, paid a price as well and was knocked back off his feet right after he threw it.

“If we’re going to win a game, we’re gonna have to,” Fuente said, of making more plays in the passing game. “I mean, yeah, I expect us to do more.”

Jurkovec’s return didn’t translate into instant offense for the Eagles.

He was 3 of 8 for 22 yards with an interception. The interception was ironically the team’s biggest play of the first half since Tech corner Dorian Strong fumbled and Boston College recovered the ball inside the 10-yard line for a 23-yard gain.

Jurkovec’s longest completion in the half for a 13-yard gain was a ball tipped backwards by Tech safety Tae Daley that didn’t go to his intended target.

He put Boston College up 7-0 with an 8-yard rushing touchdown. The Eagles extended their lead to 10-0 with a 33-yard field goal. Virginia Tech’s defense came through with a third down stop at its own 16-yard line to force the field goal with 6:48 to go in the first half.

Boston College ended up with 346 yards of total offense with running back Patrick Garwo carrying the ball 30 times for 116 yards. Jurkovec added 65 yards on the ground.

“They didn’t do anything different,” Fuente, said of Jurkovec starting. “We didn’t know who was going to play quarterback, including Jurkovec. They run their offense, so. I mean, he shouldn’t have that big an effect on rushing yards.”

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