November 1, 2014
Brewer's 345 passing yards not enough, as BC outlasts Tech
By Jimmy Robertson
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Boston College (6-3) 01491033
Virginia Tech (4-5) 7302131
  • Lane/Worsham Field - 55,729
  • Passing: Michael Brewer 345 yds
  • Rushing: Marshawn Williams 32 yds
  • Receiving: Isaiah Ford 75 yds

BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Brewer threw for 345 yards, but Boston College quarterback Tyler Murphy made a big play in the final moments, and the Eagles outlasted the Hokies 33-31 in an ACC game at Lane Stadium on Saturday.

The win moved BC to 6-3 overall, 3-2 in the ACC. Tech, which lost its third straight, fell to 4-5, 1-4 in ACC competition.

The Hokies, coming off back-to-back Thursday night losses to Pittsburgh and Miami, now need to win two of their final three games to become bowl eligible. Two of the three games are on the road.

“Absolutely,” Brewer said when asked if the Hokies could win at least two of their remaining games. “No doubt. We just need to execute on a consistent basis. We hit a lot of big plays today, and we played a lot better offensively. But at the end of the day, you have to make one more play than they do. We came up a couple of points short. That’s the bottom line.”

Tech trailed 23-10 going into the fourth quarter, but the Hokies rallied, scoring touchdowns on back-to-back possessions in that final quarter. A 1-yard quarterback sneak by Brewer on fourth-and-goal ended the first drive, and a 7-yard touchdown pass from Brewer to tight end Bucky Hodges ended the second one. Joey Slye’s extra point gave the Hokies a 24-23 lead with 7:12 remaining in the game.

BC answered on its ensuing possession. A 25-yard pass from Murphy to Josh Bordner got the Eagles to the Tech 35. The drive stalled at the Tech 26, but the Eagles got a 44-yard field goal from Alex Howell to take a 26-24 lead with 4:12 left in the game.

Tech went three-and-out on its next possession and punted. The Hokies stopped the Eagles for no gain on first and second down, but on third-and-10, Murphy kept the ball and ran up the middle 57 yards for a touchdown with 2:59 left in the game. Joey Launceford’s extra point gave the Eagles a 33-24 lead.

Murphy’s run was one of several big plays for the Eagles, who were outgained 414-368 for the game. In addition to the 57-yard run, BC also got a 68-yard touchdown run from Myles Willis, a 37-yard pass from Murphy to Sherman Alston and the 25-yard pass to Bordner.

“Two plays defensively really just wore us out,” Tech coach Frank Beamer said, referring to the touchdown runs by Murphy and Willis. “You take that away … we’re close enough to get there, but we’re not there. I’m not going to tell you we’re there right now, but we’re working at it. We’re giving enough effort to get there.”

The Hokies cut the BC lead to 33-31 after Brewer completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ryan Malleck with 28 seconds left in the game. Tech tried an onsides kick, but BC recovered and ran out the clock, sending the Hokies to their fourth home loss of the season.

“I think we’ve got to keep moving in a positive direction,” Beamer said. “We gave great effort. There wasn’t any quit. We were working like heck to win a football game. We need a few more plays and some better execution here and there. That’s where we are, but this football team is going to keep on getting better.”

Brewer enjoyed a career day, throwing for a personal-best 345 yards and completing 31-of-48, including two for touchdowns. The 31 completions are the most ever by a Tech quarterback under Beamer – Brewer completed 30 passes in a loss to East Carolina in mid-September.

The game marked Brewer’s second straight in which he did not throw an interception. But the Hokies rushed for just 69 yards, in part because they started four drives inside their own 5-yard line.

Murphy rushed for 122 yards on 18 carries, and he threw for 110 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles, behind Murphy, rushed for 258 yards, as they beat the Hokies for the second straight season.

Tech now finds itself in a similar situation to what it was in two years ago. In 2012, the Hokies needed to win their final two games to become bowl eligible, and they did that, going on to beat Rutgers in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

The players are confident that same thing can happen again.

“We could have won every single game on our schedule,” receiver Willie Byrn said. “I know that’s cliché to say, but yeah, we definitely can win two out of three, and that’s what we’re looking for.

“I’m very confident we can. Football doesn’t always go as you plan, so if we lose our next game, we’re confident we can win out the rest. As of right now, we’re confident we can win three out of three and go to a bowl game and win that and finish this season and send the seniors out with some kind of dignity and momentum for this program.”

The Hokies have an off week before traveling to Durham, North Carolina, to take on Coastal Division-leading Duke on Nov. 15. The kickoff time has not been announced yet.

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