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Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas threw for a career-high 391 yards but also had four second-half turnovers in the 34-27 loss.
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas, left, is sacked by Boston College's Steele Divitto on Saturday.
Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig throws against Virginia Tech during the fourth quarter of the Eagles' 34-27 win at Alumni Stadium in Boston on Saturday.
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas leans on his knees after a touchdown was called back on a penalty during the first half of Tech's 34-27 loss to Boston College on Saturday.
Boston College linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis runs an interception back for a touchdown in the second half in the Eagles' 34-27 win over Virginia Tech on Saturday in Boston.
Boston College receiver Harrison Jackson (3) tries to outrun Virginia Tech's Luther Maddy (92) and Tariq Edwards during the first half of the Eagle's 34-27 win over the Hokies at Alumni Stadium in Boston.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — On a day that he threw for a career-high in passing yards, tied Bryan Randall’s school passing touchdown record and broke Tyrod Taylor’s school mark for total offense, it was oh so fitting that erratic Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas also did things that led to the Hokies’ demise.
The polarizing senior simultaneously kept Virginia Tech in the ballgame Saturday and gave it away, throwing for a career-high 391 yards but also committing four second-half turnovers in the Hokies’ 34-27 loss to Boston College at Alumni Stadium.
The back-breaker — an unforgivable football sin — came in a tie game midway through the fourth quarter. Faced with pressure off the edge, Thomas tried to throw the ball away at a receiver’s feet. Instead, he hoisted it into the air while being hit, an easy interception for Eagles linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, who returned it 33 yards for a momentum-swinging touchdown.
It was enough to send the spiraling Hokies (6-3, 3-2 ACC), once thought to be in great position in the Coastal Division, on a path to their second straight loss to underdog opponents.
“I think our football team is in a little bit of a funk,” Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer said.
The Pierre-Louis touchdown didn’t end the game, but Virginia Tech never recovered. Boston College running back Andre Williams busted free for a 62-yard touchdown run that gave the Eagles what proved to be an insurmountable, 34-20 lead.
Williams, the ACC’s leading rusher, finished with 166 rushing yards, the most by a running back against the Hokies’ formidable defense this year.
“If we want to be the defense we want to be and have been, we have to eliminate plays like that,” linebacker Jack Tyler said.
Thomas, who went 24 for 41, completed one last touchdown pass to Trey Edmunds on a screen pass that pulled the Hokies within 34-27 with 2:54 left.
A defensive stop gave Virginia Tech a brief glimmer of hope, but Thomas, while scrambling for extra yards on a third down, fumbled as he was being dragged down. The Eagles recovered and took a couple knees, giving Boston College (4-4, 2-3) its best win to date under first-year coach Steve Addazio.
The loss is sure to renew the chorus of fans wanting to see somebody other than Thomas under center, but Virginia Tech’s coaches and players emphatically came to Thomas’ defense.
“Never wavered in Cody Journell and never will waver in Logan,” head coach Frank Beamer said. “He’s too good a competitor. He’s too smart. He’s too much. Everything is right about him. Maybe he tries too hard, but that’s not a bad fault. I think Logan gives us an opportunity to win.”
Receiver Josh Stanford, who had six catches for 171 yards, the fourth-best receiving day in Tech history under Beamer, agreed, dismissing the fans faulting Thomas for everything that ails the offense.
“He’s our best opportunity to win games when he’s in the game. Period. End,” Stanford said. “The fans are quick to blame him. The fans aren’t in our meeting room. The fans aren’t watching film like we’re watching film. ... It’s frustrating for me.”
Asked afterward if he was worried about being benched for even just a series, Thomas was brief with his response.
“Next question,” he said.
Still, that’s eight turnovers for him in two games. The four Saturday weren’t all his fault, but they kept Boston College in the game.
A ball that bounced off Demitri Knowles’ hands early in the third quarter was intercepted by Manuel Asprilla and set up a BC field goal to tie the game at 10.
After the Hokies took a 17-10 lead on Thomas’ 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kalvin Cline, he was blindsided by defensive end Kasim Edebali for a sack and fumbled. The Eagles recovered deep in Tech territory and got a touchdown pass from Chase Rettig that made it 17 apiece.
The pick six to Pierre-Louis a quarter later was the moment the game slipped away. It was a second straight statistical anomaly, a loss in which the Hokies out-gained the Eagles 446-289 but were undone by turnovers.
“You can watch,” Thomas said. “We did everything we wanted to today. They couldn’t stop us. We stopped ourselves.”
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