VA. TECH’S THREE KEYS TO VICTORY
1Stop the pass: That’s not a misprint. After years of Boston College being known from its bruising, pro-style, run-first (second and third) offense, Notre Dame transfer Phil Jurkovec has brought passing to the forefront of the Eagles’ attack. He’s throwing for 323.7 yards per game, second most in the ACC, and has thrown seven touchdowns with only one interception. Virginia Tech hasn’t played a game yet with its full complement of defensive backs available. It may need all hands on deck Saturday night.
2Keep Herbert going: Running back Khalil Herbert leads the ACC in rushing at 149.7 yards per game through three contests. He’s fueled a Tech offense that averages a league-best 299.3 rushing yards an outing. The Hokies’ offensive line — behind the aggressive play of center Brock Hoffman and consistency of tackle Christian Darrisaw — has been controlling games. That won’t be easy to do against Boston College. The Eagles only allow 3.8 yards per carry, the sixth lowest mark in the league.
3Convert on third down: The Hokies’ defense has undeniably struggled through three games. It could use a lift from the offense — some long drives that eat clock and keep it off the field. Only four ACC teams — Florida State, North Carolina State, Virginia and Syracuse — have been worse on third down this season than Tech. The move back to Hendon Hooker at quarterback should help elevate the Hokies’ attack, especially on third downs.