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ACC Football: A Dunn deal for Hokies
OVERTIME CATCH PROPELS
VIRGINIA TECH OVER
VIRGINIA TECH OVER
BY NATHAN WARTERS
THE FREE LANCE–STAR
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass—Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas saw senior tight end Randall Dunn come into view in the back of the end zone and remembered what Dunn had said to him earlier in the week during practice.
“He said, ‘Go ahead and throw it up there. I can go get it,’” Thomas said. “I laughed at him, but I guess it came in handy today.”
Dunn made his first career start against Boston College on Saturday and caught the game-winning touchdown in overtime in a 30–23 win at Alumni Stadium.
Virginia Tech’s defense held on to stop BC to clinch the Hokies’ first road victory of the year. Virginia Tech ended a three-game losing streak and can extend its 19-year bowl streak with a win over in-state rival Virginia next week in Blacksburg.
“With the season on the line, it was about time something goes our way, and I’m so happy and thankful I was put in the situation to make it,” said Dunn, who had only one reception in the game.
Thomas rolled to his left to avoid the Eagles’ pass rush and waited for Dunn to break toward him. When Thomas saw his tight end open in the back of the end zone, he threw a pass that was just high enough for Dunn to leap up and catch.
Dunn came down with the ball just inside the end line for the 7-yard score.
“I put it up and made sure I didn’t throw it short,” said Thomas, who passed for 247 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. “He went up and made a great play.”
Hokies coach Frank Beamer recorded his 256th career win, moving him past former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne for sole possession of seventh place on the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision all-time wins list. Beamer is now one win away from tying former BYU coach LaVell Edwards for sixth place.
It looked like Beamer would be stuck at 255 for another week after Virginia Tech fell behind 13–3 at the break. The Hokies didn’t lose confidence after a sluggish first half.
“We needed this badly. To come here and play a team that I thought played extremely well, to have some things not go quite right and then overcome it, I know this, I’m really proud of our organization,” Beamer said.
Thomas helped lead a second-half surge that allowed the Hokies to erase that halftime deficit. He scored on a 1-yard run early in the third quarter and passed for two touchdowns.
“He kept battling and playing tough. That’s kind of the story of our day,” Beamer said.
Virginia Tech (5–6, 3–4 ACC) also benefited from an ultra-motivated Marcus Davis, who was benched in the first half because of poor play in last Thursday’s loss to Florida State but finished the game with five catches for 104 yards and a touchdown.
“When my number was called, the first thing that was in my mind was to make an impact,” said Davis, who caught a 37-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to give the Hokies their first lead.
Virginia Tech’s defense held BC to only 291 yards and sacked Eagles quarterback Chase Rettig seven times.
The Hokies didn’t allow for much during the Eagles’ overtime possession. They sacked Rettig on second down, forced an incomplete pass on third down and then stopped BC well short on a 7-yard screen pass from Rettig to freshman tailback David Dudeck on fourth-and-11.
“No doubt at all,” Virginia Tech junior linebacker Jack Tyler said about the final defensive series. “Our mentality was, ‘We’re getting off the field. We’re getting this win.’”
Boston College (2–9, 1–6), playing its last home game of the season, was led by junior tailback Rolandan Finch, who rushed for a season-high 133 yards on 26 carries. It was his first 100-yard game since rushing for 243 yards and two touchdowns against Maryland last October.
Eagles senior linebacker Nick Clancy recorded 20 tackles only one week after suffering a concussion in the first quarter of BC’s home loss to Notre Dame.
“It doesn’t get much worse than that, being the last home game and to fight that hard until the very end only to come up short,” Clancy said. “It hurts. We prepare the same for every game, but I really wanted this one bad. I just wanted to end on a good note and walk away from my last game at BC with a victory.”
Nathan Warters: 540/374-5442