BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) – Tyler Murphy threw for two touchdowns and put Virginia Tech away with a 57-yard scoring run with 2:59 remaining Saturday as Boston College beat the Hokies 33-31 and became bowl eligible.
Murphy connected on scoring throws of eight yards to Charlie Callinan and two yards to Marcus Outlow for the Eagles (6-3, 3-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who led 26-24 until Murphy broke free on a third-and-10 run and sprinted up the middle and untouched for the touchdown that put the game away.
The loss was the third in a row for Virginia Tech (4-5, 1-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) and its fourth in six games at home.
Murphy also became the third quarterback to run for more than 100 yards against the Hokies’ defense this season, gaining 122 yards on 18 carries. Georgia Tech’s Justin Thomas (165) and Pittsburgh’s Chad Voytik (118) also did it, and then Miami ran for 364 yards against that same unit last Thursday night.
Murphy’s run wiped away what looked like an improbable comeback, or at least a chance at one.
The Hokies trailed 23-10 before a fake punt kick-started their offense.
Michael Brewer pulled the Hokies within 23-17 when he scored on a 1-yard run on fourth down, and the Hokies took the lead when Brewer hit Bucky Hodges from seven yards out and Hodges bulled into the end zone. But then a defense that had been solid all day couldn’t stop the Eagles when it needed to most.
Never facing a third down until it was into Virginia Tech territory, Boston College drove 42 yards to the Hokies’ 24 and Alex Howell gave them the lead back with a 44-yard field goal. There was 4:12 to play, but after the Hokies’ offense went three-and-out and punted, Murphy followed two plays that gained nothing with his backbreaking touchdown.
After Joey Slye’s 27-yard field goal gave the Hokies a 10-7 lead, the teams exchange punts before the Eagles became the latest team to strike quickly against the Virginia Tech defense. Dadi Nicolas sacked Murphy for a 5-yard loss on the first play, and Myles Willis ran 68 yards for a touchdown on the next.
It’s the longest offensive play against the Hokies this season, and the 11th of at least 40 yards.
Slye tried to make it a one-point game just before halftime, but his 30-yard field goal was blocked.
The Eagles had the ball in Hokies territory on their first three possessions, and on the third one, they finally cashed in. Murphy got the drive started with a 24-yard pass to Shakim Phillips, kept the ball and ran for 8 yards on a third-and-1 and hit Charlie Callinan for 8 yards and the tying touchdown.
The Hokies took the opening kickoff and drove 95 yards for a touchdown. It was their longest drive of the season, and featured their longest play from scrimmage of the year: a 44-yard pass on which Brewer eluded a rush, bought some time and found Willie Byrn along the Eagles sideline.
Williams took it the last 8 yards and the Hokies led after 3:09.