Virginia Tech hosts Boston College on Saturday in a matchup of two programs coming off demoralizing losses. The Hokies were upset by Old Dominion in Week 1, opening the Brent Pry era with a dud, while Boston College led for nearly 57 minutes before blowing a late lead to Rutgers.
One of these teams will get off to a surprise 0-2 start, but who is better positioned to find the win column? Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for Saturday night’s matchup in Blacksburg.
Boston College vs. Virginia Tech Odds
Virginia Tech enters as slight 3-point favorites, at -158 on the moneyline. The over/under is set at 46 points. It’s still hard to get a read on either of these teams. Both were favored by about a touchdown in Week 1, and both came up short, hitting the under in the process. There’s always the chance each offense takes this as a bounce-back game and generates more points. After both quarterbacks combined for six interceptions last week, can they take a big step forward?
Boston College vs. Virginia Tech Prediction & Pick
My pick: Boston College +2.5, Over 46 Points
Virginia Tech may be able to excuse its early-season struggles as the necessary downside of a rebuild. The Hokies suffered in Justin Fuente’s final season and are still trying to put the pieces together under Brent Pry. Boston College doesn’t have that excuse. The Eagles are too talented to be losing games like last week’s, and I don’t expect them to do it again this time out.
Phil Jurkovec has proven something at Boston College, showing enough to put himself on NFL radars. The Eagles’ offense was fine through three quarters last week before melting down in the fourth. They seem a lot closer than Virginia Tech, which has a turnover-prone quarterback in Grant Wells and few proven receiving weapons.
Week 1 should serve as a wake up call for both teams, but if I’m going to trust one to prove it was a fluke, I’m rolling with Boston College.
Boston College vs. Virginia Tech Key Matchups
Phil Jurkovec flashed some of that NFL ability against Rutgers, throwing for 283 yards and 3 touchdowns, but he was intercepted twice and just didn’t perform in the 4th quarter. Boston College was also unable to get its running game moving, as Pat Garwo III totaled just 25 yards on 14 carries.
Both aspects of the offense should be able to find something against Virginia Tech. Garwo rushed for 1,045 yards last season on 5.1 yards/carry, so he’s due for improvement. Even if it’s not all perfect, the talent gap tilts the advantage to BC’s offense.
Virginia Tech’s defense didn’t struggle much at all against Old Dominion. Monarchs QB Hayden Wolff went just 14-of-35 passing, and Old Dominion wasn’t efficient running the ball. It looks like there’s something to build on, especially if the goal is quieting the Eagles’ run game.
The Hokies did get burned by receiver Ali Jennings III, which is a red flag with one of the nation’s premier receivers on the other side this Saturday in Zay Flowers. Flowers erupted for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns against Rutgers and is in line for a huge season. Virginia Tech might have a hard time keeping him contained this weekend.
Zay Flowers is really good at football. Potential first round WR. pic.twitter.com/rhvzSTda3t
— The GOAT House (@GoatHouseNFL) September 3, 2022
Turnovers were what got the better of the Hokies in Week 1. Grant Wells was intercepted four times, which just can’t happen against a Group of Five team. Wells was an accurate passer last season at Marshall but only threw four more touchdowns than interceptions. If he can cut down on the turnovers, Virginia Tech will be in decent position for a home win.
The winner of this game seems like it’ll be the team that doesn’t make as many mistakes as it did last week. Even in a road game, there are many more reasons to believe Boston College’s offense will put it all together before Virginia Tech’s. You can probably chalk up some of Week 1’s issues to an adjustment period under new offensive coordinator John McNulty. For the Hokies, who have a roster in transition, it looks like the adjustment period under Brent Pry is just beginning.