There was never a moment of comfort for Virginia Tech.
Down 13-3, the Hokies made some mistakes characteristic of their struggles this season. There were missed targets for junior Logan Thomas and other missed opportunities. There were also three fumbles for the game, but unlike past games, there were no turnovers made by Virginia Tech.
Holding on to the football more, the Hokies were in better position to make a comeback (twice) in getting past Boston College 30-23 in overtime for their first road win of the season.
"They certainly were taking it to us, but our team, we asked them last week, you've just gotta hang in there," coach Frank Beamer said on his IMG post-game show. "You played hard against Florida State, didn't get it done. But the only way to get this thing turned around is to keep playing hard. Even at halftime, there was a lot of talk about that then. Daggone if we didn't get it back out there and Demitri Knowles gets us on a kickoff return and gets us rolling a little bit. It's just great to be in that dressing room when those kids put so much into it and came back and made some plays at the end. I'm proud of them. I'm proud of our coaches and proud of our players."
It's a good argument that Virginia Tech shouldn't have been in such a tightly contested game against a team that's 2-8. But the Eagles were playing on senior day and were certainly inspired by falling to No. 3 Notre Dame just 21-6 the previous week.
But there were a few good individual efforts for the Hokies. There's senior Alonzo Tweedy, who again got the start at WHIP and had seven tackles to go with a pair of sacks. There's the linebacker tandem of junior Jack Tyler and Bruce Taylor, who again were monsters on defense, combining for 19 tackles with two sacks by Taylor. Then there was senior tight end Randall Dunn, who had arguably the biggest catch of his career with the game-winning touchdown catch in the back of the end zone in overtime.
But lastly, there was junior wide receiver Marcus Davis, chastised all through the week for his lack of blocking against Florida State. Davis didn't start for the first time all season, but had five catches for 104 yards and a touchdown, all coming in the second half.
"The good thing about Marcus is when he got his chance to get in there, he made the most of it. There's something about that too," Beamer told IMG. "That's what we talk about with our kids a lot, is keep battling and when you get an opportunity, take advantage of it. He certainly did that."
Next week's rivalry game has more significance now. Virginia Tech has bragging rights with in-state rival Virginia at home, but also a must-win to go to a bowl game in its 20th straight season.
"We need it to get to a bowl, so that's incentive," Beamer told IMG. "But it's UVA and that's incentive right there. We're gonna enjoy this for the plane ride home and the bus ride back to Blacksburg and maybe a couple of hours after that and get ready to go against UVA."