Turnovers doom Hokies in loss at Boston College

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BOSTON — Four turnovers and three blown leads added up to the second straight frustrating loss for suddenly tumbling Virginia Tech.

Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Lewis had a 33-yard interception return for a touchdown midway into the fourth quarter and Andre Williams ran for a pair of scores, lifting Boston College to a 34-27 win over the Hokies on Saturday afternoon.

Logan Thomas followed his four-interception game last week by turning the ball over four times again, twice each by fumbles and picks, as the Hokies fell apart late in the game.

“I think our team is in a little bit of a funk,” Hokies coach Frank Beamer said.

And it started with Thomas‘ bad day, coming off a frustrating 13-10 loss at home against Duke last week.

“Turnovers were the story again,” he said. “We just have to take care of the football. Defense played well other than we gave them the ball at bad field position. We did everything we wanted today. They couldn’t stop us if they wanted to; we stopped ourselves.”

Thomas completed 24 of 41 passes for 391 yards and two TDs, but his turnovers led to 17 Boston College points.

The Hokies (6-3, 3-2 ACC) took their third lead of the game on Cody Journell’s 47-yard field goal — his second long one of the day — 1:52 into the final quarter. But BC rallied again, tying it on Nate Freese’s 43-yard field goal midway into the fourth quarter.

Williams carried 33 times for 166 yards and Chase Rettig completed 11 of 14 passes for 93 yards and a TD for Boston College (4-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference).

“You have to step on him before he gets started,” Beamer said. “He’s a strong, powerful player. Definitely a big-time back.”

The Eagles had lost the last five meetings between the schools.

On the next possession with a third-and-5 from his own 30, Thomas, under pressure and back pedaling, threw a floating pass over the middle that Pierre-Louis picked off and broke down the right sideline for the go-ahead score with 7 minutes to play.

After BC stopped the Hokies on a fourth-and-6 from its own 38, Williams burst through the right side of the line for a 62-yard score on the next play.

Thomas hit Trey Edmunds with a 22-yard TD pass with 2:54 to play, cutting it to 34-27.

The Hokies took over on their own 28 with 1:49 to play, but Thomas fumbled it away again three plays later.

Journell’s career-best, 56-yard field goal with 1 second left in the second quarter had given the Hokies a 10-7 halftime edge. It tied Paul Engle’s 1977 kick for the third longest in school history. Wayne Latimer owns the record with a 61-yarder, against Florida State in 1975.

The Eagles tied at 10-all on Freese’s 25-yard field goal after corner back Manny Asprilla’s interception and return down the left sideline to Virginia Tech’s 15 early in the third quarter.

On the ensuing possession, Thomas hit Joshua Stanford over the middle and he broke a pair of tackles for a 69-yard reception down to the 1. The Eagles held on three rushing attempts before Thomas hit Kalvin Cline with the scoring toss off a play-action to push the Hokies back in front 17-10 midway into the third.

BC forced another turnover when Kasim Edebali stripped Thomas and Brian Mihalik recovered it at the Hokies’ 17. Rettig’s 2-yard TD pass to fullback Jake Sinkovec tied it at 17-all late in the third.

Journell had missed two attempts — from 40 and 45 yards — last week. The Hokies fell out of The AP Top 25 in this week’s poll.

Trailing 7-0 after sputtering on offense in the first quarter, the Hokies marched 76 yards in nine plays, tying the game on Edmunds’ 1-yard run midway into the second quarter. The score was set up by Thomas‘ 25-yard strike to D.J. Coles, which moved the ball to the 1.

Late in the opening half, Virginia Tech took over at its own 18 and moved 43 yards in nine plays before Journell nailed his field goal, a low line drive that knuckled over the crossbar. Four plays earlier, the Hokies had a 46-yard TD pass from Thomas to Edmunds nullified by a holding penalty against center David Wang.

The Eagles had jumped ahead 7-0 on Williams‘ 19-yard TD run late in the first quarter. Williams, who entered the week as the nation’s fifth-leading rusher at 144.3 yards per game, broke three tackles — the last about 8 yards away from the goal line against Kyshoen Jarrett — before going in for the score. Rettig set up the score with a 19-yard scramble on third-and-10 from the Hokies’ 38.

The stands were fairly empty when the game started, likely reduced by a number attending or watching a parade that honored the World Series champion Red Sox. Late in the second quarter — nearly 3 hours after the “rolling rally” started about 2 miles away at Fenway Park — it looked like the usual-sized crowd at Alumni Stadium.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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