- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

BLACKSBURG, Va. | Focus. Focus. Focus.

That’s a message No. 5 Virginia Tech took from its 34-26 victory at Duke on Saturday, a game that was closer than most expected. It highlighted the need to be prepared and to expect the other team’s best shot in every game.

“Sometimes you start to take for granted all the wins we get around here, but just after barely pulling one out at Duke shows you what you need to do to win,” linebacker Cody Grimm said Tuesday.

The Blue Devils effectively used plays and formations the Hokies had not seen on film. Of their 397 total yards, 237 came on just five plays against the Virginia Tech defense. But concentrating should be less challenging this week as the Hokies prepare to face surprising Boston College (4-1, 2-1 ACC) at Lane Stadium.

The Eagles have won their past three regular-season meetings with Virginia Tech, have already beaten Wake Forest and Florida State in league play and are in the race to be the Atlantic Division’s representative in the ACC championship for the third year in a row.

The Hokies avenged their regular-season losses with victories in the first two title games - adding to the intensity and motivation the Hokies will confront all year.

“Whenever you’re back-to-back ACC champions, everybody’s gunning for you,” running back Josh Oglesby said. “Everybody’s like, ‘Oh, man, we play Virginia Tech this week.’ ”

Having won three of the past five ACC championships, the Hokies know the job.

“We’ve been there before. We know the feeling,” Oglesby said. “We know what it takes to get back there. I think just knowing what it takes to get there, that’s what keeps us moving.”

It helps the Hokies that their offense, derided as unimaginative as Virginia Tech struggled moving the ball against No. 3 Alabama and No. 21 Nebraska, is now clicking.

Tyrod Taylor showed how much things open up when he runs in the Hokies’ 31-7 rout of Miami two weeks ago and then showed he can beat a team through the air against the Blue Devils.

Taylor threw for a career-best 327 yards and was 17-for-22 with no interceptions at Duke. He connected on touchdown passes of 36 yards to Danny Coale and 28 yards to Jarrett Boykin.

The career day could cause the Eagles to adjust their defensive approach, too. They have allowed 694 passing yards in their past two games, although they won both.

The Blue Devils forced the Hokies to pass by focusing on bottling up ACC rushing leader Ryan Williams, and coach Frank Beamer said he was pleased with the pick-your-poison versatility.

“I think we’re getting closer to being a good, balanced offense,” he said. “We’re able to run it, we’re able to throw it and one helps the other out.”

While Beamer seemed disinclined to jump his team for its woes against Duke, he said he used the experience in making a key point going forward.

“We’ve got seven games here, and only seven. And for me, making a great preparation for every game beginning this week is not too much to ask of each other,” he said. “So that’s what we’re going to attempt to do.”

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