BLACKSBURG, Va. — Jerod Evans thinks Virginia Tech is still learning how effective and explosive it can be on offense.
Evans tied a school record with five touchdown passes Saturday and the Hokies limited Boston College to 124 yards and six first downs in a 49-0 victory. Evans played just the first three quarters, leaving with the Hokies (2-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) leading 42-0. He hit Isaiah Ford twice for touchdowns and also found Travon McMillian, Chris Cunningham and Sam Rogers. McMillian also scored on a 7-yard run.
The offensive performance came after the Hokies fumbled the ball away nine times in splitting their first two games.
“We have a group on offense that was getting tired of fumbling, tired of seeing the same mistakes over and over and we knew if we could just hold onto the ball, regardless of how much yardage we get, we can do something great,” Evans, a transfer from Trinity Valley Community College in Texas, said. “I think that’s a glimpse of what we can do if we keep this up.”
The margin was the Hokies’ largest in an ACC game since they beat Maryland 55-6 in 2004.
It helps, Evans is learning, to have talented skill players like Ford who are intent on making plays. Ford’s second touchdown came when he was double covered and still came down with the ball at the back of the end zone.
“After I threw it, I said, ‘Oh, that ball should not have been thrown,'” Evans said. “I’m probably going to hear about that tomorrow.”
First-year coach Justin Fuente said he’s more interested in how Evans is graded rather than his statistics, but he likes what he sees.
“Every week — at least the last three weeks — he’s approached it with a great mindset,” Fuente said after Evans finished 16 of 23 for 253 yards. “He’s a good listener and tries to do what we’re asking him to do and at times he does it on a pretty consistent basis.”
The shutout was Virginia Tech’s first since it beat Bowling Green 37-0 in 2012.
“It’s really exciting,” cornerback Brandon Facyson said. “I don’t think we’ve had a goose egg since we’ve been here.”
The Eagles (1-2, 0-2) didn’t reach triple figures in total yards until late in the third quarter and finished the game with fewer first downs, six, than Virginia Tech had touchdowns. It was the 10th consecutive loss for Boston College in conference play, and free safety John Johnson said if the Eagles had any hard feelings about the Hokies running up the score, BC should have played better defense.
“It got a little redundant, running the same plays and gashing us on the same plays,” he said.
Marshawn Williams returned to the backfield for the Hokies for the first time since tearing his ACL late in the 2014 season and showed no ill effects from the injury. He carried 15 times for 81 yards and was Virginia Tech’s leading rusher.
BOSTON COLLEGE: Even the best defense has no chance when its offense can’t get anything going. The Eagles arrived ranked third nationally in total defense, allowing just 180 yards per game, but the unit was on the field for 35:15 compared to 24:45 for the Hokies’ D.
The Hokies finished with 476 yards (253 passing, 223 rushing) and scored touchdowns all five times it reached the red zone.
VIRGINIA TECH: Evans is easing the Hokies’ transition into first-year coach Justin Fuente’s faster-paced offense with solid decision-making. He had gaudy numbers last season (38 TDs, just three interceptions) and is on a similar pace with 10 TDs and one interception.
The pick was not Evans’ fault as he hit Ford on a slant and Ford juggled the ball and tipped it to the Eagles’ John Johnson.
BOSTON COLLEGE: The Eagles return home to Chestnut Hill for a game against Wagner. It will be the first of four consecutive home games for BC.
VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies wrap up their non-conference schedule as they entertain recent nemesis East Carolina on Homecoming. The Pirates have won the last two meetings, each time by a touchdown.
Online: The AP’s college football page: http://collegefootball.ap.org
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