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Second-half takeaways lift Boston College

The SportsXchange

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Boston College took advantage of four second-half Virginia Tech turnovers in a 34-27 victory Saturday at Alumni Stadium.

The Eagles scored 27 second-half points, getting two interceptions and two fumbles against Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas.

BC senior linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis returned the second of those interceptions 33 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with seven minutes to play.

Eagles running back Andre Williams, the ACC's leading rusher, had 166 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. His 62-yard touchdown run with 4:35 left sealed the victory. It was Williams' longest run of the season.

"I think the defense and offense complemented each other," Williams said. "When we had the ball we ate up the clock and moved the chains, and the defense created turnovers and scored points."

The Eagles (4-4, 2-3 ACC) broke a five-game losing streak against the Hokies (6-3, 3-2), who have lost two straight heading into next week's road contest with Miami.

Thomas passed for a career-high 391 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for a team-high 38 yards to break the school's career total yardage mark. He has 9,463 yards, putting him ahead of Tyrod Taylor, who had 9,213 from 2007 to 2010.

Despite those gaudy stats, Thomas' turnovers -- he has eight in the last two games -- have been especially costly.

"We've been dominating games, but turnovers have killed us," Thomas said.

Tech senior kicker Cody Journell kicked a career-high 56-yard field goal in the second quarter and added a 47-yard kick in the fourth that gave the Hokies a 20-17 lead.

Boston College senior kicker Nate Freese booted a 43-yard field goal to tie it 20-20 with 8:45 remaining. He also had a 25-yard field goal in the third quarter.

The Hokies took a 17-10 lead midway through the third quarter on Thomas' 1-yard, fourth-down touchdown pass to tight end Kalvin Cline.

That lead didn't hold up, as Boston College recovered Thomas' fumble deep in Hokies territory late in the third quarter and turned it into a 2-yard touchdown throw from quarterback Chase Rettig to fullback Jake Sinkovec.

"The last couple weeks we were lacking. The big focus in the last week has been getting the ball out of their hands, forcing interceptions, and it worked," said BC defensive end Kasim Edebali, who had three sacks, four tackles for loss and three forced fumbles.

Virginia Tech scored 10 straight points in the second quarter and led 10-7 at the half.

Hokies redshirt freshman tailback Trey Edmunds scored on a 1-yard run with 5:15 left in the second quarter and Journell hit his 56-yarder right before halftime.

Journell's kick capped a penalty-filled drive that appeared headed for nowhere before a 14-yard completion from Thomas to tight end Cline barely put the Hokies in Journell's range. His kick just sneaked over the crossbar to give Tech a 10-7 lead.

Boston College got on the scoreboard first on Williams' 19-yard, tackle-busting touchdown run with 5:34 left in the first quarter. Rettig broke some tackles himself on a 19-yard run up the middle two plays before Williams' score.

"We just didn't make plays and didn't get it done when we needed to," Hokies senior linebacker Jack Tyler said. "Down the stretch, defensively, we were awful. That's why we lost."

NOTES: Journell's 56-yard field goal in the second quarter is tied for the third-longest in school history and it's the longest for a kicker during Frank Beamer's 27 seasons as coach. It was the first field goal of 50 or more yards for the Hokies since Chris Hazley booted a 52-yarder against North Carolina in 2010. ... Boston College WR Brian Miller (right knee), DE Kaleb Ramsey (hamstring), DT Jaryd Rudolph (head) and DB C.J. Jones were all knocked out of the game with injuries. ... Virginia Tech senior CB Kyle Fuller (groin injury) did not play, breaking a streak of 49 straight games played. He missed his second straight start. ... Carlis Parker and Charley Meyer both made their first collegiate starts as the Hokies opened in a four-wide set.
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