for this game

Boston College uses big first half to upset Virginia Tech

Oct 19, 2008 - 5:25 AM CHESTNUT HILL, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- While it most likely wished Matt Ryan were on the field, Boston College survived a shaky performance from Chris Crane.

Brent Bowden, Ifeanyi Momah and James McCluskey each scored touchdowns in the second quarter as the Eagles overcame some early mistakes by Crane to jar 18th-ranked Virginia Tech, 28-23, in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup on Saturday.

Bowden scored on a 65-yard punt return, Momah caught a 10-yard pass and McCluskey added a 2-yard TD run in the second quarter to lift the Eagles (5-1, 2-1 ACC Atlantic), who led, 28-17, at halftime.

"Starting off, spotting them 10 points, that's never good," Crane said. "Our main focus was to not give them any points, make them earn them. We didn't exactly do that, but we also went out and scored 28 first-half points."

In a rematch of last season's ACC title game, Boston College exacted a measure of revenge despite some poor play from Crane, who threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for scores.

Crane was 16-of-32 for 218 yards with one TD as the Eagles' star signal-caller from last season, Ryan, looked on from the press box.

Ryan, who was able to attend the game with the Atlanta Falcons on a bye week, wore a headset and seemed to be one step away from suiting up for the Eagles, who fell behind quickly when Brett Warren returned an errant pass by Crane 36 yards for a TD to open the scoring just 1:51 into the contest.

After Boston College took a 21-10 lead in the second, Virginia Tech's Victor Harris added 55-yard interception return down the left sideline to cut his team's deficit to four points with 1:39 left before halftime.

Harris also got his hand on the first interception, a fact not lost on Crane.

"It wasn't a matter of throwing a bad pass or running a wrong route, it was a good play by Macho Harris on two plays," Crane said. "He jumped a slant route and he jumped an out route. We started running double moves throughout the game, and they worked for us, but they burned us on a couple as well."

The Eagles - who lost last season's conference title game, 30-16, despite the presence of Ryan - were able to win this one thanks in part to Crane's play in a gutsy drive at the end of the first half. He led Boston College 75 yards in five plays, capped by McCluskey's plunge that provided some momentum and an 11-point lead heading into the locker room.

"I am really happy for our team," Eagles coach Jeff Jagodzinski said. "Our team is starting to come together. We did last week and even more so this week. They believe now. They believe that they can do it."

A mobile quarterback who relies mostly on his legs, Hokies quarterback Tyrod Taylor ran for 110 yards on 15 carries. He was 12-of-27 passing for just 90 yards with one interception.

Ironically, Sean Glennon - who outplayed Ryan in the aforementioned ACC Title game - was named Virginia Tech's starting quarterback in the preseason but has been replaced by Taylor, who had led to the Hokies (5-2, 2-2 Coastal) to five straight wins after a season-opening setback to East Carolina.