Virginia Tech and Boston College both spent time ranked in the top 5 in 2007. The teams would also meet twice that season.
While some would argue that the second meeting between the teams was more meaningful, most would agree that the one that took place on this day 15 years ago was more memorable. Matt Ryan threw two touchdown passes over the final 2:12 as Boston College rallied from 10 points down to beat Virginia Tech in a top-10 showdown in Blacksburg, 14-10.
Setting the Stage
At 7-0, Boston College was ranked No. 2 — its highest national ranking ever — as it arrived at Lane Stadium on Oct. 25, 2007. To that point in the season, the Eagles hadn’t played a game decided by less than 10 points.
After getting blasted by LSU early in the season, Virginia Tech was on a 5-game winning streak. With a 6-1 record, the Hokies were ranked eighth nationally and on an 8-game home winning streak.
Ryan Rallies BC
As the clock ticked under five minutes to play, Virginia Tech appeared to have the contest shored up. A touchdown pass from Sean Glennon to Eddie Royal in the second quarter had served as the game’s only touchdown.
With Virginia Tech leading 10-0, the Eagles found themselves inside their own 10-yard-line with just over four minutes to play. Ryan was just 4-for-8 on the drive, but each completion went for a first down before firing a 16-yard touchdown pass to Rich Gunnell. The 9-play, 92-yard drive had pulled Boston College to within three, 10-7.
With 2:11 remaining and two timeouts left, the Eagles elected to try the onside kick. Virginia Tech was unable to handle Steve Aponavicius’ kickoff and the Eagles took over at their own 34.
The drive started with four straight completions from Ryan to move the Eagles inside the Hokies’ 15. After two misfires and a holding penalty, however, Boston College faced 3rd-and-20 from the 24-yard-line.
Flushed to his left, Ryan set his feet, turned and fired across the field. Waiting in the end zone was an open Andre Callender for a 24-yard touchdown. With 11 seconds left, the Eagles had taken the lead and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Ryan overcame two early interceptions to finish with 285 yards passing in the win. Virginia Tech’s Brandon Ore led all rushers with 97 yards.
Recap and box score:
Boston College’s No. 2 ranking would last just nine more days. The Eagles followed up the thrilling win with consecutive losses to Florida State and Maryland.
Boston College, however, won its final two regular season games and the ACC Atlantic division. Virginia Tech closed the regular season on a 4-game winning streak to win the ACC Coastal.
The Hokies would get revenge in Jacksonville for the ACC Championship with a 30-16 win over Boston College. Virginia Tech would fall to Kansas in the Orange Bowl while the Eagles topped Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Both teams would finish the season as they were when they met in Blacksburg — in the top 10. The Eagles won that meeting, thanks to an improbable comeback engineered by Matt Ryan on this day 15 years ago.
Featured image courtesy of Boston College athletics
Mike Ferguson is the managing editor for Fifth Quarter. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.