Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Boston College Eagles
Date and Time: Saturday, October 7, 2017, 7:15 p.m. ET
Location: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA
Opening College Football Odds: Virginia Tech -17
Virginia Tech vs. Boston College TV Coverage: ESPN2
Virginia Tech defensive tackle Tim Settle said it best after the conclusion of the team's 31-17 loss to Clemson.
"That opened our eyes a little bit."
Statistically speaking, the Hokies outgained Clemson for the entirety of the game, but the hosts didn't get into the end zone until the fourth quarter when the game was already well out of reach. Garbage time stats are still stats, but anyone who watched that game knows that there was a chasm between those two clubs.
But let's not just write the Hokies off yet. Sure, Virginia Tech isn't as good as Clemson, but who is? Alabama? And who else? Fuente is one of the better coaches in America, and if he can keep Josh Jackson's head on straight after a woeful, two-pick performance against Clemson, this team can remain a title contender and perhaps get a second shot at the Tigers in the ACC Championship Game.
Boston College actually played with Clemson for a while in Death Valley earlier this year, but just like everyone else, it came up dreadfully short. The difference is that BC was never expected to even remotely cause problems for the Tigers.
Thus it shouldn't be considered all that surprising that the Eagles don't have a single notable win on the campaign yet. They beat Northern Illinois and Central Michigan, but a couple MAC schools won't prepare this team for the games against Virginia Tech, Louisville, Virginia, Florida State and N.C State ahead.
Take Jon Hillman out of this offense, and we're not all that sure what's left. Anthony Brown isn't anywhere near averaging five yards per pass attempt and has more interceptions (seven) than touchdown passes (six), and the team hasn't had a single offensive play cover even 40 yards this season.
The Eagles lost Connor Strachan for the season over the weekend. The team is playing without a total of seven starters, including all three of its projected starting linebackers at the start of the season.
The seven players who are now out of the fold have combined to start 93 games for Boston College, and this isn't a deep enough program to lose that type of depth.
In a modestly related story, Boston College is being outscored in the fourth quarters of games this year by 8.8 points per game, a problem that could rear its ugly head again in this one.
Virginia Tech vs. Boston College Free Picks
If Boston College is going to cover this game, it's going to have to do so by making this a short game with a limited number of possessions. It's definitely in its purview to do just that as it did against Clemson when it was set at +33.5.
This spread isn't quite big enough, though. The Hokies are laying 17-points on the college football sportsbook odds, and we think they're going to slowly plod their way in front of that number before kicking the door down in the fourth quarter against a team that is flat out worn down.
The Hokies are averaging 474.2 yards per game this season and are legitimately one of the best 25 teams in America as we see it, and we think they'll finish off a workmanlike performance in Chestnut Hill to get back on track this weekend.
College Football ATS Pick: Virginia Tech -17 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Virginia Tech 31, Boston College 7