Virginia Tech has gotten used to playing tight games this season, winning five straight despite some close calls.
Coach Frank Beamer's team knows all about playing down-to-the-wire games against Boston College.
After two exciting finishes last season, the 17th-ranked Hokies and Eagles will meet on Saturday in Chestnut Hill, Mass. -- the site of Virginia Tech's only road loss since joining the Atlantic Coast conference in 2004.
Virginia Tech (5-1, 2-0 ACC) lost its opener 27-22 to East Carolina after giving up a late touchdown, but hasn't fallen since and won its last three games in September by a combined 11 points.
The Hokies didn't figure to have much of a problem in their recent game against Western Kentucky on Oct. 4, but after jumping out to a big early lead, had to hang on for a sloppy 27-13 win.
"I think they're all going to be down to the fourth quarter," Beamer said after his team gained just 46 yards on its final four possessions.
It took all 60 minutes to decide Virginia Tech's two games last season against Boston College (4-1, 1-1). Both teams were ranked in the top 10 when they met on Oct. 25 in Blacksburg, and it appeared the then-No. 8 Hokies would knock off the second-ranked Eagles as they led 10-0 late in the fourth.
But Matt Ryan engineered two late scoring drives, throwing the game-winning touchdown pass with 11 seconds left as Boston College won 14-10.
The teams would meet again in the ACC championship game, and that's where Virginia Tech got some revenge. The Hokies took a 23-16 lead midway through the fourth quarter on Dec. 1, then with the Eagles driving, returned a Ryan interception for a score with 11 seconds left to cap a 30-16 victory.
Since the Hokies joined the ACC, they've been nearly unbeatable on the road. They'll be looking for their 17th win in 18 tries away from Blacksburg, and their only blemish came in a 22-3 loss at Boston College on Oct. 12, 2006.
"I think we've had the mentality that it doesn't really make a difference what town we're playing in, who we're playing, we're going to try to play the same way," Beamer said.
One big reason why the Hokies have been surging this season has been quarterback Tyrod Taylor. The sophomore was slated to redshirt while senior Sean Glennon started this season, but Glennon struggled early and Taylor has given Virginia Tech a running threat.
Taylor is only averaging 99.0 yards per game through the air and has tossed just one touchdown pass, but he's averaging 67.6 ypg on the ground and has scored twice.
Still, if the Hokies want to contend for another ACC title, Taylor will likely need to throw with some success. Virginia Tech is 113th nationally in passing with just 118.2 ypg.
With Ryan gone to the NFL, the Eagles aren't much better -- they're 89th in passing offense at 188.0 ypg -- but you wouldn't know that by their latest game. Boston College had thrown for just 512 yards in its first four games, but senior quarterback Chris Crane scorched N.C. State's defense on Oct. 4, going 34-for-51 for 428 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-31 win.
Crane also ran for three scores -- including the game-winner with 23 seconds left -- and was named the ACC's offensive player of the week.
"It was great seeing Crane have some success," coach Jeff Jagodzinski said. "He played great. I just kept telling them they had to be willing to win it on the last play."
He only had 37 yards on seven carries against the Wolfpack, but the key for the Eagles in their two previous games was freshman running back Montel Harris. He had 255 yards on 31 carries in the team's wins over UCF and Rhode Island, and is averaging 7.3 yards per carry so far this season, giving a big boost to a running game that didn't return one tailback from last season.
Boston College has won three straight at home over ranked opponents.
Top 25 Overview
A pair of one-loss ACC foes face off in Chestnut Hill when Virginia Tech visits Boston College. The Hokies' lone ACC road loss since joining the conference came at BC in 2006. Boston College has won three straight at home over ranked opponents.