RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -Virginia Tech is known for using big plays on defense and special teams to turn the tide of football games, but the Hokies will face a similiar foe in the ACC championship.
Boston College (9-3, 5-3) will come into Saturday's title game in Tampa, Fla., having gotten at least one touchdown from defense or special teams in seven consecutive games.
``It's like Virginia Tech!'' Eagles coach Jeff Jagodzinski said Sunday, as if trying to deflect attention from his team's remarkable streak.
``When you look at, through the years, at Virginia Tech's defense, they've won a lot of ball games doing that,'' Jagodzinski said.
Even the Hokies have never been this good.
No. 18 Boston College added to its non-offensive scoring tally twice on Saturday in a division-clinching 28-21 victory against Maryland, scoring on a touchdown pass out of a fake field goal and on an interception return.
Saturday's game is a rematch of last year's, and just like a year ago, the Hokies will be trying to make up for a defeat in the regular season.
t 28-23 at BC on Oct. 18 after returning two interceptions for touchdowns, but allowing a 65-yard punt return TD by Rich Gunnell that gave the Eagles the lead for good.
Hokies coach Frank Beamer spent Sunday looking at film of their kicking game, trying to find a weakness. He plans to remind his team how a game can turn on one play.
``There's no question, when you get into championship games, ... you would think it would be two teams that are fairly close to each other in terms of abilities, and whenever you get into a game like that, special teams usually decide it, or certainly affect it,'' Beamer said.
Virginia Tech (8-4, 5-3) will be making its third appearance in the championship game in four years, and perhaps its most unlikely.
The Hokies were in control of their path to the Coastal Division title before losing 16-14 at Miami, and then needed both the Hurricanes and Georgia Tech to lose to get back in the picture. Both obliged last week.
Beamer's team also needed its defense to make up for having one of the nation's least productive offenses.
``We may not always have played well, but we've played hard,'' he said.
So, too, have the Eagles, who rebounded from a 2-3 start in league play with three consecutive victories, each essential to advancing.
After winning at Florida State, at Wake Forest and then at home against Maryland, BC will arrive in Florida already tested.
``That was a good thing, I thought, because we didn't have to count on anybody or we didn't have to watch what anybody else was doing,'' Jagodzinski said. ``We just had to do what we did, what we had to do.''
Even more, they did it when no one thought they could, those expectations having left with quarterback Matt Ryan when he graduated.
``It's been very gratifying to have a team and not having to count on just one guy,'' Jagodzinski said. ``This is actually the best team chemistry I think I've ever been around. They count on each other, and I think that's what being a team is all about. It's not just one guy.''
BC took a hit at Wake Forest when regular quarterback Chris Crane broke his collarbone, but they hardly missed him against the Terrapins. Redshirt freshman Dominique Davis was 12-for-24 for 144 yards and two TDs.
``I think it tells you a lot about the kid because he didn't even flinch,'' Jagodzinski said. ``He just went out and played football.''
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