BOSTON — It might have looked easy for three quarters or so.
For Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente, though, it was enough to give him indigestion.
“Where we’re at as a team is, it’s going to be a three-and-a-half hour stomach ache,” he said after the 16th-ranked Hokies bounced back from a loss to defending national champion Clemson by beating Boston College 23-10 on Saturday night. “That’s where we’re at, and just how it’s going to be.”
One week after a loss to No. 2 Clemson, the Hokies (5-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) opened a 23-3 lead and coasted before BC made a tepid fourth-quarter rally. Josh Jackson threw for 322 yards and a touchdown, finding Sean Savoy nine times for 139 yards, including a 53-yard catch-and-run on a slant pattern in the first quarter.
In all, six different receivers caught passes to make up for a first-quarter injury to No. 1 receiver Cam Phillips.
“We have good depth at receiver so I wasn’t too worried,” Jackson said. “I’ve seen them step up in practice.”
Travon McMillian ran 17 times for 88 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown dash that gave Virginia Tech a 17-3 lead midway through the second quarter.
With 11 points — three field goals and two extra points — Joey Slye became the school’s career scoring leader.
“I came over to the sideline and one of our recruiting guys actually came up to me and said: ‘Congratulations!'” Slye said. “I thought he was just saying ‘good job on the field goal.’ He said, ‘Did you know you just broke the record?’ I said: ‘No, I didn’t. But I appreciate it.'”
Anthony Brown completed 13 of 30 passes for 166 yards for BC (2-4, 0-3). He also caught a touchdown pass on a halfback option from former quarterback Jeff Smith to make it 23-10 with 5:38 left in the game.
BC was 2 for 15 on third-down conversions, going three-and-out five straight times to start the second half.
“They’re going to get better, and they’re going to grow,” BC coach Steve Addazio said. “Sometimes it’s never on exactly the timetable we want it on, but … it’ll come together, and it’ll be beautiful.”
Phillips, who entered the game as the No. 2 receiver in the conference with 597 yards, caught just one pass for 11 yards. He limped off the field to the locker room late in the first quarter, returning to the sideline early in the second but did not go back into the game.
The senior was diagnosed with a right foot sprain. He needed five receptions to break Isaiah Ford’s school record of 210.
“We got deep in the old depth chart there in the wide receiver position,” Fuente said. “I thought the young guys played very admirably.”
Slye broke the record held by 15-year NFL kicker Shayne Graham, who recorded 371 points from 1996-99, then he went on to play for 10 different NFL teams from 2001-15. Slye already held the Hokies’ field goal record with 71; he kicked three more on Saturday and has 376 points in his career.
Slye said he talks to Graham every week. “It’s definitely cool to build a relationship with him,” he said.
Virginia Tech won’t go anywhere but up after the relatively easy victory.
Virginia Tech: BC was just what the Hokies needed to bounce back from last week’s 31-17 loss to Clemson. The Hokies defense didn’t allow BC to score from 5:24 in the first quarter until there was 5:38 left in the game.
Boston College: The Eagles are in danger of going winless in the ACC for the second time in three seasons. BC still has to play ranked Louisville and North Carolina State, Virginia and Syracuse on the road and a home game against Florida State — a school the Eagles haven’t beaten since 2009.
Virginia Tech: off next week. Host North Carolina on Oct. 21.
Boston College: at No. 17 Louisville.