If you're drawing up a script on the perfect way to get over a disheartening loss, you'd likely come close to what the Hokies wrote Saturday afternoon.
Just a week after a defeat against Tennessee that left many Hokie fans discouraged, Virginia Tech pitched a shutout, dismantling the Eagles of Boston College by a final score of 49-0.
Bud Foster's defense posted a performance hearkening back to the glory defenses of yesteryear. The Hokies shut out an opponent for the first time since beating Bowling Green in 2012, the first "doughnut" in conference play since a 38-0 victory over Virginia in 2011.
"I like the doughnuts," Foster said. "Those are hard to come by. I told the kids when they go in, we weren't just finishing the game. We're thin at some spots and I wanted to make sure those (second string) guys wanted to go in and perform and execute. Some of those guys are a play away from figuring in more consistently and having to perform if we were to have an injury or that type of thing."
The defensive performance wasn't lost on Justin Fuente, who noted that the coaching staff expected Boston College to "get big" using power sets to try to jumpstart the power running game.
"We felt like they were gonna try and get big on us and try to run the ball, force feed the run game," Fuente said. "We had to be able to handle that and then not give up big plays. A lot of times, you'll see teams dedicate their people to the box and in turn give up big plays in the passing game. We were able to eliminate both of those."
Given the less than stifling defensive performance against the Volunteers, some folks may have been surprised by the dominating performance of the Virginia Tech defense. Don't put Brandon Facyson in that category.
"No, I'm not surprised," Facyson said. "We go into every week, you set goals for yourself. We set a high goal for ourselves every single week. We set the standard. We've been setting the standard since spring ball. It's not surprising. We look to do this every single week. You just wanna get better prepared. Take the mistakes and just get better."
Senior safety Chuck Clark set the tone early, popping the ball-carrier on a jet sweep that resulted in a fumble that fell directly into the waiting arms of Andrew Motuapuaka. Clark was happy to point out that it was a team play, quick to give credit to the defenseman on the interior.
"Everybody has a job to do," Clark said. "We had somebody on the inside so the ball had to bounce outside to me and I was just trying to make a play. Andrew, he's always in the right spot to pick the ball up all the time. He's always there. He picked it up, it's a big spark for our whole team. Our offense goes down and scores. We had the momentum and were on a roll from there."
Bucky Hodges passed Mike Burnop in the first half to become the all-time receiving yards leader for a tight end in Virginia Tech history with 1,159 yards. Joining in on the fun, Jerod Evans tied Bryan Randall for Tech's single-game touchdown record with five touchdown passes.
Evans seemed to gain more confidence throughout the day on both the playing field and the media room. He was jovial, yet reticent, about his record-setting performance. And despite his second straight win at Lane Stadium, Evans fully expects to hear about his second touchdown pass to Isaiah Ford, who now sits just two touchdowns behind Antonio Freeman (22) for the all-time mark.
"After I threw it, I said, 'No, that ball should not have been thrown.'", Evans said. "I saw (the defender) down. I had Isaiah the first time. I said, 'I should have went to you and I didn't.' This time, I said, 'If I see him down, I'm coming to you.' He came down but obviously went right back up. Luckily, I threw a great ball for Isaiah to do a great catch. That ball should not have been thrown. (I'm) probably gonna hear about that tomorrow."
Ford, who said it's his job to "make (Evans) look good", has been begging Evans to throw the ball up for him more often this season.
"It's up to me to go up and make a play to make him look good," Ford said. "That's what I tell him all the time. I begged him to just throw it up. When he did it, I had to go make the catch."
With all phases of the game flowing and working as a cohesive unit, Fuente wanted to thank the Hokies 12th man for their part on the contest.
"I do want to thank everybody that came out tonight," Fuente said. "That was a fantastic crowd, they were very involved in the game. (They were) active participants in helping us win a football game, and our team and our staff are very appreciative of that."
The Hokies will now look towards Saturday's matchup with East Carolina — the proverbial thorn in Virginia Tech's side. The Pirates will look to win their third straight matchup in the series, though this is the first time they've faced a Fuente-led Tech team.
"What the win means is we're 1-0 this week," said Fuente. "We won our first conference game. We've got a great challenge coming up with East Carolina this week, a team that's — I don't wanna say 'had our number'— but the last two games, they've beat Virginia Tech and we're gonna have to go get ready to play them. Where we're at, in terms of our development, is a daily thing. I think it's important that we take it one day at a time, we don't overreact to the bad or the good. We continue to teach and focus on the task at hand and the preparation model we have and try to perfect that the best we can."