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BC notebook

Line hopes to be a driving force

By Mark Blaudschun
Globe Staff / October 21, 2011

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When Boston College resumes play tomorrow against Virginia Tech, one of the keys to success will be a fast start. Falling behind, 17-0, at the end of the first quarter - as the Eagles did against Clemson in their last game, on the way to a 36-14 loss - is not the way to go.

“We had a good second and third quarter, we had it moving,’’ said offensive tackle Emmett Cleary. “We can’t put ourselves in the hole like that.

“We recognize we have to get off to faster starts. We’ve just got to attack the first drive of the game and we’ll be in better shape.’’

The offensive line is obviously a key element of any game plan. Because of injuries, position changes, and even inexperience, the unit has not performed in the “O-Line U’’ tradition that has drawn future NFLers to BC (Anthony Castonzo of the Colts being the latest example).

“The tradition, we try and uphold,’’ said Cleary, a 6-foot-7-inch, 300-pound junior from Arlington Heights, Ill. “There have been a lot of great players that have come through here, and that’s something I think about every day.

“I think, across the board, we would all say that. Part of the allure of coming to a place like this is that there is something different about BC offensive linemen.’’

Cleary, who has played every position on the line, and left tackle John Wetzel hope to be the anchors that continue that tradition.

“We know we can run the ball, we just have to go out and do it,’’ said Cleary.

Lots of weapons

Virginia Tech has its typical assortment of flash and dash, but substance as well. Leading the way right now is 6-6 sophomore quarterback Logan Thomas, who has accounted for nine touchdowns (five passing and four rushing) in the last two games. “He’s very good, very big,’’ said BC coach Frank Spaziani. “He has a lot of mobility. He can run and he can throw. He’s a handful.’’ Add in tailback David Wilson, who is fifth in the country in rushing at 129 yards per game, and wide receiver Jarrett Boykin, and you could have a nightmare for BC’s defense to handle . . . BC has lost its last three games to Virginia Tech by a combined score of 97-26 . . . Virginia Tech is the only FBS school to win 10 games each of the past seven seasons . . . Since Virginia Tech joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004, it has finished first in the regular season six times and second once . . . Virginia Tech defensive ends J.R. Collins and James Gayle have 9 1/2 sacks between them.

Special guest

Former BC linebacker Mark Herzlich was a surprise visitor to the Eagles yesterday. Herzlich signed with the New York Giants last spring and has made a mark on special teams with them. “Things couldn’t be better,’’ said Herzlich . . . The Eagles were hit with more injury problems. Defensive tackle Dillon Quinn (shoulder) and running back Tahj Kimble (concussion) are out for the Virginia Tech game.

Mark Blaudschun can be reached at blaudschun@globe.com.


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