Jurkovec’s return sparks Eagles over Virginia Tech 17-3

Jurkovec, a 6-foot-5 junior who injured his throwing hand in Week 2, was thought to be lost for the season after surgery.

Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec (5) hands off to running back Pat Garwo III during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against Virginia Tech, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in Boston. AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

BOSTON (AP) — Phil Jurkovec ran for a touchdown in his surprising return to the starting lineup for Boston College, and the Eagles halted a four-game losing streak with a 17-3 victory over Virginia Tech on Friday night in its annual red bandana game.

Jurkovec, a 6-foot-5 junior who injured his throwing hand in Week 2, was thought to be lost for the season after surgery. He completed just 7-of-13 passes for 112 yards, but gave the Eagles (5-4, 1-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) a spark after the offense sputtered in his absence by recovering a fumble on their first drive and scoring the TD.


Pat Garwo rushed for 116 yards on 30 carries and 3-yard score for BC.

Virginia Tech quarterback Braxton Burmeister left with an undisclosed injury in the first quarter and didn’t return. He threw just one incomplete pass before the injury.

Backup Knox Kadum completed 7 of 16 for 73 yards for the Hokies (4-5, 2-3). Malachi Thomas rushed for 70 yards.

BC wore its special red bandana-trimmed uniforms, continuing a tradition to honor Eagles’ graduate Welles Crowther.

A former lacrosse player who was working in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Crowther died helping to rescue people during the attack. Survivors identified him by his signature red bandana.


Jurkovec scrambled for 11 yards on the Eagles’ third offensive play, taking a hard hit that sent him sprawling to the ground. He completed his initial pass before getting picked off on his next.

But, in an interesting turn, Virginia Tech defensive back Dorian Strong fumbled on the return and Jurkovec recovered it, with the Eagles gaining 22 yards on the possession change when they got the ball back at the Hokies’ 13.

Two plays later, Jurkovec scampered around the left side for an 8-yard TD that moved BC ahead 7-0.

Jurkovec, who transferred from Notre Dame before last season and threw for more than 2,558 yards last year, the most ever by a BC QB in his first 10 games.



Virginia Tech: Despite losing its starting QB, the dismal showing certainly won’t help quiet calls for head coach Justin Fuente to be replaced unless the Hokies finish strong in their final three conference games.

Boston College: What looked like it was going to be a lost season, could be taking a sudden turn with the return of Jurkovec.


Virginia Tech: Hosts Duke next Saturday.

Boston College: At Georgia Tech next Saturday afternoon.

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