After sitting out for the middle chunk of the season, Deuce Finch returned to the backfield in a big role on Saturday against Virginia Tech. Finch brings the speed and necessary thump to move the chains, and that’s what he did. He rushed for 138 yards on 26 carries for a 5.3 yards per carry average. Finch also led the Eagles with five receptions for 53 yards, all on swing passes or screens.
“I thought Deuce was doing what Deuce is supposed to do,” said head coach Frank Spaziani. “We were very happy for him and for us.”
Finch used his vision to cut against the grain of an overaggressive Hokie defense.
“They blitz so much. They do a lot of slants,” Finch said. “So that’s something we talked about all week that could be there, because they blitz all day. So when they did their slants, the cutback was open, and I just tried to hit it.”
It was a prodigal return for last year’s leading rusher, who has had an up and mostly down year. And then, as if anything else could happen in this 2012 football season, Finch suffered a minor injury late in the fourth quarter. Spaziani did not go into detail on the injury, but Finch described it as only a little nick.
After Finch went down, true freshman David Dudeck, who saw significant time in prior weeks, provided a solid presence. Dudeck scampered for a 12-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to put the Eagles up 23-20 for a time, before the Hokies tied the game with a late field goal. Dudeck ran for 38 yards on eight carries, but was tackled short of the first down on a swing pass to the flats in the final play of overtime.
After suffering a concussion against the Fighting Irish, senior middle linebacker Nick Clancy’s status was uncertain for much of the week.
“By the time Thursday came around, I felt fine, I was ready to play, so I came out like it was any other game,” Clancy said.
Clancy played and put forth a Luke Kuechly-type 20-tackle performance. Seventeen of his 20 tackles were solo tackles, and Clancy had 2.5 tackles for loss.
“There was something about this week,” Clancy said. “I wanted it so bad, to leave Alumni on a good note.”
With 1:30 remaining in the second quarter with BC still up 10-3, Clancy made one his best plays of the day. On a fourth and short at the BC 40-yard line, the no man’s land between field goal and punt range, Virginia Tech ran a slant but right into Clancy’s zone. Clancy blew up the receiver and drive, giving the Eagles a chance to go on and kick a field goal.
“It was just one of those plays where you just have that instinct, that intuition inside of you where you know what play is coming,” Clancy said.
Despite a heroic performance, Clancy left Alumni Stadium for the last time as a player in a loss.
“It hurts,” he said. “We prepare the same for every game, but I really wanted this one bad. I just wanted to end on a good note and walk away from my last game at BC with victory.”
Defense fumbles opportunities
In what was, for the most part, a stout performance from the BC defense, the Eagles missed five opportunities to give the ball back to their offense, which may have swung a game that ended in overtime.
BC forced three Hokie fumbles. Early in the third quarter, with the Eagles up 13-10, defensive end Kasim Edebali strip-sacked Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas at Virginia Tech’s two-yard line, but the Hokies scrambled to recover the ball, and did so.
Aside from the three fumbles, the BC defense fumbled two catchable interceptions. Linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis dropped an easy interception down the sideline. Virginia Tech, though, would give the ball to the Eagles on downs shortly. Linebacker Steele Divitto also dropped a catchable deflection early in the fourth quarter.