3:30 PM ET, November 22, 2003
Lane Stadium, BLACKSBURG, VA
Peterson threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Adams with 4:40 to play to give Boston College a 34-27 victory Saturday, ruining the No. 12 Hokies' Big East farewell party.
Kevin Jones' TD was not enough for Virginia Tech.
"It was bound to happen sooner or later," said Adams, covered one-on-one on the play. "They kept bringing their safeties down, blitzing, bringing the house. When people bring the house against anybody, that's when the big plays happen."
In their final regular season game, the Eagles (7-5, 3-4 Big East) boosted their bowl stock considerably, showing off a star running back in Derrick Knight, an emerging quarterback and a punishing defense.
"It's something we haven't done since I've been here," Knight said of winning at Lane Stadium, where the Hokies had been 6-0 this year. "Our last regular season game, to get the 'W,' that was one of our goals."
Knight ran for 197 yards on 38 carries, scored twice and became the Eagles' career rushing leader, passing Mike Cloud. Peterson finished 15-for-28 for 232 yards with two TDs and two interceptions.
Virginia Tech (8-3, 4-3), heading to the Atlantic Coast Conference next season, might have squandered its chance at a Gator Bowl bid and had its quarterback situation flare up after some questionable rotating.
Bryan Randall started and led the Hokies on three scoring drives, the last touchdown coming on Kevin Jones' 1-yard run on the first play of the second quarter. The Hokies had 238 yards of offense in the quarter.
In the second quarter, with Marcus Vick at the helm in keeping with coach Frank Beamer's planned rotation, they managed just 37 yards.
In the third quarter, with Randall, they managed just 10.
"We were moving the ball at will, pretty much doing what we wanted to do," a clearly frustrated Randall said of the first quarter. "When (momentum) gets stopped sometimes, it's hard to get it back."
Randall got it back with a 52-yard pass to Ernest Wilford midway through the final quarter, and Jones scored his third touchdown two plays later, giving the Hokies a 27-24 lead with 6:36 remaining.
It lasted less than two minutes. Peterson hit Larry Lester for 14 yards, then faced a third and-10 from his 36 as the crowd roared. He quieted them by finding Adams behind Vincent Fuller down the middle.
"I kind of knew I was the first look on the play," said Adams, who wrestled the ball away from Fuller. "I felt him going for the strip, so I just kept trying to cover up. Next thing I know I popped out of it."
The Hokies, 0-for-2 on fourth down plays, gave up a 60-yard run to Knight that led to Sandro Sciortino's 29-yard field goal with 1:45 left, but still had a chance until Cedric Humes fumbled the ensuing kickoff.
Jones gained 165 yards and scored three times, including a dazzling 62-yard burst. He also claimed the single-season rushing record at Virginia Tech with 1,410 yards. Cyrus Lawrence had 1,403 in 1982.
The Hokies led 17-10 after the first play of the second quarter, a 1-yard run by Jones, and seemed primed to get a rout going when Eric Green intercepted Peterson five plays later and returned it to the Eagles 30.
But Vick, in his first series at quarterback, was tackled for a 3-yard loss on the second play, negating a 3-yard run by Jones. The redshirt freshman then hit David Clowney out of the end zone on third down.
That forced a field goal try, and when Jake Grove's snap was high, holder Robert Peaslee mishandled it, then missed the ball when he tried to pick it up and run. The play resulted in an 11-yard loss.
"I think when we came out empty right there, it kind of just brought us down a little bit," Green said. "We've got to come out and make plays. We've got to capitalize on those turnovers."
After a change of possessions highlighted by Jeff Gomulinski's 71-yard punt that was downed at the Hokies 2, the Eagles drove 75 yards in 12 plays, the last a 4-yard run up the middle by Knight to tie it at 17.
Another three-and-out drive by the Hokies and a 30-yard punt by Vinnie Burns gave the Eagles the ball at the Virginia Tech 46 with 1:45 left before halftime, and Boston College needed just five plays.
Knight ran twice for 19 yards and Peterson completed three passes, the last a 16-yarder after scrambling around under no pressure and finding a wide-open Adams in the end zone to give the Eagles a 24-17 lead.