BLACKSBURG, Va. – For the second consecutive year Virginia Tech will open its season on the road against an ACC opponent. As they prepare for Boston College, the Hokies know they'll face one of the top running backs in the nation in AJ Dillon.
"They can get the quarterback involved in the run game as well, which poses a whole other set of issues. We certainly know that that's one of the keys to the game- trying to find a way to slow down the rushing attack," said Hokies head coach Justin Fuente.
That was a weakness for Tech a season ago, when they allowed an average of 210 rushing yards per game -- 219 alone against the Eagles. Boston College's workhorse AJ Dillion, is coming off back-to-back 1,000 yard rushing seasons so keeping his stats low is a point of emphasis for Bud Foster and his lunch pail defense.
"To stop the run you have to be physical with these guys up front and you have to play with your feet in the neutral zone," said Foster.
"And if not, they're knocking us off the ball. And we've got to be gap sound," Foster said.
"Power football -- we'll have to get in and play for however long the game is and I know every down they're going to try to run the ball right down our throat so that's what we need to stop," added sophomore linebacker Rayshard Ashby.
"We're just looking forward to the challenge and it's kind of like a gut check for us. We weren't too good in the run game last year and what better opponent to start off with than Boston College to see where we're at," said linebacker Jarrod Hewitt.
Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. from Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts on Saturday.