BOSTON (AP) – Virginia Tech is as dominant on Thursday night television as Jerry Seinfeld ever was.

The 22nd-ranked Hokies are 12-1 playing ESPN’s Thursday night game, a record Boston College lineman Josh Beekman called “staggering.” But he also knows something else as he prepared for this week’s game: Tech’s only loss was to BC. “That’s a pretty good streak. But it’s the same game whether you play Thursday, Friday or Saturday,” Boston College linebacker Brian Toal said. “They’re a good football team, that’s why they’re good on Thursday nights.”

Virginia Tech (4-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) is that. The Hokies climbed as high as 11th in The Associated Press Top 25 before a 38-27 loss at home to Georgia Tech in its last game.

Defensive lineman Carlton Powell called the Georgia Tech loss “a little stumble in our stride to the ACC championship.”

“That was a big game for us that we really needed to win. We didn’t come through,” receiver David Clowney said. “We do have something to prove. A lot of people just think Virginia Tech is like, lousy because we lost to Georgia Tech. We’re still a good football team.”

BC (4-1, 1-1) lost to North Carolina State on a last-minute desperation touchdown pass on Sept. 23. Neither can afford another loss and still aspire to a premier bowl game.

“Whoever loses this game,” Hokies center Danny McGrath said, “is probably on the fast track to Boise or something.”

Boston College has been in and out of the Top 25, dropping out last week despite a weekend off that followed a 22-0 victory over Division I-AA Maine. Defensive lineman Nick Larkin said he can’t blame the poll voters; he just hopes the nationally televised game will change their minds.

“It’s a great opportunity to show what we’re about,” he said. “You can’t sit back and hope somebody rates you high or that somebody loses a game. You have to win games.

“We’ve been put where we are because of how we’ve performed. Thursday night is our chance to show where we feel we should be.”

BC took advantage of its off week to get healthy. Toal is eager to return to full duty after being limited by a sore shoulder; receiver Brandon Robinson is back after missing the Maine game; Jamie Silva was expected to play despite a sprained knee, and offensive lineman Justin Bell (Achilles tendon) is back for the first time since the 2004 Continental Tire Bowl.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time, having all those guys back,” Larkin said. “We have the most guys back that we’ve had the whole year.”

Missing will be kicker Ryan Ohliger, who was suspended indefinitely following a fight outside a Boston bar. Ohliger missed three extra points in a two-week span, so Boston College could wind up benefiting with the change to walk-on high school soccer player Steve Aponavicius.

“You hope you gain an advantage there,” said Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer, who will be coaching his 300th game. “But I’ve seen those miracle deals where they come in and kick a 60-yarder.”

The biggest injury on Virginia Tech is its pride. The Hokies trailed 38-13 to Georgia Tech before making it appear close, and they know another poor showing will doom what had once been high hopes.

Safety Aaron Rouse thinks they learned their lesson.

“I think the loss was a great thing,” he said. “It gives our young guys a chance to re-evaluate themselves, how they played, and really go out there and step up.”


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