BLACKSBURG — With linebacker Bruce Taylor going down Saturday with a sprained right foot in the third quarter of Virginia Tech's 30-14 win against Boston College, Barquell Rivers got his first chance at significant playing time since suffering a torn quadriceps tendon in March 2010.
Rivers finished the game with four tackles, but his biggest play came in the third quarter when he pressured BC quarterback Chase Rettig, forcing him to throw an interception to linebacker Tariq Edwards.
"When you see a hole, you think about getting to the quarterback before he gets the pass off or you get a sack or you make him make a bad throw," said Rivers, who played the rest of the game after Taylor left in the third quarter. "You just want to get there before he releases the ball."
Coming into the game, Rivers had played just 44 defensive snaps this season. After suffering the injury in a weight room accident, he didn't play all last season until contributing sparingly on special teams in Tech's 40-12 loss to Stanford in the Orange Bowl.
In '09, Rivers was Tech's starting middle linebacker. He finished second on the team in tackles with 96.
"It's gotten a lot better," said Rivers of his injury. "I do more things than I could do last spring. It's getting stronger and better each week as the season goes along. I'm not back to full strength. It's still some things like changing direction and stopping on a dime and things like that I have to work on, but each week I'm getting more confidence and believing more in my leg."
COALE COMING ON
Wide receiver Danny Coale had eight catches for 118 yards, giving him 2,319 career receiving yards. He moved past both Antonio Freeman (2,207 yards from 1991-94) and Ricky Scales (2,272 yards from '72-74) for second place on No. 16 Tech's career receiving yardage list. Jarrett Boykin, who had five catches for 46 yards against BC, leads Tech with 2,541 career receiving yards.
Logan Thomas became the first quarterback in coach Frank Beamer's 25 seasons at Tech (7-1 overall, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) to have three consecutive games of 260 yards passing or more, and three consecutive games of 22 completions or more in one season.
Thomas has now thrown for six touchdown passes and run for five touchdowns in the last three games. He's also completed 72 of 93 passes (77.4 percent) for 858 yards. Tech's record for rushing touchdowns in a season by a quarterback is nine, set by Warwick High graduate Michael Vick in 1999.
STATUS QUO FOR KUECHLY
BC linebacker Luke Kuechly entered the game averaging a national-best 16 1/2 tackles per game. He finished Saturday with 19.
Tech plays at Duke (3-4, 1-2) next weekend in the Hokies' final game before they get a long rest prior to a Thursday night game Nov. 10 at Georgia Tech. Duke lost 24-23 on Saturday to Wake Forest.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times