NCAA FB

No. 8 Seminoles rally to beat Hokies 28-22

Share This Story

   
 

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP)

Florida State got to see the Virginia Tech it expected on Thursday night at Lane Stadium.

When the eighth-ranked Seminoles were forced to validate their lofty ranking, and keep their Atlantic Coast Conference title plans intact, E.J. Manuel and the offense were more than equal to the task.

Manuel hit Rashad Greene with a short slant pass that Greene took 39 yards for a touchdown with 40 seconds to play, and the Seminoles survived a scare to beat the inspired Hokies 28-22.

''Nobody was flustered, nobody was afraid,'' Manuel said about the drive that came after a safety and a field goal had given Virginia Tech a 22-20 lead with just more than 2 minutes to play. ''We all knew what we needed to do. We feel like we're built for things like that, and it showed tonight.''

The Seminoles (9-1, 6-1 ACC) won their fourth straight and moved within a victory against Maryland on Nov. 17 of securing a spot in the ACC championship game Dec. 1. And they did it in dramatic fashion, with a 68-yard drive against a defense that had held it to nearly 300 yards below its 525-yard average.

Limited to minus-15 rushing yards for the game, Florida State got a 7-yard run from James Wilder Jr. on a fourth-and-1 play from its 41 on the final drive. Manuel, a Virginia Beach native, then hit Greg Dent for 13 yards two plays later. After he threw a pass away under pressure, Manuel hit Greene on a short slant against a zone defense that was out of position, and Greene took it all the way.

''It was basic, simple,'' Manuel said. ''Get him the ball, and Rashad did the rest.''

Manuel was sacked five times, but finished 25 for 42 for 326 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Greene caught six passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns. Dent caught the other scoring pass.

Manuel and Greene also teamed up late in the first half, after the Hokies had held them to no yards for the first 12 minutes of the second quarter. Manuel led a precise five-play, 71-yard drive, and hit Greene with consecutive passes of 22 and 25 yards, the latter giving them a 13-10 lead at the half.

Virginia Tech (4-6, 2-4) lost for the fifth time in six games and will have to win at Boston College and then at home against state rival Virginia to qualify for a bowl game for the 20th straight year.

''We've experienced some things this year that guys haven't experienced around here in a long time,'' coach Frank Beamer said. The Hokies are in the midst of their worst season in two decades.

Virginia Tech had gone ahead 22-20 on Cody Journell's 21-yard field goal with 2:19 remaining. The kick capped a 52-yard drive that stalled when Logan Thomas ran for 2 yards on third-and-3 from the 6.

''We actually had the perfect play drawn up, but we missed a block,'' Thomas said. ''I probably would have scored.''

The Hokies' go-ahead drive came after a stellar defensive series that ended in a safety.

After the Seminoles took over at their 20, Manuel threw incomplete on first down and James Gayle sacked him for a 10-yard loss on second down. A delay of game penalty moved the ball back to the 5 and, when the Seminoles tried running Devonta Freeman to the left, Jack Tyler caught him from behind in the end zone. Freeman tried to throw it, an illegal forward pass, and the safety pulled the Hokies to 20-19.

It also gave them the ball, but when they only managed a field goal, the Seminoles made them pay.

''Thursday night? Virginia Tech? This is what I watched every year and now I've experienced it, and it's crazy,'' Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner said.

The Seminoles opened a 20-10 lead with a 49-yard touchdown drive after recovering a fumble by Hokies wide receiver Marcus Davis. Manuel completed three passes on the six-play drive, including a 10-yard bullet to Dent in the back of the end zone with 6:53 left in the third quarter.

Virginia Tech replied quickly, driving 80 yards in eight plays. Thomas hit Corey Fuller for 44 and 14 yards on the drive, and ran it in himself from the 5, bulling over several defenders.

The game was delayed for about 10 minutes in the third quarter when Virginia Tech safety Michael Cole was hurt and lay face-down and motionless on the field. As the crowd stood in silence, Cole was taken away by ambulance. The school said he had a neck sprain, but had feeling and movement in his extremities.

The Seminoles came in with the nation's No. 3 scoring offense, averaging nearly 45 points, but the Hokies neutralized it for the first 27 minutes, allowing just a pair of field goals by Dustin Hopkins. The kicker finished the night with nine points, leaving him two shy of breaking the NCAA record for points by a kicker. Boise State's Kyle Brotzman had 439 from 2007-10.

The Seminoles twice started drives near midfield early, and got nothing out of them. The first ended with Donovan Riley's interception of Manuel's pass at the 1, and the second with a three-and-out punt.

But after Thomas drove Virginia Tech 68 yards for the game's first touchdown, giving the Hokies a 10-6 lead, Manuel and the Seminoles - held to zero yards at that point in the second quarter - clicked.

Manuel hit Kevin Benjamin for 12 and 17 yards, and then Greene beat Kyle Fuller twice.

On the Hokies' drive, Thomas connected with Fuller's older brother, Corey, on three third-down plays. The first went for 33 yards on third-and-9, the second for 15 yards on third-and-4 and the last for 4 yards and the touchdown on a perfectly thrown third-and-2 fade to the right corner of the end zone.

Florida State took a 6-3 lead after Tyler Hunter intercepted Thomas' pass at the Hokies 34. Virginia Tech had a chance to tie when it recovered a punt that was fumbled by Hunter at the Seminoles 30 on the next possession, but three plays netted only 4 yards and Journell's 43-yard field goal was wide left.

---

Follow Hank on twitter at: http://twitter.com/hankkurzjr

Tagged: Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Boise State, Florida, Logan Thomas, Corey Fuller, Greg Dent, Kyle Fuller, Rashad Greene, Tyler Hunter

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash