Thomas leads Va. Tech to 37-26 win over Ga. Tech

With yet another win on the road, Virginia Tech finds itself in

a familiar position.

Closing in on another trip to the Atlantic Coast Championship


Logan Thomas accounted for five touchdowns and frustrated

Georgia Tech so much that a defender finally threw a punch. With

David Wilson tacking on a career-best 175 yards rushing, the No. 10

Hokies dominated down the stretch Thursday night for a 37-26 over

the 20th-ranked Yellow Jackets.

Virginia Tech (9-1, 5-1 ACC) extended its ACC-record road

winning streak to 12 in a row – currently the longest such streak

in the nation. The latest triumph away from Blacksburg eliminated

Georgia Tech from the Coastal Division race and gave the Hokies a

clear path to the Dec. 3 title game for the fifth time in seven


”We like going to a hostile environment and being able to play

in front of crowds who love their football team,” Thomas said.

”It pumps us up as well.”

The 6-foot-6, 254-pound sophomore was sure pumped up. And

Georgia Tech had all kinds of trouble bringing him down, not

surprising since he was bigger than most of the guys trying to

tackle him.

”He’s a load,” said Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, whose

team can wrap up the Coastal Division title by winning its next two


Thomas threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores.

Wilson had his seventh straight 100-yard game, already the longest

streak of Beamer’s quarter-century as coach. The Hokies actually

outgained Georgia Tech on the ground, a rarity against the


”We just came in the whole week saying we were going to run the

ball regardless,” Wilson said. ”Being a running back, that’s what

I want to hear.”

The teams went back and forth through the second and third

quarters, scoring on eight of nine possessions in one stretch. But

Virginia Tech took advantage of a huge personal foul on Jeremiah

Attaochu and a fourth-down gamble by Georgia Tech coach Paul

Johnson that didn’t pay off.

The Yellow Jackets (7-3, 4-3) were eager to get a shot at

another ACC title after having their `09 crown stripped away by the

NCAA this past summer for rules violations. That hope is gone.

”We worked all season to work our way back in the ACC,”

quarterback Tevin Washington said. ”It’s just a letdown. But

there’s nothing we can do now but go out and try to win the next

two and try to put ourselves in position to just have a decent


Washington ran for three touchdowns, but the Hokies took the

lead for good on Thomas’ 12-yard run in the final minute of the

third quarter. The play was typical for the big QB, who simply

lowered his head and bulled his way to the end zone. The Yellow

Jackets just couldn’t bring him down.

”We’ve faced some good ones,” said Georgia Tech linebacker

Julian Burnett, who gave away 8 inches and 32 pounds to the

opposing quarterback. ”Probably not as big and strong as that


Thomas’ powerful run was set up by Attaochu’s silly blunder,

which extended a possession that seemed to be over deep in Virginia

Tech territory. On third-and-19 from his own 17, Thomas was flushed

out of the pocket and corralled by several Georgia Tech defenders.

But he wouldn’t go down and, apparently out of frustration,

Attaochu threw a punch into the side of the quarterback’s


”I just had an overdose of adrenaline,” said Attaochu,

insisting he was actually trying to cause a fumble though he didn’t

come close to the ball. ”When I made contact with him, I was mad

he wouldn’t go down.”

Instead of a knockout, he drew a personal foul that gave

Virginia Tech a first down – and very well could lead to a

suspension for Attaochu after the ACC reviews the play. More

important on this night, Wilson got loose for a 44-yard run and

Thomas scored on a third-and-1 play that was designed to merely

pick up the first down. He took it all the way to the end zone,

giving the Hokies a 27-26 lead after a two-point pass was


Then, it was Johnson who left himself open to second-guessing

when he decided to go for it on fourth-and-1 at his own 31 early in

the fourth. Washington tried to get it on a keeper, but he was

stopped about a foot short.

”I felt like we needed to score,” Johnson said. ”I thought we

could make a yard and we didn’t.”

For there, Virginia Tech moved in for the kill. The Hokies

converted their own fourth-and-1, but that was an easier to call

with make with Thomas to carry it. He bulled his way for a 5-yard

gain, then hooked up with Chris Drager for his first career

touchdown, a 14-yard pass on third down that made it 34-26.

Cody Journell sealed the victory, knocking through a 23-yard

field goal with 3:02 remaining.

”When you get to November, you want to be playing for

something,” Beamer said. ”You want to be playing for

championships. And these guys have put us in that position.”

After a wild final minute to the second quarter, in which the

teams combined for three scores that left Virginia Tech with a

21-13 lead, the Yellow Jackets took the second-half kickoff and

drove it right down the field.

Washington broke off a 35-yard run and also benefited from a

personal foul penalty on Jack Tyler, who whacked Embry Peeples as

he was running out of bounds, sending him flying toward the Yellow

Jackets bench while yellow flags flew in from all directions.

Washington finished it off with a 1-yard touchdown run, but he was

stuffed on a 2-point conversion to leave Georgia Tech trailing


No one, it seemed, could stop anyone at that point, but Virginia

Tech stopped itself. With the Hokies driving for another score,

Wilson had the ball stripped away by Burnett and Isaiah Johnson

recovered at the 16 for the Yellow Jackets.

Back came Georgia Tech, reclaiming the lead with lightning-quick

84-yard drive that took only seven plays. Peeples went down the

sideline for a 39-yard run and Washington nearly took it in with a

29-yard gain, before finishing it off with his third TD of the

night on a 1-yard dive.

The winner of this game has gone on to take every Coastal

Division title, and Virginia Tech is well-positioned to keep that

streak alive. Rival Virginia, with two ACC losses, is the only team

that still has a chance to catch the Hokies.

”We’re in the driver’s seat,” said Danny Coale, who had a

63-yard touchdown catch in that back-and-forth ending to the first

half. ”We control our own destiny.”

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