Logan Thomas passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Virginia Tech Hokies past the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in overtime 20-17 from Blacksburg. Despite taking the lead on a Deon Hill touchdown reception from Tevin Washington with just under a minute to play in regulation, the Jackets’ defense could not stop Thomas from orchestrating a drive to help get the Hokies in field goal range and tie the game on a 41-yard field goal from Cody Journell.
The Hokies won the coin toss in overtime and elected to defend first, leaving the Jackets with the opening possession in the extra session. On third down and six, Washington was faced with pressure from the Virginia Tech defense and instead of throwing it out of bounds and the Jackets taking their chances on a field goal, he threw the ball off his back foot and into the Hokie secondary, where it was intercepted. Thomas then led another drive to the one-yard line, where after a final stand from the Jackets defense, ended on a 17-yard field goal from Journell, which sealed the victory.
Washington, who began his senior season as a Yellow Jacket, was able to keep the team neck in neck with the 16th-ranked Hokies, who won last season’s matchup at Bobby Dodd Stadium 37-26. To go along with his 96 passing yards and the Hill touchdown pass, Washington also carried the ball 19 times for a team-high 63 yards. The Hokies were able to stifle the Jackets’ triple-option attack, holding them to just 192 rushing yards, which was well below their 2011 average of 316 yards per game. Lead A-back Orwin Smith was held to just three rushing yards on four carries but did garner 52 receiving yards on four receptions, which was good enough to lead the team.
After the Hokies struck first midway through the first on an Thomas touchdown pass to Eric Martin, the Jackets struck back just as the second quarter began on a Robert Godhigh rushing score from 12 yards out to tie the game at seven. The game remained deadlocked until the fourth quarter, which saw the Jackets claim the lead on a 34-yard field goal from David Scully only to be followed seven minutes later by a 42-yard touchdown reception by Demitri Knowles, his first collegiate catch and his only of the game.
When it seemed as if Georgia Tech would prevail after Washington’s brilliant drive, capped by the Hill touchdown pass, the defense, which had been stout throughout the night, was unable to keep Thomas from bringing the Hokies down the field into field goal range to send the game to overtime. After Washington’s backbreaking interception, the Hokies needed runs of six and 18 yards from Michael Holmes to get the Hokies down to the one-yard line, where they converted on the field goal attempt three plays later. Holmes finished the game with a team-high 54 rushing yards.
Washington’s miscue was the only turnover in a game that featured two defenses that came through with timely stops and forced 13 total punts in the contest. In an interesting note, this matchup between these two teams has also been looked at as a precedent to the eventual ACC Coastal Division champion, as the winner of this particular game has won the division title since the ACC split into the Atlantic and Coastal divisions in 2005. Next up for both teams are non-conference home matchups, with the Jackets taking on Presbyterian and the Hokies taking on Austin Peay.