Virginia Tech came out strong on Thursday night, and the Hokies played their best game of the year. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough, as #10 Florida State scored a touchdown with 40 seconds left to win 28-22. Tech dropped to 4-6 overall and 2-4 in the ACC with the loss.
This game featured some of the same mistakes we’ve seen in the last two losses. Logan Thomas threw two interceptions, Marcus Davis had a critical fumble when the Hokies were driving, a holding call in the redzone negated a touchdown, and Cody Journell missed a field goal on a drive that started at the FSU 30.
Virginia Tech outgained Florida State 385-311. The Seminoles entered the contest ranked #7 nationally in total offense, and #1 in total defense. FSU was averaging 234 rushing yards per game, but the Hokies came up with an amazing effort and limited the Noles to -15 (minus 15) rushing yards, sacking quarterback E.J. Manuel five times in the process. The Tech defense also recorded a safety. Tyrel Wilson and Jack Tyler split a sack, while Corey Marshall, James Gayle, Dadi Nicolas, and Bruce Taylor had one sack each.
Freshman cornerback Donovan Riley also recorded his first career interception, snagging a tipped pass at the goal line in the first quarter when Florida State was threatening to score.
Logan Thomas went 19-of-34 for 298 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. His first interception gave FSU the ball at the Tech 28, and resulted in a Seminole field goal. His second interception ended the game. He also rushed for a touchdown.
Overall, Florida State scored 10 points off Virginia Tech turnovers. Marcus Davis fumbled at the Tech 49 in the third quarter, and FSU converted it into a touchdown.
Tech’s superstar on offense was wide receiver Corey Fuller. He finished the game with seven receptions for 124 yards and a touchdown while working primarily out of the slot.
Virginia Tech faced a third and three from the FSU six yard line trailing 20-19 with just over two minutes remaining in the game. The Hokies played conservatively, going with a read option with Logan Thomas (who only rushed for 13 yards on the game). The play was stopped for a short gain, and Cody Journell kicked a short field goal to give the Hokies a 22-20 lead.
However, Florida State responded – as good teams do – by driving down the field and scoring a touchdown on a deep crossing pattern with just 40 seconds remaining. True freshman safety Desmond Frye, who was in the game because r-freshman Michael Cole was carted off the field with a neck injury, took a bad angle on the tackle attempt, and Rashad Greene scored. Cole’s injury turned out to be only a neck sprain, fortunately.
We’ll have much more on this game later today.