Virginia Tech Survives Scare from Georgia Tech in Opener

By Ryan McCart

Labor Day marked a historical day in Blacksburg. An overtime game was played for the first time in the history of Lane Stadium. In overtime, Virginia Tech was able to beat the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech by a score of 20-17.

The key word from tonight’s game: survive. The Hokies survived Georgia Tech in this one.

While their offense was stagnant, Virginia Tech’s defense was excellent for most of the night.

Bud Foster created the perfect defensive game plan to deal with the Jackets’ potent triple option offense. Virginia Tech’s defense was able to hold Georgia Tech to only 192 rushing yards. That’s quite an accomplishment considering the Yellow Jackets averaged over 300 yards per game on the ground last year.

The defense only allowed 17 points. One of the two GT touchdowns followed a bad punt snap that gave the Yellow Jackets offense the ball at the 20-yard line. The other came in desperation time as Georgia Tech had to resort to throwing the ball in the final five minutes of the game. That touchdown appeared to win the game for GT, but quarterback Logan Thomas came up big when he needed to.

For most of the game Thomas and Co. weren’t able to do anything on offense. The running game couldn’t get going and Thomas was overthrowing his receivers. Thomas ended up completing 21-of-38 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns. The first of those touchdowns came on the second drive of the game as the offense carved up Georgia Tech’s defense on a 12-play drive. The second came on a 42-yard bomb to receiver Demitri Knowles.

However, that didn’t appear to be enough when the Yellow Jackets scored with 44 seconds left in the fourth quarter, giving themselves a three-point lead. Thomas took the ball at the 25-yard line and was able to lead a drive in the waning moments of the game, giving kicker Cody Journell a chance to tie it up. Journell came through with a 41-yard field goal as time expired.

Georgia Tech started the overtime on offense and the Hokies defense came up big. On third and long GT quarterback Tevin Washington threw a wild pass as he was being pulled to the ground that was intercepted by corner Kyle Fuller.

Virginia Tech simply had to kick a field goal to win the game. Running back Michael Holmes ran the ball twice and was able to get it to the one-yard line. Thomas then tried to sneak in three times only to fail each time. Journell finished the game off with a 17-yard field goal, and was subsequently carried off the field.

The Hokies simply survived this game. The offense has to get better if they want to win the Coastal Division, but this win is a big leg up in the race for the divisional crown.

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