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Hokies Handle Yellow Jackets in Thursday Night Thriller

November 4, 2010
by Ashleigh Lanza

In front of a sold out crowd at Lane Stadium on Thursday night, Virginia Tech defeated Georgia Tech in a fourth quarter comeback, winning 28-21.

"I'm really proud of our football team," said Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer. "We have some great kids that hang in there and battle. We control our own destiny here and I'm proud of them."

Virginia Tech pulled out a win with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by David Wilson with less than three minutes left putting the Hokies ahead for good.

This improves Virginia Tech to 7-2 (5-0 in the ACC) and leaves Georgia Tech 5-4 (3-3 in the ACC).

"We just played four quarters and that's what you have to do on offense," said senior quarterback Tyrod Taylor.

Taylor rushed for 57 yards and completed 15-of-25 passes for 137 yards and one touchdown.

Georgia Tech took no time to get ahead, scoring with 11:20 left in the first quarter via a one-yard quarterback sneak by Joshua Nesbitt. He again scored with 4:40 left in the first quarter after rushing over the right tackle for 71 yards.

Virginia Tech was nowhere close to giving up, though, and scored a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter when Ryan Williams rushed left for four yards into the endzone to make it 14-7 Georgia Tech.

"I just feel complete as an offense," said Taylor. "Defense does a good job of getting us the ball back and we know that we have weapons on the offensive side."

The next drive could of potentially turned into a long possession for Georgia Tech, but a false start penalty on 4th down forced the Yellow Jackets to punt instead of going for it.

Taylor led the Hokies down the field on a five-minute possession inside the Yellow Jackets 10-yard line, but Taylor's pass was intercepted in the endzone by sophomore cornerback Rod Sweeting.

On the ensuing possession, Nesbitt drove Georgia Tech all the way down inside the Hokies 10-yard line.  On third and goal, the senior dropped back to pass but was intercepted by Davon Morgan.  Nesbitt tried to make the tackle and was knocked out of the game with an injury, which was later revealed to be a broken right forearm that would cost him the rest of his season.

Nesbitt ended the season on a high note, rushing for 90 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the most prolific rushing quarterback in ACC history.

"It [Nesbitt's injury] had a big effect on the game because he manages their offense pretty well and it's tough to get another guy to come in and run their offense as well as he did," said cornerback Rashad Carmichael. "But 13 came in and did a pretty good job."

The fourth quarter proved again that Virginia Tech football is a second half team. They rallied from behind and scored 21 points, with a 15-yard TD run for David Wilson, a two-yard TD pass from Taylor to Andre Smith, and then Wilson's kickoff return for a touchdown.

"It was crunch time for our team. Time was running out and we needed points, so I was able to come through," said Wilson. "When I saw the grass I just cut the jets on."

Even though Georgia Tech put up almost 100 more total offensive yards than Virginia Tech, the penalties that the Yellow Jackets suffered hindered their performance and morale, which led the Hokies to come back from behind in the final minutes of the game.  

Overall, Georgia Tech had 9 penalties, which accounted for 52 yards, more than double of Virginia Tech's two penalties and 17 yards.

"We faced some adversity and they [VT] came back, it was just two or three plays that kind of turned the game," said Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson.

After David Wilson's touchdown to put Virginia Tech up 28-21, Georgia Tech had one last drive to score a touchdown and tie the game.

After 10 plays and 64 yards in a little over two minutes, backup QB Tevin Washington's pass in the endzone was intercepted by Carmichael for a touchback that all but ended the Yellow Jackets' last hopes for an ACC Championship.

"We had some chances," said Johnson. "We just didn't get it done."

Next week, Virginia Tech will face the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m.