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Quarterback Logan Thomas runs for one touchdown and passes for another and Virginia Tech's defense holds the Yellow Jackets to 10 points.
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas is stopped by the Georgia Tech defense after a short gain in the first half of Thursday's game in Atlanta.
Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas (3) dives into the end zone for a touchdown against Georgia Tech on Thursday in Atlanta.
Georgia Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee and Virginia Tech cornerback Brandon Facyson (31) dive for Lee’s fumble on Thursday in Atlanta. Virginia Tech recovered the ball.Tech quarterback Vad Lee (2) and Virginia Tech cornerback Brandon Facyson (31) dive for Lee's fumble on Thursday in Atlanta. Virginia Tech recovered the ball.]
Associated Press | File
Georgia Tech wide receiver DeAndre Smelter (15) catches a pass as Virginia Tech safety Detrick Bonner (8) defends in September in Atlanta.
Virginia Tech cornerback Brandon Facyson (31) celebrates with cornerback Kendall Fuller (11) after intercepting a pass against Georgia Tech on Thursday in Atlanta.
Virginia Tech cornerback Donovan Riley (2) celebrates after the Hokies beat Georgia Tech 17-10on Thursday in Atlanta.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
ATLANTA - Logan Thomas' second game in Atlanta this season went much better than his first.
Virginia Tech got 279 yards and two touchdowns from its hobbled quarterback and another stifling defensive performance from Bud Foster's crew against Georgia Tech's option offense in a 17-10 win at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Thursday night.
The Hokies (4-1, 1-0 ACC) improved to 5-1 against Paul Johnson-coached teams, eliminating the gap in the Coastal Division standings against Georgia Tech (3-1, 2-1 ACC), which had already beaten Duke and North Carolina in league play. It was another white-knuckler.
"I kind of feel like every one is going to be like this," Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. "That's why I'm glad my guys are mentally tough and physically tough."
The Hokies did it on the road, no less, in the same city where a month ago Thomas had a forgettable 5-for-26, 59-yard performance against No. 1 Alabama in the season opener just down the street in the Georgia Dome.
Not Thursday, when he fought through an abdominal strain he suffered last week to carry Virginia Tech's offense.
Thomas completed his first nine passes in a red-hot first half during which he accounted for both of the Hokies' scores - a 21-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Coles and a 5-yard scoring run that gave the Hokies a 14-3 halftime lead.
"As you can see, when he gets in a rhythm, he can be pretty deadly," receiver Willie Byrn said.
Thomas shouldered the rushing load late, running for 58 yards while the tailbacks contributed next to nothing on the ground.
It wasn't as prolific, but there were shades of Thomas' 2011 performance in Atlanta, when he put the team on his back, accounting for 279 yards and five touchdowns in a crucial win against Georgia Tech, what many thought would be the performance that launched the quarterback's stardom.
It didn't. Although two years later, Thomas silenced some of his critics with Thursday's showing, finishing with 279 of the Hokies' 276 yards - and that's not a typo. Not bad for someone who was limited in practice all week, not throwing a pass until the day of the game.
"I had to get a mentality going in," Thomas said. "I had to be tough. ... I knew I was just going to have to grind this one out."
It wasn't an offensive explosion, but that was enough for Foster's defense, which solved the annual Georgia Tech riddle. The Hokies held the Yellow Jackets' option offense to only 129 rushing yards on 42 carries. They entered the game fourth nationally, averaging 345.3 yards per game.
"One-thirty?" linebacker Jack Tyler said. "That's probably unheard of for that type of offense. ... Coach Foster, he's brilliant."
Only a few miscues allowed Georgia Tech to even get into the end zone. The Yellow Jackets' lone touchdown came on a drive when Tyler jumped offsides on a fourth-and-1, end J.R. Collins and cornerback Brandon Facyson somehow didn't pounce on a fumble near the goal line and safety Detrick Bonner committed pass interference in the end zone.
The end result was a 2-yard touchdown run by Robert Sims to get Georgia Tech within 14-10.
A 39-yard field goal by Cody Journell gave the Hokies a 17-10 lead with 10:25 to play in the game, although he would shank a 25-yarder that could have put the game away.
No worry. The Hokies defense, which hasn't allowed a point in the fourth quarter this year, stopped Georgia Tech twice. Defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins blew up a play that helped stuff Robert Godhigh one yard shy of the sticks on fourth down in Yellow Jackets territory with eight minutes left.
"That was probably not the smartest decision in hindsight," Johnson said. "It was pretty dumb."
The Jackets managed to get the ball back, but A.J. Hughes killed a punt at the 5-yard line, forcing them to have to go 95 yards in 3:17 to tie the game.
They couldn't do it. Georgia Tech got as far as its own 45 before Lee had to lob a pass deep on fourth-and-13. Kendall Fuller got under it for an interception to seal the win.
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