|Virginia Tech K Cody Journell hit a game-tying and game-winning field goal in the 20-17 overtime win. (US Presswire)|
VIRGINIA TECH WON. The annual meeting of the bitter Coastal Division rivals needed extra time to be decided, and No. 16 Virginia Tech survived Georgia Tech's best effort to kick off the season with a 20-17 win in overtime. Logan Thomas completed 21 of 38 passes for 230 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions while adding 40 rushing yards in the win. It was a defensive struggle for three quarters, but a pair of scoring drives in the final minutes fired up the action before overtime.
HOW VIRGINIA TECH WON: The Hokies' offense was sputtering for most of the second half, until Logan Thomas completed a pair of deep throws - the two longest plays of the game, the second of which was a 42 yard bomb that dropped right into the hands of true freshman Demitri Knowles. Tevin Washington and the Yellow Jackets' offense then marched 72 yards in 13 plays, eating up 7:02 of game clock before scoring a touchdown to take a 17-14 lead. Washington completed a 19-yard pass to B.J. Bostic on fourth Down, then a 10 yard pass to Deon Hill for the score.
Thomas completed 4 straight passes to set up Cody Journell - who missed a 42 yard field goal attempt earlier - for a 41-yard field goal to send the game to overtime. Then Tevin Washington's ill-advised desperation pass into the end zone on third down was pulled in by cornerback Kyle Fuller. A field goal by the Yellow Jackets would have forced a less conservative first overtime possession from Virginia Tech, but the Hokies were comfortable running up the middle until Journell returned to hit the game winner.
WHEN VIRGINIA TECH WON: After allowing the Yellow Jackets to take a 17-14 on a seven minute fourth quarter drive, the Hokies were fortunate to string together the three game changing plays in the final minute of play and early in overtime. Thomas' two completions of 20+ yards to Corey Fuller on the final drive, and Fuller's interception at the beginning of overtime signified the victory for the Hokies.
WHAT VIRGINIA TECH WON: With Clemson and Florida State left on the schedule, the Hokies needed a win over Georgia Tech as insurance in the Coastal Division title race. Virginia Tech could become the first ACC team to three-peat as division champs, but will likely be battling with in-state rival Virginia and the Yellow Jackets for that honor. Georgia Tech plays only Clemson, and Virginia avoids both the Tigers and Seminoles in their regular season schedule. By picking up the Coastal Division wins, the Hokies avoid making those regular season matchups "must win" scenarios in the race.
WHAT GEORGIA TECH LOST: Georgia Tech's ceiling for 2012 has not been set very high by the experts, and knocking off the nationally ranked Hokies in Lane Stadium would certainly count as an upset. As close as the Yellow Jackets got, and what they were able to make out of a very few opportunities showed some promise for the season. The offensive line held their own against a very talented and experienced Virginia Tech front seven.
THAT WAS CRAZY: I bet you didn't know that Monday night's showdown was the first ever overtime game at Lane Stadium. Virginia Tech has been playing football there since 1965, and according to the school not a single game before Monday needed extra time. I would not have called the game "historic," but history was made.
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