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October 8, 2011

Hokies win thriller over 'Canes

It was a battle that went to the end as the Hokies gave up a big lead and trailed in the final minutes to Miami 35-31. But Logan Thomas had a near perfect game and scored the go ahead touchdown with under a minute to go, the defense capped it with a huge stop as time expired that allowed the Hokies to hold on in a thrilling 38-35 victory.

Miami quickly moved down the field as Jacory Harris hit two big passes, first to Clive Walford for 24-yards and three plays later on third and three he found Tommy Streeter for 26-yards getting the 'Canes to the Tech 23.

The Hokies defense stiffened from there stopping two consecutive one-yard attempts. Miami set up for a field goal on fourth down but ran a fake with Spencer Whipple, who took it to the right before Tech stuffed the play for a two-yard loss to turn it over on downs.

Virginia Tech's offense came out and showed confidence in Logan Thomas as he found Danny Coale for 17-yards on the first play from scrimmage. Thomas came through three straight times on third and long situations completing big passes to Jarrett Boykin and Chris Drager, the third a third and 14 for 22-yards to Drager. Two plays later, Tech got on the board as Thomas faked Miami's defense out and took it himself for a seven-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 with 3:48 left in the first quarter.

Miami was held to a three and out on the next series. Jayron Hosley returned the punt 17-yards. After picking up one first down on the ground by Thomas, he went to the air again faking a run to Wilson before hitting Danny Coale across the middle for 40-yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0 with 14:53 to go in the first half.

The Hurricanes were forced to punt again after a third down sack by Alonzo Tweedy.

On the flipside, Virginia Tech's offense continued to excel on the next series predominately on the legs of David Wilson. Down to the Miami 16 and facing a third and six, Logan Thomas was in the shotgun when the snap went right past Thomas' hands for a fumble. Micanor Regis drilled Thomas as he tried to get possession with his legs, but the hit jarred the ball loose and Miami recovered at the 27.

The Hurricanes offense picked up a pair of first downs before facing a third and 18 at midfield. That is when Jacory Harris heaved it up to Allen Hurns for a questionable 41-yard completion that needed to be reviewed to see if he was in bounds. After overturning the play and giving the reception to Miami, Harris went to the air again finding Hurns for 15-yards touchdown. Hurns and Antone Exum both caught the ball at the same time falling out of the endzone, but possession goes to the offense for the touchdown to make it 14-7 Virginia Tech with 3:28 to go before the break.

Tech was aided on their next drive with a big third and six pass interference by Miami for 14-yards to keep the drive alive. From there, Thomas completed four straight passes to put the Hokies inside the redzone. Pushing it to the goal line, Tech was running out of time with 10 seconds left and no timeouts. Logan Thomas went to the air dumping it down to David Wilson on the left side of the field in play. Wilson dove for the endzone falling just inside the pylon to make it 21-7 with four seconds left till halftime.

Miami had one more attempt, but Harris threw it away and the Hokies headed to the half up 21-7.

Virginia Tech accounted for 250-yards of offense while giving up 183 to Miami at the break.

Logan Thomas completed 15-of-16 passing for 191-yards and three touchdowns along with nine-yards rushing in the first half. Jacory Harris completed 6-of-10 for 129-yards and one score.

David Wilson led all tailbacks with 49-yards on 11 carries, while Lamar Miller led the Hurricanes with 20-yards on six runs.

Danny Coale led the wide receivers with 57-yards on two receptions including a touchdown. Allen Hurns had two receptions for 56-yards and a touchdown at the break.

A sack followed by a fumbled snap got the Hokies opening series in the second half behind the chains and they were forced to punt three plays later.

Miami took advantage on their subsequent third and four as Jacory Harris finds Travis Benjamin down the left sideline. Eddie Whitley jumped the pattern and missed him which saw Benjamin take off 77-yards for the touchdown to make it 21-14 with 10:29 left in the third.

Tech was able to answer the score while grinding the clock for nearly six minutes predominately with the running of David Wilson and a big third and seven completion from Logan Thomas to Danny Coale for 12-yards. Virginia Tech managed to moved the ball to the Miami 16, but stalled there and settled for a 28-yard Cody Journell field goal with 2:55 remaining in the third to make it 24-14.

Miami began to run through the Hokies on the next drive but found a couple big passes from Harris to Walford for 25 and 11. Harris capped the drive at the four with a pass to Tommy Street who caught it over Jayron Hosley to make it 24-21 with 12:15 left.

Just when it looked like Miami was back in the game, Logan Thomas responded again. Starting with the ball at the Tech 40 following a kickoff out of bounds, Thomas heaved it to Jarrett Boykin deep who took it the distance 60-yards for a touchdown on the first play to make it 31-21 with 12:05 to go.

The Hurricanes would come right back with a huge athletic run by Lamar Miller who changed directions on the first play from scrimmage for 37-yards. Tech's defense stepped up with two sacks after that, Bruce Taylor on first down and then J.R. Collins on third. On Collins sack, Harris and Collins got in a tiff, which saw Collins, throw the football at him and get called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to keep the Miami drive alive.

Miami took advantage from there with a 22-yard run up the gut for Miller on the next play. Then the 'Canes faked out Tech's defense with a lateral pass to Phillip Dorset who then heaved it across the field to a diving Lamar Miller for a 16-yard touchdown. The score made it 31-28 with 8:25 remaining.

The Hokies failed to get a first on the next possession as a false start got them behind the chains. Miami made Tech pay with the legs of Lamar Miller who ripped off a 23-yarder to the Tech 19 and then despite two huge penalties was able to take a second and goal at the 30 in for an easy touchdown, breaking through the first line of defense and bursting to the endzone to give Miami their first lead of the game 35-31 with 2:51 to go.

Just when Tech was put on their heels the Hokies answered again roaring down the field getting to the Miami 28 in four plays. Tech struggled from there and faced a fourth and one at the Miami 19 with 1:01 in the game. On the huge play, Thomas got a huge hole in the middle and took the keeper himself up the gut for 19-yards and a touchdown to make it 38-35 with 56 seconds to go.

Miami picked up one first down to get to their 45 before struggling to move the ball with three straight incomplete passes. With five seconds left and facing a fourth and 10, Jacory Harris ran around the pocket eventually dumping it down to Lamar Miller who reversed field and headed up the left side. Alonzo Tweedy dove and made an openfield tackle as time expired to seal up the victory.

Virginia Tech posted 472-yards of offense while giving up 520 to Miami in the game.

Logan Thomas completed 23-of-25 for 310-yards and five total touchdowns including two on the ground.

Jacory Harris completed 13-of-21 for 267-yards and three touchdowns.

Lamar Miller led all tailbacks with 166-yards on 18 carries and one touchdowns. David Wilson posted 23 carries for 128-yards.

Jarrett Boykin led the receivers with 120-yards on seven receptions and one score. Danny Coale posted five receptions for 91-yards and a touchdown. Travis Benjamin led Miami with 77-yards on one grab and a score.

Virginia Tech improved to 5-1 on the year, 1-1 in the ACC with the win.

The Hokies now head to Wake Forest next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3.


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