Virginia Tech had a 22-20 lead, but the 2:19 left on the clock in the fourth quarter seemed like a lifetime.
It had taken Florida State just 1:58 to go 71 yards at the end of the first half and score a touchdown. This time it took less, as the Seminoles drove 68 yards in eight plays and 1:33 for the game-winning touchdown with 40 seconds left and held on for a 28-22 win over the Hokies.
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said he was aware of what Florida State junior quarterback E.J. Manuel could do. But on the final drive of the game, the Hokies again fell victim to Manuel's arm. His 30-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Rashad Greene provided the final tally.
"They're one of those teams, I think you've gotta get pressure on the quarterback," Beamer said. "We had did a good job most of the night doing that, then they made good a couple of plays against it at the end."
Manuel also had the aid of Virginia Tech not being able to run more time off the clock on its drive before the Seminoles' game-winner. Many times, the Hokies ran a play with in excess of 10 seconds on the play clock. They were stopped at the four yard-line and settled for a 21-yard field goal by junior Cody Journell.
"If we could've picked up that first down, then we had a couple more plays," Beamer said. "We were talking there at the end about taking more time off the clock, but I didn't wanna interfere with the rhythm. We kinda had it rolling and I was hoping we could score a touchdown there. You want as little time on the clock as possible, that's for sure. But if we'd have picked up the first down, we could have got some more time off, but they didn't get it done, though."
The pressure is really on for Virginia Tech now, at 4-6 overall, having to win their final two games to become bowl eligible. The first is Nov. 17 at Boston College.
"Going up to Boston College, at this time of the year, that's gonna be a challenge and we've gotta win that one to have a chance to go to a bowl game," Beamer said. "That becomes a critical one and I've called on our kids to battle again. You don't know why things happen and why we can't quite feel good at the end, but I do know this, that there's been no quit in anybody in our program and that's what I'm counting on right now."