If the Hokies' backs weren't all the way up against the wall before, they certainly are now.
After last night's 28-22 loss to Florida State, Virginia Tech has to win both of its final regular season games, at Boston College Nov. 17 and home Nov. 24 to Virginia. It's not as if the Hokies didn't know what has been at stake, but now, it's cut and dry: win or they're done.
"Obviously, it's tough," junior quarterback Logan Thomas said. "We're going up to play a good Boston College team in the freezing cold. You've just gotta have the right mindset and be ready to go. After a loss like this, the first thing you wanna do is get back on the field."
It was especially tough last night for Thomas, who came up short on third and three at the Seminoles' four yard-line, leaving Virginia Tech to settle for a 21-yard field goal by junior Cody Journell with 2:19 left to play. That was plenty enough time for Florida State, who scored the winning touchdown in 1:33, leaving Thomas to throw an interception to seal the game with 33 seconds left.
"We were picking up three yards a pop every single play, three or four yards," Thomas said of the stalled drive. "That's what you want as an offense. We got to third and one and we actually had the perfect play called, drawn up, we just missed a block. I probably would have scored if not. But anytime we can get a lead late in a game, as an offense, that's what you need to do. So I'm proud of my guys for battling and they did a great job and I can't say enough about how they played."
If anything, the Hokies got a big confidence boost, despite their fifth loss in six games. That'll at least help in trying to pick up their first road win of the season, at Boston College.
"Everybody on the offensive side of the ball and defensive side of the ball played their hearts out tonight," junior cornerback Antone Exum said. "You tip your hat off to Florida State for making plays when they needed to. I told the guys at halftime that if we played our hearts out, we would win the game. They did that, but we just fell a little short. Our confidence won't go anywhere. We still have two wins to become bowl eligible and we'll get 'em."
The focus and mission remain the same: win the final two games to prolong the season.
"We go out there, prepare this week, like we've prepared every single week, go out in practice and give it our all, work as hard as we can," Thomas said. "Eventually, that hard work's gonna pay off. We know we've gotta get these next two, but I think that'll help motivate us and help push us to be stronger."
Eventually though, the season will end and one more loss will end it sooner.