Tech got beyond midfield but Thomas threw his second interception to end it.
The Hokies held FSU nearly 200 yards under its season average, sacking Manuel five times and recording 12 tackles for a loss. But FSU drove 68 yards on eight plays to win it after the Hokies had taken the lead on a Cody Journell field goal with 2:19 remaining.
“We had the lead,” Frank Beamer said, “and we couldn’t hold it.”
On the touchdown drive, Beamer said: “We brought pressure the whole night. They are one of those teams that you have to have pressure on their quarterback, and we did a good job most of the night. Then they made some big plays at the end.”
Also from Beamer: “I want to thank our fans for hanging in there with us and trying hard. We just couldn’t get it done for them.”
Here’s some good news from head athletic trainer Mike Goforth on Cole:
“Michael Cole suffered a cervical neck sprain this evening against Florida State. He was conscious on the field, able to more all extremities, but had next pain and numbness in the upper extremities. He was stabilized on the spine board and transferred to LewisGale Montgomery Hospital for further testing. His CT scan is negative for any fracture, and he will be discharged home tonight.”
That’s it from here. Andy’s story and my column should be up on the site shortly. As always, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
Final: Florida State 28, Virginia Tech 22.
We’ve still got a ballgame folks, as the Hokies trail 20-17 after three and face a third-and-7 from their own 23.
This one looked like it might get away from Tech when FSU took a 20-10 lead, but Tech marched quickly down the field and scored on a 5-yard run by Logan Thomas.
Corey Fuller, who as noted in my column today was the biggest optimist coming into the one, has been terrific tonight, making five catches for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Scary moment as Cave Spring grad Michael Cole was taken to LewisGale Hospital in Montgomery County. Tech announced that he had a neck sprain and has feeling in his body. The hospital trip is considered precautionary.
If nothing else, the Hokies can say they did lead this one – however briefly. We go to the half with the Seminoles holding a 13-10 lead after going 71 yards on five plays after the Hokies had taken a 10-6 lead on a Corey Fuller touchdown reception.
The Hokies had it right early: sell out on the pass rush, and if your island-dwelling corners get beat, mug the receiver so he can’t haul it in. Defensive holding and pass interference penalties are less punitive in college than watching these Florida State receivers sprint around after the catch.
The latter is what happened on that go-ahead touchdown drive, as the Seminoles scored in less than 2 minutes by connecting on three straight passes of more than 15 yards.
Tech’s run defense, though, has been superb, as the Seminoles have lost 14 yards on eight carries. But Manuel found his rhythm on that last drive; we’ll see how Tech adjusts.
Fuller has three catches for 52 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. Marcus Davis has one catch for 54 and hasn’t had many (any?) targets other than that.
Alonzo Tweedy, making his second career start (and first this season) is tied for the team lead with five tackles, including 1.5 for loss.
The Hokies would have signed up for a three-point halftime deficit before this one, for sure. They’ll get the ball to start the second half.
The period ends with Tech and Florida State tied 3-3. The Hokies have forced a fourth down, and the Seminoles will attempt a field goal to start the second quarter.
Hokies are doing some good things: tackling well, pressuring E.J. Manuel, and even have an interception. The bad? Logan Thomas threw an awful interception, they couldn’t get a first down after having a second-and-2 and their lone trip into the red zone stalled.
All in all, though, a solid start for the 13-point underdogs. Manuel looks a tick off, and that’s what the Hokies must have.
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. You know the drill. We’ll be here.
A few links from today:
Here’s my column on tonight’s game, written with a few nice assists from the Blog Crowd.
Here’s Andy’s preview of the game.
Here’s Berman’s preview of Tech’s men’s basketball team, which opens at home against ETSU on Saturday.
Here’s Doughty’s preview of Virginia’s basketball team.
(You might notice a theme there — neither team has much depth to speak of).