BLACKSBURG — A defensive slugfest gave way to two well-executed drives before halftime at Lane Stadium, where No. 8 Florida State has a 13-10 lead on Virginia Tech after 30 minutes.
After the Hokies (4-5, 2-3 ACC) went ahead on a 4-yard touchdown catch from Corey Fuller, the Seminoles (8-1, 5-1 ACC) marched 71 yards in five plays before EJ Manuel found Rashad Greene for a 25-yard touchdown pass.
It was a surprising finish to what had been a defensive stalemate for most of the first half. FSU had 161 yards of offense, with minus-8 rushing yards. Manuel threw for 169 yards, however.
Virginia Tech had 162 yards, getting 116 in the air from Logan Thomas, who was 7-for-16 with an interception and a touchdown.
The defense did a good job of keeping the Hokies in the game early, coming up with an interception near the end zone in the first quarter and holding Florida State to 52- and 45-yard field goals by kicker Dustin Hopkins that gave the ‘Noles a 6-3 lead.
Tech wasted a couple opportunities to take early control. A Thomas touchdown run was negated by a holding penalty, leading to a field goal by Cody Journell early on.
After FSU’s Tyler Hunter muffed a punt, giving Tech possession at the Seminoles’ 30, the Hokies couldn’t get a first down. Journell pulled a 43-yard field goal attempt wide left, keeping Tech down by three.
Just before the half, Fuller caught third-down passes of 33 and 15 yards to move the chains before Thomas put a fade pass in the right spot to Fuller for a touchdown and 10-6 lead.
FSU answered in less than two minutes. Greene beat cornerback Kyle Fuller off the line for the touchdown catch to cap the drive.
The Hokies have eight tackles for a loss and two sacks in the first half. Alonzo Tweedy, making his first start this year at whip linebacker, had five tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss.