Thomas leads No. 19 Va Tech past Wake, 38-17
By JOEDY McCREARY
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) It took a while for Virginia Tech to find its rhythm. Once the Hokies finally did, they didn't stop scoring until the game was in hand.
Logan Thomas rushed for two touchdowns and passed for two more to lead No. 19 Virginia Tech past Wake Forest 38-17 Saturday night.
Thomas finished 17 of 32 for 280 yards with scoring passes of 20 yards to Jarrett Boykin and 30 yards to Marcus Davis, and added scoring runs of 1 and 3 yards for the Hokies (6-1, 2-1 ACC), who shook off an early 10-point deficit and took command by reeling off four touchdowns in an 11-minute, 7-second span.
"We came out and we started scoring," running back David Wilson said, "and the rest is history."
Boykin caught seven passes for 149 yards to help Virginia Tech win its second straight overall and its fifth in a row in the series, and snap Wake Forest's four-game winning streak.
Tanner Price was 19 of 33 for 254 yards with touchdowns of 79 yards to Chris Givens and 4 yards to Cameron Ford for the Demon Deacons (4-2, 3-1). After knocking off then-No. 23 Florida State last week, they were denied the first consecutive wins over Top 25 teams in school history.
"I feel like last week's win went to our head a little bit, and we came out here thinking we were going to win just because we beat Florida State," Givens said. "And this is what happens when you play in a league like the ACC and you don't come to play every single day."
Wilson finished with 136 yards rushing and a 7-yard touchdown for the Hokies, who couldn't get anything going against an inspired Wake Forest defense until midway through the second quarter.
But once they finally started scoring, they didn't stop until they had a comfortable lead.
Thomas found Boykin down the left sideline for 39 yards to the Wake Forest 1, and that set up the quarterback's scoring sneak that made it 10-7 with 8:43 left in the half. One possession later, Wilson's 43-yard sideline run set up Thomas' touchdown pass to Boykin that gave Virginia Tech the lead for good.
"We knew we'd eventually hit something that kind of got us going, and it took off from there," Thomas said. "I think we could just chip away and we would have been perfectly fine, but just coming back the way we did, it was a good confidence boost for the offense, and the defense did a great job as well."
Tariq Edwards then intercepted a tipped pass by Price, giving the Hokies the ball at the Wake Forest 26 with 30 seconds left in the half. Four plays later, Thomas faked a handoff to Wilson and rumbled in from 3 yards out to make it 21-10 with four seconds left.
Wilson then made it 28-10 with 12:36 left in the third with his touchdown run. After Price's TD toss to Ford pulled Wake Forest within 11 late in that quarter, Thomas answered by moving the Hokies 96 yards in 14 plays and throwing his scoring pass to Davis to push the lead to 35-17 with 10:49 to play.
"It's answering the bell, and I think we've got some guys, Logan being one of them ... that want to step up and make a play," coach Frank Beamer said.
After a punchless performance two weeks ago against Clemson, Thomas bounced back by accounting for nine touchdowns - four rushing, five passing - in two games. He threw for three TDs and ran for two more in last week's win over Miami.
The Demon Deacons were humiliated in last year's 52-21 loss in Blacksburg. They had plenty of early reasons to believe in the upset this time, needing a little over eight minutes to jump out to a 10-0 lead after their longest play of the year against a Virginia Tech defense that was starting two new faces along the defensive line.
Givens finished with seven catches for 140 yards, and more than half of that total came when he slipped past Jayron Hosley while going deep down the middle. Price hit him in stride and he outran the Tech cornerback - who appeared to clutch his hamstring while he chased the receiver - to the end zone for Wake Forest's fourth scoring play of at least 40 yards this season. Beamer said Hosley's hamstring had been tender all week.
Still, at that point, the Demon Deacons outgained Virginia Tech 122-2.
"No one panicked. Everyone kept doing their business," Beamer said. "Our players kept playing hard. Our coaches kept coaching hard. And we found a way to get it done."
Updated October 15, 2011