Thomas threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores. Wilson had his seventh consecutive 100-yard game, already the longest streak of Frank Beamer’s quarter-century as coach.
The teams went back and forth through the second and third quarters, scoring on eight of nine possessions in one stretch. But Virginia Tech (9-1, 5-1) took advantage of a huge personal foul on Jeremiah Attaochu and a fourth-down gamble by Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson that didn’t pay off.
The Yellow Jackets (7-3, 4-3) were eliminated from the Coastal Division race.
Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington ran for three touchdowns, but the Hokies took the lead for good on Thomas’ 12-yard run in the final minute of the third quarter. The play was typical for the 6-foot-6, 254-pound sophomore, who simply lowered his head and bulled his way to the end zone. The Yellow Jackets simply couldn’t bring him down.
That touchdown was set up by Attaochu’s huge blunder, which extended a possession that seemed to be over deep in Virginia Tech territory. On third-and-19 from his own 17, Thomas was flushed out of the pocket and corralled by several Georgia Tech defenders. But he wouldn’t go down and, apparently out of frustration, Attaochu threw a punch into the side of the quarterback’s helmet.
He drew a personal foul and gave Virginia Tech a first down. Wilson got loose for a 44-yard run and Thomas scored on a third-and-1 play that was designed to merely pick up the first down.