Wilson sets career high: With the exception of a fumble, Tech tailback David Wilson played a near perfect game, rushing for a career-high 175 yards on 23 carries. His previous career high came in 2009 when he rushed for 165 yards in the Hokies’ win over Marshall.
“We just came in saying that we were going to run the ball,” Wilson said. “That’s how we were going to win the game. The coaches were saying that, and as a running back, that’s what I want to hear. We’ve got great running backs, and a good quarterback who can use his feet. With the offensive linemen doing their job … when we put it all together, we get a victory.”
The game marked the seventh straight in which Wilson has topped the 100-yard mark and the ninth in 10 games this season. The seven straight games with 100 yards or more marks the best by a running back under head coach Frank Beamer and stands just one shy of the school and ACC record set by Ryan Williams two years ago.
Wilson currently has rushed for 1,360 yards on the season and remains on pace to break Williams’ single-season record of 1,655 yards.
Thomas ties QB rushing TD mark: Tech quarterback Logan Thomas got the Hokies on the board with a 1-yard touchdown run on fourth down in the second quarter of the game and later added a 12-yard rushing touchdown. Those two rushing touchdowns give him eight for the season, tying the single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a Tech quarterback under head coach Frank Beamer. In 1999, Michael Vick rushed for eight touchdowns (though he had another in the Sugar Bowl, but the NCAA didn’t count bowl statistics back then).
Thomas finished with 70 yards rushing, many of those coming on quarterback sneaks on third-and-short in which he punished Georgia Tech’s tacklers.
“That’s my mentality when I run the ball,” Thomas said. “We’re a physical team. We like to punish people up front, and that’s a testament to our offensive line. I can’t remember the last time I saw someone out-rush Georgia Tech, but that’s a testament to our offensive line.”
“He’s a load,” Beamer said of Thomas. “He’s a hard guy to bring down. I think he gets a little bit better all the time. Instead of throwing the ball, he pulled it down and ran it a couple of times. He’s seeing the field better each and every week. He’s a great leader for us, I promise you.”
Thomas also threw three touchdown passes, accounting for all or a part of all five of Tech’s touchdowns.
Tyler makes the most of his start: Tech mike linebacker Jack Tyler made his first start this season and the second of his career when he took the first snap in the Georgia Tech game. He got the start ahead of Barquell Rivers because defensive coordinator Bud Foster felt his skills would fit in better with the defensive scheme against Georgia Tech’s option-oriented attack. Tyler’s lone other start came in the Orange Bowl game against Stanford.
Tyler played every snap and finished with 12 tackles (five solo) and a sack. More importantly, the Hokies held the Yellow Jackets to 243 yards rushing. In three previous games against the Hokies, Georgia Tech averaged 311 rushing yards per game.
“We’ve got the best defensive coaching staff in the nation,” Tyler said. “They’re so good. We could plug in anybody and they’d be all right. They’re [the staff] just so good. They came up with a great scheme this week. Obviously, we’ve got people out of position, but they’re [the staff] just so good at what they do that it doesn’t matter.”
Also, defensive end Tyrel Wilson started his second career game and J.R. Collins made his first career start at defensive tackle. Collins, a normal starter at defensive end, was moved to tackle the week before the Georgia Tech game as part of Foster’s shuffling in preparation for the Yellow Jackets’ offense.
Boykin reaches for another record: Tech receiver Jarrett Boykin gave Virginia Tech its first lead when he hauled in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Thomas in the second quarter. The scoring reception marked the 17th of Boykin’s career, enabling him to move into fourth place on Tech’s career touchdown receptions list. Only Antonio Freeman (23 touchdown catches), André Davis (20) and Ricky Scales (18) have caught more touchdown passes than Boykin.
With two grabs, Boykin has caught at least two passes in 40 of 50 career games played and caught at least one pass in 46 of 50 contests.
Coale extends streak: Tech receiver Danny Coale caught just one pass in the first half, but it was a big one and enough to extend a personal streak.
Coale’s lone first-half catch went for 63 yards and a touchdown, as Thomas hit him with a strike right before halftime. That reception, which gave Tech a 21-10 lead, was a career-long touchdown reception for Coale. His career-long reception came two years ago when he hauled in an 81-yarder from Tyrod Taylor against Nebraska.
Coale also hauled in another reception in the game, and he has now caught at least two passes in 41 of 51 career games played and caught at least one pass in 47 of 51 contests.
Final bits: Tech is now 51-11 in ACC games (26-5 in ACC road games) since joining the league in 2004. They are also now 25-2 in November since joining the league … With the win, Virginia Tech has now won five or more ACC victories for the eighth straight regular season. Only twice in league history has a program strung together eight years with at least five ACC victories: Florida State (1992-2005) and Virginia (1993-2000).
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