(Saturday, October 17th)
Final Score: (19) Georgia Tech 28, (4) Virginia Tech 23
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Quarterback Josh Nesbitt ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns as 19th-ranked Georgia Tech upended fourth-ranked Virginia Tech, 28-23, in an ACC clash at Dodd Stadium.
Nesbitt completed just one pass -- to Demaryius Thomas for 51 yards -- on seven attempts for the Yellow Jackets (6-1, 4-1 ACC), but led all rushers and recorded the game-deciding touchdown in the final minutes to give his team their fourth consecutive victory.
Jonathan Dwyer added 82 yards on the ground and Marcus Wright posted a rushing score for Georgia Tech, which hadn't bested its foe in Atlanta since November, 1990.
"Well, it seems like we have to make every game come down to the end," noted Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson. "I'm proud of our guys, especially our defense who came back and played fast, which is the way you want to see them play. We simplified for them, our defensive coaches did an outstanding job. I think they were all on the same page."
Tyrod Taylor gained 63 yards rushing with a TD and also threw for 159 yards and one touchdown on 10-of-14 completions but was picked off twice for the Hokies (5-2, 3-1), who had reeled off five straight wins after a season- opening setback to Alabama.
Ryan Williams picked up 100 yards and a score on 14 carries and caught a touchdown pass in defeat.
"I want to say this about our players; they hung in there, they battled," said Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer. "They didn't always play as well as we need to, but it wasn't lack of effort. It wasn't lack of trying."
Taylor shook off pressure and rolled 22 yards for a score with 4:52 left, but a conversion pass failed leaving Virginia Tech behind 21-16.
That set the stage for Nesbitt, who closed out a 75-yard drive with an electrifying 39-yard run for a touchdown to give Georgia Tech an insurmountable 12-point edge with three minutes to go.
The Yellow Jackets were facing a 3rd-and-7 prior to the score but the fleet- footed signal caller took matters into his own hands and tiptoed into the end zone -- a call upheld after a review to see if Nesbitt slipped out of bounds before hitting the pylon.
However, Taylor found Williams for a seven-yard TD only 1:12 later and Virginia Tech climbed back within 28-23. An onsides kick attempt fell into Yellow Jacket hands at the 40, and Nesbitt took a knee on three straight plays to run out the remainder of the clock.
"Josh is such a competitor," Johnson said of his quarterback. "All-in-all, he does what it takes to win the game."
A scoreless first quarter bled into a slow-paced second period which finally saw the Hokies break the scoreless deadlock on a 34-yard field goal from Matt Waldron with 4:01 to play in the half.
Georgia Tech got untracked on the following series, culminating with Nesbitt's one-yard keeper for a 7-3 game at the break.
Nesbitt capped the opening drive of the third quarter on another one-yard plunge for a 14-3 home advantage, then Williams broke off a 66-yard TD run to bring the Hokies within four.
An 86-yard drive followed for the home side, though, as Wright hit the end zone from 13 yards out for a 21-10 game.
Virginia Tech still leads the all-time series, 4-3...Georgia Tech finished with 309 yards rushing...The Yellow Jackets continue their ACC slate at Virginia next Saturday while the Hokies next host North Carolina on October 29.
10/17 22:51:10 ET