No. 8 Seminoles score late to edge Hokies
Blacksburg, VA – Rashad Greene's touchdown catch with 40 seconds left led No. 8 Florida State to a 28-22 win over Virginia Tech in an ACC matchup.
Greene finished the game with six catches for 125 yards and two scores for the Seminoles (9-1, 6-1 ACC), who have won four straight and sit atop the Atlantic Division of the ACC. E.J. Manuel was 25-for-42 with 326 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
"These kids believe," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. "We may not always play well, but man there are some good football players on this team."
Logan Thomas went 19-for-34 with 298 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions along with a score on the ground for the Hokies (4-6, 2-4), who have dropped their past three games.
Virginia Tech safety Michael Cole was taken off the field in an ambulance during the third quarter after a collision. He laid on the field and was attended to by trainers before an ambulance backed onto the field and a restrained Cole was placed in the ambulance before being taken to LewisGale Medical Center in Blacksburg.
It was later announced that he had feeling and movement in his extremities. The injury was termed as a neck sprain.
Trailing by three in the fourth quarter, Florida State got pinned at its own 5 after a 10-yard sack and a 5-yard penalty. Trying to get a few more yards to set up the punt, Devonta Freeman was tackled in the end zone for a safety to make it a 20-19 game and the Hokies got the ball back at its won 44 with just under seven minutes to play.
Virginia Tech got into Florida State territory, but settled for a 21-yard field goal from Cody Journell for a 22-20 lead with 2:19 to play.
That was plenty of time for the Seminoles to take the lead back. The team quickly got across midfield and from the 39, Manuel hit Greene with a pass near the left hash mark at the 35. He then cut it over to the right and raced into the end zone. The team went for two points and converted as Nick O'Leary caught a Manuel pass.
Thomas was then picked off by Tyler Hunter to give Florida State the win.
The Seminoles started the game with the ball and were helped out by a pass interference call on Virginia Tech along with a 23-yard catch by Greene. That led to a 52-yard field goal from Dustin Hopkins with 10:47 left in the first.
The Hokies answered with a drive of their own and appeared to score when Thomas bulled his way into the end zone from 10 yards out, but a holding call negated the play and the team got a 35-yard field goal from Journell with 7:29 left in the first.
Thomas was picked off by Hunter later in the first quarter to give Florida State the ball at the VT 34. That led to a 45-yard field goal from Hopkins on the first play of the second quarter for a 6-3 lead.
Virginia Tech came back with a drive of its own and got into scoring position, but Journell missed a 43-yard attempt to the left.
Later in the frame, the Hokies were able to take the lead on a 4-yard touchdown catch by Fuller for a 10-6 game with 2:46 to play. The drive covered 68 yards over nine plays.
Florida State, though, answered with a quick mark as Manuel completed four straight passes with the fourth a 25-yard toss into the right corner of the end zone where Greene caught it over his shoulder to give the team a 13-10 lead going into the break.
A fumble by Marcus Davis on a catch gave Florida State the ball near midfield with under nine minutes to play in the third and the team took advantage of the field position with a 10-yard touchdown catch by Greg Dent for a 20-10 lead.
The Hokies came right back to keep the game close as an eight-play, 80-yard drive was capped on a 5-yard run into the end zone by Thomas to make it a 20-17 game with 2:54 to play in the third.
Florida State plays at Maryland next Saturday ... Virginia Tech plays at Boston College next Saturday ... Florida State has won 14 of the last 16 games between the teams ... Fuller finished the game with seven catches for 124 yards ... Virginia Tech gained 385 yards while Florida State had 311.