Logan Thomas tallied five total touchdowns Saturday night to lead Virginia Tech to a 38-35 victory over Miami in a wild finish at Lane Stadium.
“He’s made of the right stuff,” said Frank Beamer, head coach, of his starting quarterback. “I always knew he was. He’s poised, tough, under control and talented. He’s a great leader. He’s a guy you want leading your football team. I thought he showed all those things tonight.”
One week removed from an embarrassing 23-3 loss to Clemson on a national stage, the Hokies took this week to work on their offensive shortcomings. It clearly paid off, as they racked up 482 yards of offense.
Thomas completed 92 percent of his passes — the highest of any quarterback under Beamer in a game. He finished 23 of 25 passing for 310 yards and three touchdowns. The yardage and touchdown totals were both career highs.
Thomas didn’t expect to put up those kinds of numbers.
“I didn’t envision that at all,” he said. “I said I wanted to get better, but I wasn’t expecting this much better as a performance. I’m just blessed and honored to have this opportunity, and I just thank God for every chance I get to step on the field.”
After looking uncomfortable in the pocket for most of the Clemson game, Thomas cited one point during Saturday night’s contest that calmed him down.
“When we picked up that first third down,” he said. “My feet were comfortable, I wasn’t patting the ball or anything like that. I was comfortable from there on out, and once a quarterback gets comfortable, it makes the game a whole lot easier and slows things down.”
Wide receiver Danny Coale, who caught a touchdown, chimed in on what helped the Hokies have such an impressive offensive performance.
“I think we realized that we can’t not capitalize on those opportunities that we have,” he said. “We were embarrassed last week. Only coming away with three points, and knowing that we had those opportunities just wasn’t good enough. There had to be a sense of urgency to finish drives this week.”
Coale also had nothing but praise for his quarterback.
“He played tremendous,” he said. “He was just so comfortable throughout the whole game, and led us each and every drive. I’ve seen and been a part of some great games with Tyrod. But for Logan to get this one under his belt, to be his win… it was pretty special to be a part of that, too.”
After jumping out to an early 14-0 lead, it looked like the Hokies would score yet again, until Thomas mishandled a snap that Miami’s Ray-Ray Armstrong recovered.
Seven plays and 73 yards later, Miami was within a touchdown. But Thomas hooked up with David Wilson for a four-yard touchdown pass with four seconds remaining in the half to take a 21-7 lead into the locker room.
However, the Hurricanes came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, piling up over 300 yards of offense.
“They were blocking the backside differently,” said rover Eddie Whitley. “We’ve just got to look at film and learn from it and make corrections.”
The Canes scored 21 points in a very back-and-forth final quarter.
Less than three minutes in, Miami quarterback Jacory Harris hit Tommy Streeter with a four-yard touchdown pass on a fade over cornerback Jayron Hosley to make the score 24-21.
After the ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, it took the Hokies just one play to find the end zone, as Thomas hooked up with Jarrett Boykin for a 60-yard bomb.
“The coaches noticed that (Miami) was in cover one, and Logan just delivered a beautiful pass,” Boykin said.
Boykin also surpassed Ricky Scales to reach the top of the Hokies all-time receiving yardage list towards the end of the second quarter.
Following the touchdown, Miami needed only seven plays to go 90 yards, ending with a wide receiver pass that running back Lamar Miller caught for a 16-yard touchdown to make the score 31-28.
The Hokies went three-and-out on the following possession, and gave the Canes the ball back with six minutes left to play.