Logan Thomas was the first to shoulder the blame after Monday night’s game.
Heck, he kind of had to.
The redshirt-junior quarterback, whom many have hailed as a first round draft pick, pushed himself through a 21-of-38 performance, making just enough plays to pull out the win.
“I would say that I was the one holding us back,” Thomas said.
Going into Monday’s game, many expected the exact opposite. Thomas looked like the only sure thing on an offense that had to replace its top two receivers, two running backs and four offensive linemen.
Simply put, quarterback was not a position anyone was worried about.
Thomas’ two most inexperienced receivers, Demitri Knowles and Corey Fuller, looked like seasoned veterans under the bright lights of Lane Stadium, finishing with a combined six catches for 124 yards.
Knowles hauled in a fourth-quarter touchdown after Marcus Davis went out with a minor injury. Fuller had 45 yards, including a 23-yard fourth down conversion, on the final drive of regulation.
In those situations, Thomas stepped up. For much of the night, his legs were all the Hokies had, as he ran the ball 15 times for 52 yards.
It wasn’t pretty by any stretch. However, the Hokies stayed away from two problem areas — turnovers and penalties. They didn’t turn the ball over, and had just three penalties for 15 yards.
Georgia Tech’s lone turnover cost them, as Kyle Fuller intercepted Tevin Washington in overtime.
No Heisman Trophy watch lists will highlight Thomas’ performance Monday night. Even during the game, Thomas was just worried about getting out with a win.
“I was joking with (quarterbacks) coach (Mike) O’Cain, and I said, ‘If I don’t win this game, I might not be here tomorrow,’” Thomas said.
Seeing his first action, redshirt-freshman tailback Michael Holmes, getting 13 carries while splitting time with fellow freshman J.C. Coleman. Holmes’ day was pedestrian, until he struck it big in overtime.
After a six-yard carry on the first play, Holmes broke several arm tackles for an 18-yard gain, putting the ball at the one-yard line. It was his longest gain of the day, and essentially locked up the win.
Thomas and the offense undoubtedly have work to do. Bud Foster’s defense on the other hand, might be better than advertised.
While the offense struggled to move the ball much of the game, the Hokies stuffed the Yellow Jackets at the line time and time again. Four defensive linemen tallied five-plus tackles, including Derrick Hopkins, who had 11.
Even without injured linebacker Tariq Edwards, the defense seemed to meet its hype. Sliding into Bruce Taylor’s mike linebacker position, former walk-on Jack Tyler proved he’s more than capable, finishing with 17 tackles.
Paul Johnson’s triple-option attack was thwarted, even though the Yellow Jackets dominated the time of possession. Eight-plus defensive linemen rotated in for the Hokies, constantly throwing fresh bodies into the trenches.
Tyler was covered in blood and sweat following the game. Thomas wore the face of a man who came close to letting down thousands of fans.
For head coach Frank Beamer, it was just another grind-it-out ACC affair and win number 252 in his coaching career.
"It is kind of like what I told you guys at the start: we are not as good of a football team right now, but we have the potential to be a really good football team,” Beamer said.
A loss would’ve been catastrophic. An overtime win? Well, that might be who the 2012 Hokies are.