Despite gaining just 64 yards and scoring only six points in the second half, Virginia Tech, on the shoulders of another stout performance by quarterback Logan Thomas, bested North Carolina on Saturday, 27-17.
Thomas and the Hokies (5-1, 2-0 ACC) were more than good enough in the first half, and that, coupled with another solid performance by Bud Foster’s defense, was too much for the Tar Heels (1-4, 0-2) to overcome.
The Lynchburg native went 13-20 in the first half for 230 yards and three touchdowns, tying his career best. He passed Will Furrer and Tyrod Taylor to move into third place on the all-time leaderboard for passing touchdowns in Tech history.
“I couldn’t be more pleased. He’s tough, smart,” head coach Frank Beamer said about his quarterback. “The NFL… they’re going to take that guy. If I was there I guarantee you I’d be taking him.”
One play after Thomas connected with Willie Byrn for 17 yards, he found Demitri Knowles, who had slipped behind the Tar Heels’ last line of defense, for a 45-yard score.
On Tech’s very next possesion Thomas orchestrated another fluent drive, this one for 73 yards on 12 plays eating up 4:33, ending with Thomas finding D.J. Coles from nine yards out. Coles’ has seen a reduction in his playing time this season in an attempt to keep him fresh, but his productivity in that limited action has been enormous.
Coles has 11 receptions in six games, five of which have been for touchdowns — including two on Saturday. Scoring on 45 percent of his receptions, Coles is happy to contribute to the team anyway necessary — especially in the red zone.
“Any way to help the team win. Right now we’re on a win streak and I’m fine with that,” Coles said. “That’s my area: 25 (yards) and in. I’m a big guy, a big target for the quarterback, so that’s what I do. 25 and in.”
On a first-and-10 from the Tech two-yard line — after a UNC score had cut the Hokies lead to seven — Thomas hooked up with wide out Willie Byrn for a 83-yard completion. Three plays later Thomas found Coles for the receivers second score of the game.
“I was shocked that he called that. It ended up working well,” Byrn said about offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler’s play call. “I want to go ahead and blame my knee for being ran down. That was a great call; great throw by Logan. That’s it. If he keeps making those masterful play calls then we’ll be pretty dangerous. “