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Hokies take down Jackets

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- David Wilson returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown with 2:23 to play and No. 20 Virginia Tech held on to beat Georgia Tech 28-21 on Thursday night.

Wilson's return came on the kickoff right after the Yellow Jackets tied it, allowing the Hokies (7-2, 5-0 ACC) to overcome a sloppy effort and remain in control of their fate in the ACC's Coastal Division. It was Virginia Tech's seventh consecutive victory.

The Yellow Jackets (5-4, 3-3), played the second half without quarterback Joshua Nesbitt, who was injured late in the first half trying to make a tackle after throwing an interception at Virginia Tech's 1. The injury was to his right forearm, the school said, and came after he led one scoring drive, then ran 71 yards for another touchdown.

Still, they gave the Hokies all they could handle.

The Yellow Jackets fell behind 21-14 with 6:34 to play on Tyrod Taylor's 2-yard pass to Andre Smith, but they immediately answered behind backup quarterback Tevin Washington.

He hit Tyler Melton for 42 yards on the first play after Taylor's scoring pass -- Georgia Tech's first pass completion of the game -- and they did the rest on the ground. Roddy Jones ran for 5 yards on fourth-and-4 from the Hokies 32, and Orwin Smith ran it in from the 9.

Just 2:34 remained, and Wilson needed 11 seconds to get the lead back. He caught the ball near the 10, cut left, dodged one attempted ankle tackle and used his sprinter speed down the sideline. It was his second kickoff return for a touchdown of the season, and kept the Hokies in line to win the division -- and a spot in the ACC title game -- by winning their last three.

Georgia Tech then drove to the Hokies 17, but Rashad Carmichael intercepted a pass in the end zone with 8 seconds left, sealing the Hokies' 17th victory in 22 Thursday night games.