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Momentum lifts Virginia Tech past Yellow Jackets 37-26

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Georgia Tech's Roddy Jones (20) tries to avoid a trip by Virginia Tech's Jayron Hosley (20) and a tackle by Tyrel Wilson (66) during the first half of Thursday night's game at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta.
 Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill (5) gets taken down by Virginia Tech defenders Jayron Hosley (20) and J.R. Collins during the first half of Thursday night's game at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta.
 Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Georgia Tech's Steven Sylvester upends Virginia Tech's David Wilson while tackling him during the first half of Thursday night's game at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. 

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Georgia Tech's Roddy Jones (20) tries to avoid a trip by Virginia Tech's Jayron Hosley (20) and a tackle by Tyrel Wilson (66) during the first half of Thursday night's game at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill (5) gets taken down by Virginia Tech defenders Jayron Hosley (20) and J.R. Collins during the first half of Thursday night's game at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. Staff Photo: Jason Braverman Georgia Tech's Steven Sylvester upends Virginia Tech's David Wilson while tackling him during the first half of Thursday night's game at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. 

ATLANTA -- Momentum in Thursday night's ACC showdown between No. 20 Georgia Tech and ninth-ranked Virginia Tech went back and forth like a metronome.

In the end, the pendulum stopped on Virginia Tech's side.

Logan Thomas threw for 209 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 70 yards and two more scores, while David Wilson added 175 yards on 23 carries to lift the Hokies past the Yellow Jackets 37-26 before 50,140 fans at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

The loss came despite a big night from Tech quarterback Tevin Washington, who produced 174 yards of total offense and three touchdowns.

But two plays after Tech (7-3, 4-3) had taken a 26-21 lead late in the third quarter ultimately swung momentum permanently in the visiting Hokies' corner.

The first came when Jeremiah Attaochu was flagged for a 15-yard personal foul on a sack of Thomas, negating a rare third-down stop by the Jackets' defense and giving Virginia Tech (9-1, 5-1) a first down at its own 30.

And it took the Hokies just five more plays to cover the remaining 70 yards, with Thomas taking a keeper 12 yards for a score that leapfrogged his team back in front at 27-26 following the missed two-point conversion with 32 seconds left in the quarter.

On Tech's next possession, a gamble with the Jackets still trailing by just a point backfired early in the fourth-quarter.

Facing fourth and 2 on the Tech 30, coach Paul Johnson rolled the dice and had Washington try to sneak for the first down.

But the Virginia Tech defense, which had been carved up by Tech for 234 yards on the ground on the evening, stiffened, and video review upheld the short spot, giving the Hokies the ball at the Tech 31.

And three plays after Thomas picked up a fourth-down conversion with a sneak of his own, the Virginia Tech quarterback hit Chris Drager on a 14-yard touchdown pass to push his team's lead to 34-26 with 9:49 to play.

And after a quick three-and-out on Tech's next possession, Virginia Tech put the game away with an eight-play, 52-yard drive, capped by Cody Journell's 23-yard field goal, making the score 37-26 with 3:02 remaining.

The back-and-forth exchange began after Thomas' 9-yard scoring strike to Jarrett Boykin gave Virginia Tech a 14-7 with 4:21 left in what had been a fairly defensive first half to that point, and set up a scoring frenzy as time wound down.

Tech struck first after a 41-yard completion from Washington to Tyler Melton set up Justin Moore's career-long 41-yard field goal, pulling the Jackets to within 14-10 with 1:00 left in the half.

But a short kickoff into a stiff wind set Virginia Tech up at the 37, and Thomas hooked up with Danny Coale on a slant pattern, with the 6-foot, 200-pound junior dashing through the Tech secondary for 63 yards and the score to push the Hokies lead to 21-10 with 44 seconds left.

However, the Jackets were able to use all 44 of those seconds to their advantage.

Another 41-yard Washington completion -- this time, to Stephen Hill -- set Tech up at the Virginia Tech 10 before a sack on the next play forced the Jackets to settle for a another Moore field goal.

This one was from 36 yards out, and sent Tech into intermission trailing by just one score at 21-13.

And it took the Jackets less than five minutes into the second half to pull closer.

A 35-yard run by Washington was the highlight of an eight-plays, 74-yard drive that ended with Washington's second TD sneak of the night, this one from a yard out.

The redshirt junior was stopped on the two-point conversion, but Tech had cut the Virginia Tech lead to just 21-19 with 11:17 left in the third quarter.

It looked like the Hokies would answer after they moved 72 yards in seven plays on the ensuing possession into the red zone.

But Julian Burnett stripped Wilson of the ball, and Isaiah Johnson recovered on the Tech 16 to give the Jackets a chance to regain the lead.

And it took them just seven plays and 2:54 to cash in, with big runs of 39 yards from Embry Peeples and 29 yards from Washington highlighting the 84-yard drive.

The Jackets' signal caller then called his own number again and scored his career-high third TD of the night on a 1-yard sneak, pushing Tech back in front 26-21 with 4:29 left in the third quarter.