Sept. 20, 2014
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) – Harrison Butker kicked a 24-yard field goal with no time remaining and Georgia Tech rallied from an early deficit and remained unbeaten with a 27-24 victory against Virginia Tech on Saturday.
The Yellow Jackets (4-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 16-10 at halftime and 24-17 entering the fourth quarter, but returned one of Hokies’ quarterback Michael Brewer’s three interceptions for a touchdown and turned his last one into the drive to Butker’s decisive second field goal of the game.
They also got a huge day from their own quarterback, Justin Thomas. He ran 22 times for 165 yards, and completed just 7 of 18 passes, but for 125 yards and the tying touchdown with 2:03 left.
Brewer, a transfer from Texas Tech, has now thrown seven interceptions in his last three games for the Hokies (2-2, 0-1), who were foiled in their bid to start ACC play with a victory.
The Hokies’ three turnovers led to 17 points for the Yellow Jackets, and the last giveaway came with overtime beckoning
Brewer went from goat to hero to goat again.
He threw an interception in traffic that Paul Davis returned 41 yards for a touchdown with 11:22 left, giving the Yellow Jackets their first lead in a game the Hokies had once seemed poised to run away with. Brewer then scooped up teammate Marshawn Williams’ fumble at the Yellow Jackets’ 21 and took it the rest of the way, diving for the right pylon. His 2-point pass to Bucky Hodges put the Hokies in front 24-17.
Thomas brought the Yellow Jackets back to tie it with a nine-play, 67-yard drive. He kept it alive with a 19-yard pass to DeAndre Smelter on a fourth-and-15 from midfield, and fed Smelter again two plays later with a nicely threaded pass that the wide receiver pulled in for a 31-yard touchdown pass.
Earlier, another mistake by Brewer swung the momentum the Yellow Jackets’ way.
The Hokies appeared to be driving toward taking command when Brewer hit Cam Phillips for 30 yards on a third-and-15 play. On the following play, Brewer threw deep and the only player in the vicinity was George Tech’s Corey Griffin, and his interception set up the Jackets’ lone touchdown drive of the half.
Thomas had completions of 18 and 19 yards on the march and ran it in from the 2 to make it 13-10.
In the final minute, the Hokies drove 56 yards to Joey Slye’s third field goal, from 36 yards out.
The Hokies led 13-3 after Marshawn Williams’ 6-yard scoring run midway through the second quarter. The 63-yard drive featured a 9-yard run by Brewer on third-and-9, a play on which he plowed into three defenders to get the first down, and an 18-yard completion to Isaiah Ford on a third-and-11 play.
Earlier, Slye kicked field goals of 42 and 33 yards. In between those kicks, the Yellow Jackets went for it on fourth-and-2 from the Hokies’ 37, and Thomas had 6-foot-5 Darren Waller wide open behind the defense, but the preessure was such that he could not get off a good throw and it fell incomplete.
Thomas and the Yellow Jackets made it look easy after taking the opening kickoff, driving 52 yards in seven plays before the drive stalled at the Virginia Tech 26. Thomas had runs of 14, 29 and 11 yards on the drive, and Butker’s 43-yard field goal made it 3-0 after just 4:04.