Oct. 28, 2004
By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) – Bryan Randall threw for 304 yards and two long touchdowns in the fourth quarter as No. 22 Virginia Tech, stifled much of the night, rallied for a 34-20 victory over Georgia Tech on Thursday.
Randall threw an 80-yard scoring pass to Eddie Royal with 5:28 remaining, then completed another pass for the tying 2-point conversion.
Randall wasn’t done.
On the Hokies’ next series, the quarterback ran for 32 yards, then connected with Josh Morgan on a 51-yard TD with 3:10 remaining.
Josh Minor went 64 yards with an interception return in the final minute, capping a 25-point fourth quarter for the Hokies (6-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Georgia Tech (4-3, 3-3) scored two touchdowns less than a minute apart in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead. But the Yellow Jackets couldn’t hold it, their highly ranked defense falling apart in the final period.
After giving up a total of 265 yards in its two previous games, the Yellow Jackets were burned for 446 yards by Virginia Tech.
Much of it came in the last quarter.
Travis Bell kicked his second field goal, a 34-yarder with 5:44 remaining that gave the Yellow Jackets a 20-12 lead.
On the very next snap, Virginia Tech went all the way to the end zone. Randall spotted Royal standing alone along the sideline, the result of blown coverage when Georgia Tech safety Dawan Landry was lured away by the tight end. Royal caught the ball at the 50, cut back across the field and went all the way to the end zone.
Needing a 2-point conversion to tie, Randall rolled right and, with two defenders in his face, heaved a desperation pass to Richard Johnson, who was all alone for the catch that made it 20-all.
But Virginia Tech wasn’t done. After the Yellow Jackets went three-and-out, Randall pushed the Hokies near midfield with his long run, then caught Georgia Tech on a cornerback blitz.
Morgan ran right by safety James Butler and hauled in the pass on the run at about the 35, cruising the rest of the way to put Virginia Tech ahead for the first time all night.
Minor, a second-string cornerback, picked off two passes by Reggie Ball in the final 2 minutes. He took the second one all the way to the end zone, stunning the Yellow Jackets one last time.
On a foggy night in downtown Atlanta, the Hokies survived a wacky game. There were seven turnovers, all sorts of botched plays and plenty of wasted opportunities.
Ball inexplicably ran out of the back of the end zone in the third quarter to give Virginia Tech a safety. the Hokies had to settle for a field goal after having first-and-goal inside the Georgia Tech 1.
Turnovers set the tone in the first half.
Randall fumbled deep in Georgia Tech territory, while P.J. Daniels lost the ball twice on the Hokies side of the field.
After Daniels’ second fumble, Randall gave the ball right back with an ill-advised pass over the middle that was picked off by Butler and returned to the Hokies 39.
Virginia Tech couldn’t even get its offense back on the field. On the ensuing kickoff, Royal was hit from behind and fumbled the ball away, with Jamal Lewis recovering at the Hokies 28.
Ball completed a 15-yard pass to Darius Williams, then Daniels redeemed himself for the fumbles with a 13-yard scamper around left end to give the Yellow Jackets a two-touchdown lead, the scores coming just 46 seconds apart.