Georgia Tech: 17
Virginia Tech: 20
Paul Johnson’s unranked Yellow Jackets opened the 2012 season with a tough contest against the 22nd ranked Virginia Tech Hokies. After the weather forecast called for flash floods in the area, partly cloudy skies surrounded Lane Stadium as the teams took the field for warm-ups. Despite replacing seven starters on offense, including four of five offensive linemen, Frank Beamer’s squad was a 7 ½ point favorite over the Ramblin’ Wreck and the general consensus among reporters was that the Hokies would cover the spread. Tech’s last victory in Blacksburg came in 2006 when they jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and never looked back. Since then, the Jackets had dropped two straight by a total of 10 points.
After exchanging punts in the early going, Virginia Tech mounted a 12 play, 56 yard drive for the game’s first score midway through the opening period. The drive consumed 4:47 of game time and was capped off with a 5 yard pass from Logan Thomas to Eric Martin for the touchdown to make it 7-0.
The Yellow Jacket offense continued to sputter until Tech caught a break late in the first quarter. After solid defensive play held the Hokies to a punt, a bad snap got away from A.J. Hughes and the Jackets would take over on downs at the Virginia Tech 24 yard line.
Zach Laskey gained 12 yards on two runs before Robert Godhigh scored from 12 yards out early in the second quarter to knot the contest at 7-all. Godhigh was nearly tackled at the 8 and then again at the 4, but broke both attempts to reach the goal line for a tie that would hold for the remainder of the half.
Midway through the third quarter, the Jackets embarked on a 56 yard drive that spanned 7 minutes and ended with a David Scully field goal for a 10-7 lead at the start of the final period.
Logan Thomas led the Hokie offense to the Ramblin’ Wreck 21 on the drive that followed, but a missed field goal by Cody Journell ended the drive on a sour note.
The Virginia Tech defense stepped up on the next series to force a Yellow Jacket punt that put the ball back in the hands of Thomas and set the stage for the go ahead score. The mammoth quarterback found Marcus Davis on second down for a gain of 35 yards to the Ramblin’ Wreck 42 and followed up with a 42 yard touchdown pass to Demitri Knowles to put the Hokies up 14-10 with 7:46 to play.
The Jackets took the field looking for a touchdown to regain the lead late in the contest. Washington led the Wreck 35 yards to Virginia Tech’s 37 before facing a 4th and 6 with 3:03 remaining. After a brief flirt with a punt, Paul Johnson decided to go for the first down. Dropping back to pass, Washington was flushed from the pocket to his right and scrambled towards the Yellow Jacket sideline before finding B.J. Bostic for 19 yards and a first down at the Hokie 18. Washington and David Sims traded carries to the 7, but the senior quarterback was sacked on 1st and goal for a three yard loss. Then, with 44 seconds remaining, Washington found Deon Hill on a slant route to his left just short of the goal line and Hill dove in for the go-ahead score that made it 17-14.
But with less than a minute to play, Virginia Tech was not ready to quit. Thomas led his offense to the Yellow Jacket 47, but faced a 4th and 4 with 13 seconds remaining. He then hit Corey Fuller for a 23 yard strike to the 24 and a timeout was called with 6 seconds to go that setup a 40 yard Journell field goal that would send the contest into overtime.
The Jackets lost the toss and were forced to play offense first in overtime. Washington started the drive strong when he found Godhigh for 11 yards to the 14, but made a costly mistake three plays later when he threw an interception to Kyle Fuller in the end zone.
The Hokies ran five straight times, but were unable to punch the ball in from one yard out on third down. Beamer then called on Journell for the game winning chip shot and the Hokies handed the Yellow Jackets a devastating defeat in the opening week of the season.
GT – 17
VT – 19
GT – 192
VT – 96
GT – 10-16-96
VT – 21-38-230
GT – 1
VT – 0
GT – 1-0
VT – 1-0
GT – 5-35
VT – 3-15
Game Summary: http://www.ramblinwreck.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/090312aaa.html
– Game highlights