Florida State snuck out of Blacksburg with a win after the Hokies gave the Seminoles a serious scare on Thursday night. It took a Rashad Greene touchdown reception on the definitive drive of the game after Virginia Tech went ahead on a safety and a field goal to settle the game for Florida State.
Things never really got rolling for the Seminole offense, who looked much like last year's squad as it struggled to control the line of scrimmage and establish the run. The 'Noles finished with -15 yards rushing tonight and gave up five sacks. Devonta Freeman also made a mistake trying to pitch a ball out of the endzone that cost FSU a safety and set up a dramatic final six minutes.
Once again FSU struggled on the road, they had issues during all four quarters and were saved by a defense that eventually wore down in the fourth quarter.
But it wasn't all bad, the defensive line– Tank Carradine in particular– was dominant for Florida State. Tyler Hunter had two interceptions including the game-sealing pick with less than a minute left. And despite some of his more questionable decisions EJ Manuel stepped up on the final drive.
FSU got the ball back with 2:19 left down 22-20 after a safety and a field goal erased their three-point fourth quarter lead. Manuel quickly lead the Seminoles down the field in 8 plays, going 68 yards in 1:39 and culminating with a 39-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene. The pass was more Greene being speedy after the catch than anything else, but it was the big play Florida State needed to silence the crowd at Lane Stadium and help the Seminoles escape with the win.
There was a symbolic moment on the drive where on 4th-and-1 James Wilder ripped off a fearsome run, converting on second effort as he brutalized several Virginia Tech defenders. A Hokie left the field hurt and the Seminoles offense seemed energized afterwards. A few plays later they iced it.
Credit the Hokies for playing a great game defensively and giving FSU its best shot.
I'll have a lot more later on tonight and tomorrow morning, keep posted...
Passing: EJ Manuel (25-42, 326 3 TD INT)
Rushing: JC Coleman (16-41)
Receiving: Rashad Greene (6-125 2TD)