Thomas completed 19 of 25 passes for 221 yards and a touchdown and had 16 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown. Virginia Tech (4-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned its fourth straight win over Georgia Tech (3-1, 2-1).
Virginia Tech’s defense, led by defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins, stopped running back David Sims on back-to-back plays, including a fourth-and-2 run midway through the fourth quarter.
Cody Journell was wide left on a 25-yard field goal for Virginia Tech with 5:37 remaining to keep Georgia Tech’s hopes alive. Kendall Fuller intercepted Vad Lee’s fourth-down pass from near midfield to clinch the win.
Georgia Tech’s fourth-ranked rushing offense was held to 129 yards — more than 200 yards below its average.
Georgia Tech trailed 14-3 at halftime before closing the gap with a 14-play drive that consumed more than 8 minutes of the third quarter.
Big plays of the drive were a 40-yard pass from Lee to former Harrison High School standout Robbie Godhigh and two Virginia Tech penalties that gave the Yellow Jackets first downs, including a fourth-and-1 offside call on linebacker Jack Tyler. On third down from the Virginia Tech 10, Hokies free safety Detrick Bonner was called for pass interference as he deflected a pass intended for DeAndre Smelter.
David Sims scored on a run from the 2 for Georgia Tech’s only touchdown.
Journell’s 39-yard field goal pushed the Virginia Tech lead to 17-10.
Virginia Tech overcame a short practice week to find a defensive plan to contain Lee and the spread-option offense that was averaging 45.3 points per game.
Kyle Fuller moved from cornerback to outside linebacker and freshman Brandon Facyson took over at Fuller’s cornerback spot. Each had key defensive plays which helped limit the Yellow Jackets to a field goal in the first half.
Fuller blitzed on Georgia Tech’s first series and reached out to strip the ball from Lee. Facyson recovered at the Georgia Tech 27, and two plays later Thomas threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Coles.
Facyson’s fourth interception of the season ended Georgia Tech’s second possession. Facyson cut in front of Tony Zenon at the Virginia Tech 13 to end a long drive with the interception.
Thomas had a 5-yard touchdown run in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead. Thomas matched Tyrod Taylor’s school record of 23 rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.
The Yellow Jackets were called for five false-start penalties in the first half. Georgia Tech’s only points of the half came on a 49-yard field goal by freshman Harrison Butker midway through the second quarter.
Georgia Tech, celebrating the 100th anniversary of Grant Field at Bobby Dodd Stadium, wore throwback jerseys from the 1950s and ’60s.
Virginia Tech unveiled new silver-blue Hokie Stone helmets and wore maroon jerseys and pants for the first time since playing Miami in 2009.