by Sean Donohue
After losing the toss, State receives the ball and thunders down field. It takes the Wolfpack 3:50 to complete a nine-play, 80-yard drive to the end zone, completing the march on Russell Wilson's seven-yard toss to George Bryan. After Josh Czajkowski's kick it's 7-0.
State quickly shuts down the Hokies and starts another drive from its own 49. But after a punt Brandon Bishop intercepts the Hokies' Tyrod Taylor and returns to the Tech 2, where Russell Wilson shoots a bullet to Dean Haynes for another touchdown. Czajkowski's extra point makes it 14-0..
But things don't go the Wolfpack's way all afternoon, as the Hokies recover for a 41-30 win.
The Wollfpack adds a 37-yard field goal from Czajkowski to make it 17-0 early in the second half.
But two Tech possessions later, Taylor breaks off an awe-inspiring 71-yard rush to the State 11. Taylor's pass to Andre Smith completes the touchdown drive, and Chris Hazley boots the extra point.
The second half starts out great for the Hokies, as Tech's David Wilson returns the kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. With the extra point no good, the score is 17-13.
State stretches its lead to 24-13 on Wilson's 34-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Williams, but the Hokies respond quickly as Darren Evans pushes through defenders for a 54-yard touchdown run. Danny Coale's two-point conversion closes it to 24-21.
State claws for yardage with bursts of bullet passes to Dean Haynes and Owen Spencer, setting up Czajkowski's 32-yard field goal with 4:51 left in the third.
But the Hokies keep the comeback mentality going, as Taylor dodges a myriad of State players to bring the ball to the Wolfpack 6. With a Taylor's toss to Smith for the touchdown and a Hazley kick for the extra point, Virginia Tech leads for the first time 28-27.
With 8:07 left and “We Will Rock You” thundering through the stadium, the crowd amps up the energy and volume. Haynes catches a bullet for a 23-yard gain and the crowd erupts. Haynes continues to trudge through the Hokie defense even with the Wolfpack picking up a 10-yard holding penalty. Czajkowski completes the six-play, 37-yard drive with a field goal for a 30-28 lead with 4:42 left.
But the Hokies show no quit, scoring on a 39-yard pass from Taylor to Jarrett Boykin with 1:27 left to take the lead before Taylor's two-point conversion run fails.
State gets one last chance, but Jayron Hosley intercepts a Wilson pass and returns it to the State 6. With hope lost, there is a mass exit of state fans as their dream of a perfect record is shattered. Darren Evans rushes for the touchdown from three yards out with 55 seconds left with Hazley's kick completing the scoring.
They said it…
Tech coach Frank Beamer: “It's a huge win against a very good football team. I've had a lot of proud moments as a head coach at Virginia Tech, but I don't know if I've ever been so proud of a football team. We kept battling and got it cranked up in the second half. I am so proud of this team and the coaches. We pulled it out.”
State coach Tom O'Brien: “It was a tough afternoon. We played hard, but not smart. They finished the game better than we did. I think they played better tonight than they did in their last four games. The difference tonight was our quarterbacks. (Tyrod Taylor) was a true difference-maker in this game. We lacked the mental toughness (to win the game).
Spencer: “The loss is hard. There are good things and bad things in a loss and we just have to fix the bad things and rally for the good things. We have to learn from our mistakes and remember that we still have a very good offense. We kept ourselves off schedule with the penalties and we need to correct that.”
Stars of the game
Play of the game
David Wilson's 92 yard return for a touchdown.
Tech leads 25-18-4.
NCSU: Lost 1.
Va. Tech: Won 3.
Virginia Tech vs. Central Michigan on Oct. 9, noon
NC State vs. Boston College on Oct. 9, noon