Logan Thomas leads No. 24 Virginia Tech to 6th straight win

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Logan Thomas and No. 24 Virginia Tech are still searching for an offensive rhythm.

With the way the Hokies are playing defense, what little the offense has managed to muster has been plenty.

Thomas threw an early touchdown pass, Cody Journell kicked four field goals and Virginia Tech sacked Pittsburgh's Tom Savage eight times in a 19-9 victory on Saturday, sending the Hokies into their off week on a six-game winning streak.

The Hokies even got an assist from their state rival, Virginia, in the game plan that never let Savage get comfortable, putting defensive lineman Dadi Nicolas in as a linebacker with one goal -- to get after the quarterback.

"(Virginia) did something similar with one of their guys and I guess they had a bunch of sacks," linebacker Jack Tyler said, speaking of Cavaliers freshman linebacker Max Valles, who had two of Virginia's seven sacks against the Panthers.

Seeing that, he said the Hokies decided on a similar approach this week, and it worked. Nicolas finished with three sacks, Derrick Hopkins had two and four other players had at least a share of one. The Hokies had 10 stops for loss.

The Hokies (6-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) also ended a four-game losing streak against the Panthers, avenging a 35-17 loss a year ago that sent Virginia Tech into a long skid by proving just as inhospitable hosts to the Panthers (3-2, 2-2).

Pittsburgh finished with 210 yards of offense, and the sacks went for minus-49.

"We got eight, but I bet we probably missed eight," coach Frank Beamer said.

Savage, who tied an ACC record with six touchdown passes three weeks ago in a 58-55 victory against Duke, never had much of a chance to get wide receivers Devin Street and Tyler Boyd into the game, but said that's not all on his line.

"Any good quarterback, you can't worry about that stuff," he said of the pressure. "I have the best line in the country. I'm confident with those guys out there. It's just my job to get rid of the ball."

Savage, a pro-style quarterback who was only cleared to play this week after sustaining a concussion against Virginia, has been sacked 15 times in his last two games. The Hokies came in leading the country with 13 interceptions, sharing the national lead with 19 sacks and ranked fourth overall, allowing just 264 yards per game.

The Hokies were sharp at the outset, driving 71 yards in eight plays the first time they had the ball. They didn't get to third down a third-and-9, when Thomas hit freshman tight end Kalvin Cline for a 27-yard touchdown. Cline was double covered, but behind his man, and Thomas hit him in stride heading toward the pylon on the right side of the end zone.

"These past couple games, Logan's definitely put it on the money," Cline said of his first career touchdown.

Thomas finished 19 for 34 for 239 yards, and ran 16 times for a team-best 27 yards.

After a three-and-out for Pittsburgh, which ended with a sack when the lumbering Savage kept the ball on third-and-1 and tried to run around the right side, the Hokies drove again and Journell's career-best 48-yard field goal made it 10-0.

Even though the Hokies offense stalled pretty much the rest of the way, gaining 211 yards in the last three quarters after 104 in the opening 15 minutes, it hardly mattered because the defense was allowing almost nothing.

Journell added field goals of 37, 42 and 23 yards, and missed on a 33-yarder.

The Panthers' first points came on a 51-yard drive late in the first half, the bulk of it coming on a 48-yard pass from Savage, under pressure, to Street, who beat safety Kyshoen Jarrett down the Panthers sideline.

Savage did get some measure of payback with two 2:01 remaining, escaping the arms of one tackler and running 9 yards for a touchdown. On the two-point conversion try, however, he was swarmed and fumbled the ball away.


Follow Hank on twitter at: www.twitter.com/hankkurzjr


ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • Nike Men's Pitt Panthers Blue Football Icon Legend T-ShirtShop

  • Nike Men's Virginia Tech Hokies Maroon/Orange Team Issue Performance PoloShop


  • CFB playoff: Who's in?

    Heather Dinich projects the committee's top four teams in the College Football Playoff rankings.

  • AP/Mel Evans

    Kyle Flood expects to keep job at Rutgers

    Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said he expects to keep his job after a tumultuous season in which he was suspended for three games. "I fully expect to be the head coach here for a long time," he said.

  • AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman

    Les Miles resolution puts end to embarrassing chapter at LSU

    The silence from LSU's administration this week about Miles' job status spoke volumes, but not as loudly as the support Tigers fans showed on Saturday. It's been a strange week in Baton Rouge.

  • Oklahoma wins Big 12 title

    Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine combine for 267 rushing yards and four touchdowns in Oklahoma's 58-23 victory over Oklahoma State that captured the Big 12 title for the Sooners.

  • Hawaii snaps 8-game skid, 28-26 over Louisiana-Monroe

    Paul Harris ran 27 times for 166 yards and a touchdown to help Hawaii snap an eight-game losing streak on Saturday night, 28-26 over Louisiana-Monroe.

  • College Football Top Plays: Week 13

    Check out the top plays from Week 13 of the college football season, including highlights from Baylor's loss to TCU, Ohio State beating Michigan and Les Miles' emotional win at Tiger Stadium.