ATLANTA (AP) -- Virginia Tech just couldn't seem to get going.
There were turnovers. There were botched plays. There were missed
Then, in the last 5½ minutes, Bryan Randall and the Hokies
turned it all around.
Randall threw two long touchdowns in the fourth quarter and
Roland Minor finished off Georgia Tech with a 64-yard interception
return, rallying No. 22 Virginia Tech to a wild 34-20 victory
"It was one of the best moments of my career," Randall said.
The senior passed for 304 yards, also hooking up with David
Clowney on a 34-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
But Randall really shined at the end.
He threw an 80-yard scoring pass to Eddie Royal with 5:28
remaining, then completed a desperation pass for the tying 2-point
"When we tied it, we knew we had the momentum," Randall said.
"We didn't think our defense would give up any more points."
But Georgia Tech's did. On the Hokies' next series, Randall ran
for 32 yards, then connected with Josh Morgan on a 51-yard TD with
Minor, a redshirt freshman, intercepted two passes by
Reggie Ball in the final 2½ minutes, returning the second for a touchdown
that capped a 25-point fourth quarter by the Hokies (6-2, 3-1
Atlantic Coast Conference).
Georgia Tech (4-3, 3-3) scored two touchdowns less than a minute
apart in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead. But the Yellow Jackets
couldn't hold it, their highly ranked defense falling apart in the
After giving up a total of 265 yards in its two previous games,
the Yellow Jackets were burned for 446 yards in this one.
"It hurts to let one get away like this, where we thought we
were in pretty good shape going into the fourth quarter," coach
Chan Gailey said. "We gave up some big plays and just couldn't
sustain anything offensively."
Randall completed 18 of 31 passes and also played a big role in
the running game, accounting for 64 yards on nine carries.
Georgia Tech was looking good after Travis Bell kicked his
second field goal, a 34-yarder with 5:44 remaining for a 20-12
On the very next snap, Virginia Tech went all the way to the end
zone. Randall spotted Royal standing alone along the sideline, the
result of blown coverage when Georgia Tech safety Dawan Landry was
lured away by the tight end. Royal caught the ball at the 50, cut
back across the field and went all the way to the end zone.
Needing a 2-point conversion to tie, Randall rolled right and,
with two defenders in his face, heaved a pass across his body to
Richard Johnson, who was all alone for the catch that made it
"It was meant for the pass to be to the right side," Randall
said. "I happened to glance back there and saw Richard waving his
Virginia Tech wasn't done. After the Yellow Jackets went
three-and-out, Randall pushed the Hokies near midfield with his
long run, then caught Georgia Tech on a cornerback blitz.
Morgan ran right by safety James Butler and hauled in the pass
on the run at about the 35, cruising the rest of the way to put
Virginia Tech ahead for the first time all night.
On a foggy night in downtown Atlanta, the Hokies survived a
wacky game. There were seven turnovers, 173 yards in penalties and
plenty of head-scratching plays.
Ball inexplicably ran out of the back of the end zone in the
third quarter to give Virginia Tech a safety. The Hokies had to
settle for a field goal early in the fourth quarter after having
first-and-goal inside the Georgia Tech 1.
"Things were going wrong," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer
said. "It looked like every time things were turning around for
us, we did something else (wrong)."
Turnovers set the tone in the first half.
Randall fumbled deep in Georgia Tech territory, while P.J.
Daniels lost the ball twice on the Hokies' side of the field.
After Daniels' second fumble, Randall gave the ball right back
with an ill-advised pass over the middle that was picked off by
Butler and returned to the Hokies 39.
Finally, someone took advantage. Ball threw a 27-yard pass to
Nate Curry, then hooked up with Calvin Johnson in the back of the
end zone for a 9-yard touchdown.
Virginia Tech couldn't even get its offense back on the field.
On the ensuing kickoff, Royal was hit from behind and fumbled the
ball away, with Jamal Lewis recovering at the Hokies 28.
Ball completed a 15-yard pass to Darius Williams, then Daniels
redeemed himself for the fumbles with a 13-yard scamper around left
end to give the Yellow Jackets a two-touchdown lead, the scores
coming just 46 seconds apart.
Bell's 46-yard field goal with 35 seconds left in the first half
sent Georgia Tech to the locker room with a 17-7 lead.
"To come back after that, boy, it took some big-time players,"