Florida State Football: 10 Things We Learned from the Seminoles Win over VT
The Florida State Seminoles did what they had to do to come out with a hard-fought 28-22 road victory in Blacksburg over Virginia Tech.
With the win, Florida State improved to 9-1 and remained in control of its own destiny in the ACC.
Virginia Tech, on the other hand, fell to 4-6 overall and is now in serious danger of missing out on a bowl game.
While we knew a lot about both of these teams before this game, here are 10 things we learned about the Seminoles and the Hokies in the Thursday night thriller.
You Don't Always Have to Run the Football
Many people think running the football is the key to winning, but on Thursday night, Florida State proved that is not necessarily always the case.
The Seminoles rushed for -15 yards as a team on 26 carries.
Simply put, they were headed in the wrong direction. That did not seem to matter, however, as the Seminoles were still able to go over 300 yards of offense and come out with the victory.
Running the ball did not matter on this night.
Logan Thomas Is Still a Turnover Machine
Logan Thomas certainly had his moments in this game, passing for 298 yards on 19-of-34. He made some huge plays, but turnovers cost him once again.
The junior threw a costly interception in the closing seconds when Virginia Tech was threatening the Florida State defense.
That interception was the second of the game for Thomas, and he now leads all FBS quarterbacks with 14 picks—certainly not the season he or Virginia Tech were expecting before it began.
E.J. Manuel Is a Man
Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel had a lot on his shoulders heading into the final drive, and he came through big-time, leading the Seminoles to a come-from-behind win.
Manuel connected on a 39-yard catch and run with receiver Rashad Greene to give the Seminoles a 28-22 lead with 40 seconds remaining. The rest, as they say, was history. Manuel finished the game with 326 yards and three touchdowns on 25-of-42 passing.
He did throw an interception near the goal-line, but that was early, and he more than made up for it down the stretch.
The Virginia Tech Defense Came to Play
In the first half and for parts of the second-half, the game was dominated by the Virginia Tech front seven.
They were driving E.J. Manuel wild throughout the game and even forced a fourth-quarter safety. If the offense could have done anything, this game would have been a Virginia Tech victory.
E.J. Manuel was sacked five times, and they completely shut down the rushing attack of Florida State.
Even though they lost, that is a good sign of things to come for the defense.
The FSU Defensive Line Is Dominant
Florida State might have the best defensive front in the country, and once again it showed on Thursday night.
The Seminoles were able to hold the Virginia Tech rushing offense in check, holding the Hokies to 87 yards on 36 carries.
While they did not do the job the Hokies defense did, the Seminoles were excellent throughout the game and continue to prove themselves as one of the best defenses in the country.
Turnovers Are a Difference Maker
One of the downfalls of the season for Virginia Tech has been turnovers, and this game was no different.
While Florida State only had two turnovers the entire game, Virginia Tech totaled three, and once again that proved to be the difference in the game.
When a team loses the turnover battle to one of the Top 10 teams in the country, it takes a lot of talent to come out with a victory.
Virginia Tech was almost able to overcome that, but in the end, that was the difference in the game.
Rashad Greene Is a Stud
The best player on the field Thursday night was Florida State sophomore wide receiver Rashad Greene.
He caught six passes for 125 yards with two touchdowns, including the game winning 39-yard catch-and-run with less than a minute remaining.
Greene can beat defenders with his speed and showed that running completely across the field and past the entire Virginia Tech defense for the score in the closing minute.
Kicking Is Important
Florida State possesses one of the best kickers in the country in Dustin Hopkins.
Virgina Tech kicker Cody Journell is far from that, and early in the game that showed.
Hopkins hit a 51-yard field goal to give the Seminoles an early lead, while Journell missed one of his three field goal attempts.
While that might not have been a difference in the game, there is no question that the struggles on special teams this season for Virginia Tech have been a big deal.
Virginia Tech Has Some Talented Senior Receivers
Virginia Tech has two very talented senior receivers, and even though Marcus Davis had a costly fumble on Thursday night, both played exceptionally well other than that.
Davis only had two catches but totaled 68 yards, including a 54-yard reception early on to help Virginia Tech get on the board.
Corey Fuller had the better game of the two, catching seven passes for 124 yards and a touchdown.
Florida State is not a team known to give up huge plays, but Virginia Tech exploited them for some big ones, including a 44-yard catch by Fuller.
These two guys, along with freshman Demetri Knowles, make a nice trio.
Florida State Will Win the ACC
This was the last major test for Florida State as far as ACC play is concerned. The only remaining game for the Seminoles in conference play is a road trip to Maryland. That will not prove to be much of a threat.
The ACC title game will not be nearly as challenging as a road game in Blacksburg was. Getting over this hump for Florida State was the last big remaining hurdle.
The Seminoles are poised for an Orange Bowl appearance, and unless they are upset in the ACC title game by Miami, that is where they will end up.