E.J. Manuel was on the run all game trying to elude Virginia Tech's blitzing defense.
But when No. 8 Florida State needed to make plays that would keep its best season in over a decade moving forward, the quarterback made them. Manuel's game-winning touchdown pass with 40 seconds left moved them one victory away from an ACC title game berth.
The stirring 28-22 victory on Thursday night at Lane Stadium gave Florida State (9-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) its best record after 10 games since 2000, when the Seminoles played for the national championship.
It also marked the first time in Manuel's career that he threw a touchdown pass on the final drive to win a game.
''They made us do some things because of their blitzes which were different,'' Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said after Manuel was sacked five times and hit numerous other times. ''We had to adjust on the run. E.J. took a beating back there, but he stood in there and made the plays. That's what great players do.''