Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 11/18/11

Virginia Tech continues to do what Virginian Tech does best, and that is win football games and sneak in to the BCS conversation. With the Hokies hanging on to hold off a North Carolina rally Thursday night in a 24-21 win, Virginia Tech is now 10-1.

North Carolina struck early with a Giovani Bernatd touchdown run less than two minutes in to the game but Virginia Tech avoided digging a deeper hole by recovering a fumble at their own five yard line. North Carolina running back Ryan Houston was stripped by Virginia Tech rover Antone Exum and defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins came up with the key recovery. Virginia Tech then orchestrated a 95-yard touchdown drive to tie the Tar Heels.

"I was just happy to get off the field," Hopkins said. "That changed the game."

"It was unreal for me," Houston said. "The last time I remember fumbling was in my freshman year when I was here. It brought back bad memories."

Virginia Tech scored the next two touchdowns and a field goal to build a 24-7 heading in to the fourth quarter. Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas threw two of those touchdowns and completed 19 of 32 passes for 195 yards.

North Carolina put a scare in Virginia Tech in the second half of the fourth quarter. Tar Heels quarterback Bryn Renner tossed a short touchdown pass to Erik Highsmith to cut the Hokies lead to ten points (24-14) midway through the fourth quarter and a 64-yard pass to Highsmith set up a touchdown run by Ryan Houston from one yard out with 2:32 to play. An onside kick attempt by the Heels failed to travel the minimum ten yards, turning the ball over to Virginia Tech, who practically ran the clock out at that point.

The win was Frank Beamer's 250th career victory, and with Joe Paterno no longer active Beamer is the nation's leading active coach in the wins department. As proud as Beamer is of his team, his sights are already set on next week's game against Virginia.

“I’m proud of our team,” said Beamer. “We’ll see what happens this weekend, but regardless of what happens with Virginia and Florida State, the Virginia game is a big game for us. If they beat Florida State, it gets a little bit bigger.”

If the Cavaliers win at Florida State this weekend then the two Virginia schools will play for the Coastal Division championship and the right to play in the ACC Championship game next week in Richmond. If Mike London's team comes up short in Tallahassee then the Hokies will clinch the division regardless, and will focus solely on their BCS positioning.

This is one of those rare instances where the Hokies are pulling for their in-state rivals.

"I'd love to see them go out there and win and make it mean a lot more next week," Thomas said.

 

Follow Kevin McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB.

 

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