BLACKSBURG, Va. — With less than three minutes to play and his team trailing for the first time all game, Logan Thomas knew he had to come through.
Nice to have a little encouragement from a mentor at just that moment. Standing next to Thomas was Tyrod Taylor, the player Thomas was understudy to for the past two seasons.
"It came down to that last possession and he said, 'This is where legends are made. This is where you make your legacy. Go ahead and do it,' " Thomas said of Taylor, one of the most accomplished and popular Hokies of recent years, now a member of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens.
"And whatever happened after that happened."
What happened was that Thomas ran 19 yards for a touchdown on fourth and 1 with 56 seconds to play Saturday, capping a frenetic fourth quarter as No. 21 Virginia Tech beat Miami 38-35.
The Hokies, who drove 77 yards in eight plays to get the winning score, rescued their chances of contending in the ACC Coastal Division.
"Actually, I wasn't nervous at all," Thomas said. "The offense had been doing its thing all game, so I wasn't really nervous. I knew we pretty much had their number in that aspect."
Thomas was looking only to gain the yard he needed on the big run, then call timeout.
"I stepped through the hole and there was nothing there," he said.
Led by Lamar Miller and Jacory Harris, Miami scored touchdowns on four consecutive possessions in the second half, at times with a little help from blunders by the Hokies.
Two minutes before Thomas' winning run, Miller scored on a 30-yard burst, capping a comeback from a 21-7 deficit early in the third quarter and giving them their first lead.
"They didn't do anything to stop us," Harris said after completing 13 of 21 passes for 267 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. "Really, we just couldn't stop them."