Fans, most of whom came clad in orange, didn't wait for the officials to signal the kick good, instead taking their cues from the reactions of those with a better view and were already celebrating having scored more points in the last 7:46 than the first 52:14.
Before the offensive flurry in the fourth quarter, the game was a punting contest that turned on a punt that went awry.
Georgia Tech had managed just two first downs when Hokies freshman punter A.J. Hughes set them up with a mistake.
Dropped back in punt formation near midfield, he let a snap go through his hands and scrambled to fall on it for a 22-yard loss. That put the Yellow Jackets at the Hokies 24, and three runs tied it. On the 12-yard touchdown, Robert Godhigh went wide around the left side, dodged defenders, broke several tackles and scored easily, making it 7-7.
The mistake seemed to knock the Hokies off their stride, and neither team threatened the rest of the half.
The Yellow Jackets finally started moving the ball and went ahead 10-7 on a 34-yard field goal by David Scully to start the fourth quarter. The score came after a 15-play, 56-yard drive that not only took 7:18 off the clock, but included three short third-down conversions and left the Hokies defenders looking worn down in the humidity.
After falling behind, Thomas and the offense finally gave the defense a break, driving from their 23 to the Yellow Jackets 21 in 11 plays, but Journell missed the attempt.
The rested Hokies didn't let it keep them down long, holding the Yellow Jackets and forcing a punt.
This time, Thomas hit Marcus Davis for 35 yards on second down, and when Davis fumbled the ball at the end of the run, Corey Fuller recovered at the Yellow Jackets 42.
On the next play, Thomas hit speedy wide receiver Demitri Knowles for the touchdown in the right corner, his first career reception.
Knowles beat Rod Sweeting, who also was called for pass interference on the play.
The Hokies had the upper hand early, moving the ball and stopping the Yellow Jackets on three plays on their first series.
Thomas did the bulk of the work for the Hokies, running 4 yards for a first down on a third-and-2 play, and hitting Corey Fuller for 12 yards on third-and-11 from the Georgia Tech 34. After two runs by Holmes for 17 yards, Thomas floated a touch pass over the Yellow Jackets defense to Eric Martin for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.