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Hokies, Jackets still in chase for ACC title game

ATLANTA - Virginia Tech can forget about winning a national championship after its stunning collapse against Boston College.

There's no time for sulking, however.

Just a week after giving up two touchdowns in the final 2:11 to the Eagles, the Hokies head into another Thursday night game, this one against Georgia Tech, and still well-positioned to reach the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. With a win over the Yellow Jackets, No. 11 Virginia Tech (6-2, 3-1 ACC) can pull into a first-place tie in the Coastal Division with Virginia, a team the Hokies will face in their regular-season finale.

So this much is clear: If the Hokies win out, they'll be heading to Jacksonville, Fla., for a shot at the conference title, even if there's little chance of getting back into the race for a spot in the BCS championship game.

The most pressing issue is will there be any hangover from the loss to Boston College? Virginia Tech dominated for the first 55 minutes, but the unbeaten Eagles finally drove for a touchdown, recovered an onside kick, then scored another TD with 11 seconds left for a 14-10 victory.

'You've got to move on,' coach Frank Beamer said. 'It was disappointing. We were in a position to have them, and we didn't quite get there. We can still get to the ACC championship game, (but) we've got work to do.'

Georgia Tech (5-3, 2-3) won the Coastal Division last season and hasn't given up on making it two in a row, though it would take a staggering confluence of events for them to get back in the race. Of course, a win over the Hokies would ensure the Yellow Jackets are bowl eligible and, at the very least, bolster their position in the postseason pecking order.

'We know that there is a little light at the end of the tunnel,' defensive end Adamm Oliver said. 'There is a little bit more life left in us. We have a chance. So we need to win this one.'

Georgia Tech isn't sure which quarterback it will be facing. Tyrod Taylor, who led the Hokies to five straight wins after taking over for Sean Glennon, is bothered by a sore right ankle and didn't play against Boston College.

Taylor practiced this week, but Beamer said he'll decide just before the game if his freshman is ready to play. If not, Glennon will get another start.

'We're going to play the guy that we feel like gives us the best shot to win,' Beamer said.

Georgia Tech has its own injury problems. Tailbacks Tashard Choice and Raushaun Grant are out, forcing the Yellow Jackets to go with their third and fourth options, Jamaal Evans and Jonathan Dwyer.

'You hope that everyone else understands that the slack has got to be picked up somewhere,' coach Chan Gailey said. 'You can't just say, 'Jamaal and Jonathan, y'all do what the other guys have been doing.' You've got to understand that everyone has to pick it up now.'

Dwyer, a freshman, looks forward to the opportunity, especially since he'll have a chance to shine in prime time with the rest of the nation watching.

'It's an experience, because in high school I never really played on Thursday nights,' he said. 'It's going to be something different for me. But here at Georgia Tech, it seems like a big deal, and I'm excited to be a part of it and excited to play.'

SideBar: Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Atlanta