BLACKSBURG – When Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas heard the play come down Saturday from the coaches' box through the headset he was wearing on the sideline, it didn't register at first.
It was his moment – his chance to get in a game in a meaningful moment for the first time in his career, and he almost missed it. Thomas, a 6-foot-6, 242-pound redshirt freshman who has spent most of the season as quarterback Tyrod Taylor's backup, lined up at wide receiver in the first quarter and had his first career reception on a 2-yard touchdown that put Tech up 7-0 against Wake Forest.
"Once I heard it (on the headset), I paused for a second and was like 'Oh yeah, that's mine. I've got to run'" Thomas said.
As the backup quarterback, it's Thomas' job to stand on the sideline, wear a headset with a direct link to the assistant coaches in the coaches' box and relay plays into the game. After freezing for a moment when he heard the first quarter pass play called, he dropped the headset on the ground and ran to get his helmet.
Thomas said he worked at wide receiver some during the preseason, but had concentrated exclusively on quarterback duties until Oct. 5, when he started to run some receiver routes again.
On that same day, he suffered a hamstring injury, but it didn't seem to bother him Saturday. He also got his first significant time in a game at quarterback, playing all but one series in the second half and completing 3 of 8 passes for 22 yards.
Tech wide receiver Dyrell Roberts had six catches for 134 yards against Wake Forest, a career day in both categories and further evidence of how comfortable Taylor has gotten throwing the ball to Roberts.
For the season, Roberts is second on the team in receptions with 19 for 254 yards and a touchdown. That's way ahead of pace for the numbers he posted in 2008 (17 catches for 227 yards) and '09 (22 catches for 390 yards and three touchdowns).
"We just took advantage of some openings they were giving us," said Roberts, a Smithfield High graduate.
"When we're clicking on all cylinders, it just feels good. There's no extra stress."
Wake Forest struggled in the secondary with two true freshman starters at cornerback – A.J. Marshall and Kevin Johnson. Marshall was victimized in the first half on Thomas' touchdown reception, 36 and 42-yard receptions by Roberts and a pass interference call in the end zone while Marshall was covering receiver Jarrett Boykin.
"It was almost like 'OK, you catch the ball and I'll tackle you'" Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe said. "I know we're pretty conservative in the way we coach, but we'd like to knock the ball down and not let it be caught. They have to stop being scared to go make a play and not be tentative going after the football."
Tech's 49 first-half points tied for the second-most in a first half under Tech coach Frank Beamer (Rutgers, 1999). The most points in a first half under Beamer came in 2002, when the Hokies scored 56 against Arkansas State…Wake Forest's four pass completions tied for the fourth-fewest against Tech in Beamer's 24-year tenure…Taylor's 292 yards passing were the second-most of his career, topped only by the 327 yards he had last season against Duke.