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Coale went in on a fake punt option play, where he can punt the ball rugby style or run it. The rugby punt was something that Tech had practiced, but not yet used in a game. After going for it, Coale was stopped well short.

In the end, a solid defense wasn’t enough to make up for the special teams, and while Thomas and Coale turned in individually solid performances, the Hokies’ offense couldn’t seal the deal in the red zone.

Thomas found a way to carry his team late, though.

The sophomore quarterback took off on fourth an 11, scrambling for a first down, and picked up a pass interference call a minute later on third and goal, allowing him to make a quarterback sneak for a tying touchdown.

Those plays made up for more special teams mistakes in the first half.

After dominating the first 25 minutes of the frame, the Hokies suffered a series of inexplicable letdowns in the final five.

Thomas tried a QB sneak on fourth and inches from the Michigan 4, but the normally safe play didn’t work.

Faced with a 96-yard field, the Wolverines were helped out by a roughing the punter call on Virginia Tech’s James Hopper. Taking advantage of the mistake, Michigan drove the length of the field.

The touchdown represented another breakdown, as Denard Robinson was sent scrambling and heaved a ball up for receiver Junior Hemingway. Eddie Whitley was in position to make the defensive play, but went for the interception, missing and knocking safety Antone Exum out of the play in the process.

Seconds later things got worse as Tony Gregory fumbled the kickoff. Michigan attempted a fake field goal that broke down, but the holder’s throw bounced off Kyle Fuller and into the arms of Michigan lineman Richard Ash.

That led to a real field goal, and it was a 10-6 Wolverines lead at the half.

Hokies running back David Wilson, who entered the game 39 yards away from the school’s single-season rushing record, picked up the mark but on the whole had a disappointing game.

Thomas and Coale provided plenty of offense, though, with the duo connecting regularly in their final game together.

Afterward, Coale said that his five years in Blacksburg flew by.

“I’m kind of like a zombie right now,” he said. “I can’t believe it wasn’t a touchdown. I can’t believe it’s over. The last five years went quickly.”