- Associated Press - Saturday, September 29, 2012

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Well, there’s always the Atlantic Coast Conference for Virginia Tech.

The nonconference part of the schedule has been more unkind than usual to the Hokies, whose 27-24 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday was their second loss of the season to an unranked Big East team.

Now it’s nothing but ACC games the rest of the way to see if coach Frank Beamer and his team can get their customary 10-plus wins before season’s end.

“We got all the ACC games to play right now,” Beamer said. “We need to take these nonconference games and learn from them because I still think we’re developing the football team.”

The Hokies (3-2) and Bearcats (3-0) played a sleepy three quarters before a thrilling, seesaw fourth. Virginia Tech seemed to have the game in hand when Corey Fuller made a 56-yard touchdown catch with 1:49 remaining.

But Munchie Legaux put together an 85-drive drive with no timeouts remaining and won the game with a 39-yard pass to Damon Julian with 13 seconds to play.

“Hoping and praying,” Legaux said. “I threw it up hoping he was going to make a play. I just wanted to put enough air under it so he could catch it.”

Legaux completed 19 of 42 passes for a career-high 376 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, and Kenbrell Thompkins also set career highs with seven catches for 134 yards. The Bearcats took a healthy paycheck to give up a home game for a chance to play in an NFL stadium, which was dominated by fans from the other team.

Coach Butch Jones nevertheless soaked in the victory as if he were in Ohio, going into the stands after the game to celebrate in one of the few sections that wasn’t dominated by Hokies fans.

“It’s a credibility win,” Jones said. “Virginia Tech is a very, very talented football team. I’m coach Beamer’s biggest fan. The way he’s built that thing, that’s what I envision us having in Cincinnati.”

Logan Thomas completed 17 of 30 passes for 242 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for Virginia Tech.

“It’s a tough loss to take,” Thomas said. “You thought you had the game wrapped up. Nothing like that should happen, and you take a loss that you shouldn’t have.”

The Bearcats outgained the Hokies 165 to 72 in the first half — yet they trailed 7-6. Virginia Tech didn’t get a first down until Fuller’s 15-yard reception with 5:17 to go in the half, and it took an interception deep in Cincinnati territory to set up the Hokies’ lone score before halftime.

Cincinnati took a 13-7 lead midway through the third quarter when Legaux, with plenty of time to throw, hit Thompkins wide open over the middle for a 29-yard touchdown. The Bearcats run a spread offense, but they frequently had more success with conventional drop-back pass plays.

Michael Holmes spun into the end zone from 3 yards out with 8:37 to play to put Virginia Tech ahead 17-13, but Ralph David Abernathy IV’s 76-yard catch-and-run score put the Bearcats back in front less than a minute later.

Then came Fuller’s big score. Then came that last TD by the Bearcats, the one that seemed almost surreal to the players in maroon and orange.

“You always see it on TV or you see it in the movies or something like that,” Hokies receiver Marcus Davis said. “You just never want to be that team. That feeling inside you, it’s unreal.”

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