No. 13 Virginia Tech Rallies Past No. 19 Nebraska, 16- 15
Sept. 19, 2009
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -Tyrod Taylor dodged several defenders and then rifled an 11-yard touchdown pass to Dyrell Roberts with 21 seconds left, rallying No. 13 Virginia Tech over No. 19 Nebraska 16-15 Saturday.
Taylor, known for his running much more than his passing, completed two big, late throws for the Hokies (2-1).
Taylor first hit Danny Coale for 80 yards down the right sideline with 1:11 left, setting the ball up at the Nebraska 3, where Coale was forced out of bounds. After two unencouraging plays, Taylor scrambled around for what seemed like a minute before connecting with Roberts.
The victory was the 32nd in a row for Virginia Tech at home against non-conference opponents. Nebraska (2-1) lost for the 21st time in its last 22 games against teams ranked in the Top 20.
Nebraska has lost 21 of its last 22 games against teams in the top 20.
Roy Helu Jr. went over 100 yards rushing early in the third quarter, Zac Lee made several key completions and when Virginia Tech's defense stiffened in its own end, Alex Henery tied a Lane Stadium record for a visitor with five field goals in five tries.
Had one of those drives ended in the end zone, the Hokies' late comeback might not have been possible. But one of the Cornhuskers' best TD chances also turned into a key failure.
Leading 12-10, Nebraska had a first-and-goal at the 6 after Lee ran for 17 yards on third-and-3. Two holding calls, two false starts and an incomplete pass later, Nebraska faced second-and-goal from the 36 and wound up punting it away - into the end zone.
That missed opportunity seemed bigger when the Hokies' 2-point attempt was to take a 3 point lead of their own rather than tie. Taylor's pass was off the mark, but it didn't matter - Lee's final desperation heave was picked off.
Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams finished with 107 yards and a 1-yard touchdown run set up by Roberts' 76-yard return of the opening kickoff.
Taylor lost 22 yards on nine carries, repeatedly passing on open field when flushed from the pocket.
Helu finished with 169 yards on 28 carries, and Lee was 11 for 30 for 136 yards and two interceptions.
Nebraska managed to finish the first quarter with zero yards of offense, but points on the board. The Huskers trailed only 7-3 after Henery's first field goal was set up by Niles Paul's 55-yard punt return to the Tech 22.