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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Virginia Tech capitalizes on missed opportunities by Nebraska

The Hokies score in the final seconds to beat the Cornhuskers, 16-15. Nebraska has lost 21 of its last 22 games against opponents ranked in the top 20.

September 20, 2009|Associated Press

BLACKSBURG, VA. — 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 against No. 19 Nebraska, 16-15, on Saturday.

Taylor, known for his running much more than his passing, completed two big, late throws for the Hokies (2-1).

Taylor first connected with Danny Coale for 80 yards down the right sideline with 1:11 left, setting the ball up at the Nebraska three. After two 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 nonconference opponents. Nebraska (2-1) lost for the 21st time in its last 22 games against teams ranked in the top 20.

Nebraska's Roy Helu Jr. reached 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 touchdown chances also turned into a key failure.

Leading, 12-10, Nebraska had a first-and-goal at the six after Lee ran for 17 yards on third and three. Two holding calls, two false starts and an incomplete pass later, Nebraska faced second and goal from the 36 and wound up punting.

That missed opportunity seemed bigger when the Hokies were down only five instead of eight as they mounted their last drive. Taylor's two-point conversion pass was off the mark, but it didn't matter -- Lee's final heave was picked off.

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