Scores

Final

(19) Nebraska 15

(2-1, 0-1 away)

(13) Virginia Tech 16

(2-1, 2-1 home)

Coverage: ABC

3:30 PM ET, September 19, 2009

Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA

1 2 3 4 T
#19NEB 3 9 0 315
#13VT 7 3 0 616

Top Performers

Passing: T. Taylor (VT) - 192 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: R. Helu Jr. (NEB) - 28 CAR, 169 YDS

Receiving: D. Coale (VT) - 2 REC, 89 YDS

Last-minute Taylor TD pass gives Virginia Tech edge over Nebraska

Associated Press

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- With pressure coming and Virginia Tech desperate, Tyrod Taylor's eyes worked quickly from the left side of the field to the right, just fast enough.

Fast Facts

• Tyrod Taylor completed an 81-yard pass to Danny Coale and then an 11-yard TD pass to Dyrell Roberts with 21 seconds left as Virginia Tech rallied past Nebraska.

• Ryan Williams rushed for 107 yards and a score as the Hokies won their 32nd consecutive non-conference home game.

• All of Nebraska's scoring was on the leg of kicker Alex Henery, who had a career-high five field goals.

• The Cornhuskers fell to 0-17 in true road games vs. top 20 teams since end of the 1997 championship season.

-- ESPN Stats & Information

The Hokies quarterback found Danny Coale running all alone down the left sideline and hit him for an 80-yard completion, setting up Taylor's 11-yard touchdown pass to Dyrell Roberts three plays later and rescuing the 13th-ranked Hokies against No. 19 Nebraska for a 16-15 win Saturday.

"Once I saw that he was open, I just had to let it go," said Taylor, who was hit just after he released the ball.

Coale hauled it in cleanly, but was forced out of bounds at the 3 with 1:11 left.

Dinich: Just Enough

After almost four quarters of nearly no offense, Virginia Tech put two game-changing plays together that will keep the Hokies among the nation's top teams, writes Heather Dinich. Blog
• ACC blog

"That's kind of what you play for, moments like that," he said.

But Taylor wasn't finished. Not by a long shot.

After being sacked on the first play from the 3 for an 8-yard loss and then rushed into throwing the ball away, Taylor scrambled around for what the school said was nine seconds before rifling the ball to Roberts on the right side of the end zone with 21 seconds left.

"I redeemed myself," said Roberts, who had dropped a third-down pass earlier.

"Every kid that plays football dreams of a game like this," he added.

Especially when you come out on top.

"That's the game," cornerback Rashad Carmichael said. "Sometimes you've got to pull something out of some body part."

Carmichael was on the bench listening to defensive coordinator Bud Foster talk about how the Hokies were going to score when he saw the ball floating toward Coale only feet away.

"Great ball. Great catch," he said.

And a great win for the Hokies (2-1), who had struggled all day against the Nebraska defense, managing just 195 yards in the first three quarters and only one real scoring drive.

Their touchdown came on the game's opening series, a 24-yard drive set up by Roberts' 76-yard return of the opening kickoff, and their second-quarter field goal came after a 58-yard drive on which Ryan Williams accounted for almost all of it with runs of 46 and six yards.

In the third quarter, they gained one yard while the Cornhuskers, behind the running of Roy Helu Jr. and quarterback Zac Lee's heady play, controlled the ball -- and the outcome.

After the fourth, they were left thinking about missed opportunities, like the five drives that stalled in Hokies territory, all leading to field goals by Alex Henery, and one drive that should have, but didn't.

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 later wound up punting it away -- into the end zone.

"We didn't have penalties the entire game until that series," wide receiver Niles Paul said. "It came at a point where we really needed the points. That hurt us."

Coach Bo Pelini thought it could have been the turning point.

"If we scored there, I though we were in pretty good shape," he said.

The Cornhuskers (2-1) fell to 1-21 in their last 22 games against teams in the top 20, and Virginia Tech extended to 32 its string of nonconference home wins.

For much of the game, it seems like both trends would be bucked.

Helu ran for 169 yards, almost all of it after the Cornhuskers were held to zero yards in the first quarter, and Lee finished 11 for 30 for 136 yards, but his completions all seemed critical.

They just never got Nebraska into the end zone.

"Our defense gave us the ball a lot and put us in the position to score a lot of points," Paul said. "We left a lot of points out there on the field. ... It's really frustrating when your defense is playing the way they were."

Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams finished with 107 yards and a 1-yard touchdown run after Roberts' big early return, but gained only 13 yards on six carries after halftime.

Taylor, known more for his running than passing, continued to frustrate Hokies fans with his apparent unwillingness to run. He lost 22 yards on nine carries, repeatedly passing up space in the open field when flushed from the pocket.

He did that on the winning touchdown, too.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NEB
VT
1st Downs1811
Total Yards343278
Passing136192
Rushing20786
Penalties9-607-53
3rd Down Conversions6-178-18
4th Down Conversions0-00-1
Turnovers20
Possession29:4630:14

Passing Leaders

NebraskaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Lee11/301364.502
Virginia TechC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Taylor12/271927.110

Rushing Leaders

NebraskaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Helu Jr.281696.0031
Lee8384.8017
Virginia TechCARYDSAVGTDLG
Williams211075.1146
Oglesby372.305

Receiving Leaders

NebraskaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gilleylen13535.0035
Helu Jr.4338.3018
Virginia TechRECYDSAVGTDLG
Coale28944.5081
Boykin44310.8017

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNEBVT
TD11:15Ryan Williams 1 Yd Run (Matt Waldron Kick) 07
FG00:56Alex Henery 40 Yd 37
SECOND QUARTERNEBVT
FG12:49Alex Henery 27 Yd 67
FG05:23Alex Henery 19 Yd 97
FG02:30Matt Waldron 39 Yd 910
FG00:18Alex Henery 38 Yd 1210
FOURTH QUARTERNEBVT
FG04:33Alex Henery 38 Yd 1510
TD00:21Dyrell Roberts 11 Yd Pass From Tyrod Taylor (Two-Point Conversion Failed) 1516