Huskers’ late charge not enough vs. Hokies
Virginia Tech scored on six straight possessions in the second and third quarters and held off a late Nebraska rally to hand the Huskers their first loss of the season, 35-30, in front of a record Memorial Stadium crowd.
Nebraska trailed 28-10 late in the third quarter but rallied to cut the deficit to 28-23 with more than seven minutes remaining. The Huskers (3-1) could get no closer, however, as a pair of costly penalties kept the decisive Virginia Tech drive alive, resulting in the Hokies’ final touchdown with 2:28 left to give VT a 35-23 lead.
Despite facing a two-touchdown deficit with less than 2:30 remaining, NU refused to fold. Quarterback Joe Ganz engineered a four-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that took just 56 seconds. The drive was capped by a 17-yard touchdown strike to Todd Peterson to pull the Huskers within 35-30 with 1:32 left.
Nebraska’s ensuing onside kick was secured by Virginia Tech at the NU 43. The Huskers had two timeouts left and were able to force a Hokie punt. Brent Bowden, who shanked a 21-yard punt and watched Nate Swift return a punt 88 yards for his first career return touchdown on his two previous punts in the fourth quarter, lofted a 30-yard punt to stick NU at the 10 with 25 seconds left.
With no timeouts remaining, Ganz again got Nebraska moving. He hit Niles Paul on a 21-yard pass, then found Peterson deep across the middle on a crossing route. Peterson hauled in the pass and crossed midfield but was stripped of the ball by VT cornerback Stephen Virgil at the Hokie 44, ending Nebraska’s hopes for victory.