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Hokies Rally But Fall in Final Minute to BSU

by Tauhid Chappell
September 8, 2010


The stage was set for a highly anticipated game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and Boise State Broncos on Monday night.  With a sold-out crowd, the game certainly lived up to its hype. Although the Hokies were up 30-26 in the fourth quarter, Broncos quarterback Kellen Moore's 13-yard touchdown pass to Austin Pettis with 1:09 left in the game kept the Broncos BCS championship hopes alive as BSU escaped FedEx Field with the 33-30 win.


"We got ourselves in a hole," said Tech's coach Frank Beamer. "Did some awful things to get ourselves in a hole but we didn't hang out heads, we came back and battled."


The Hokies seemed in a daze at the beginning of the game. After a fumbled snap by Hokies quarterback Tyrod Taylor, a blocked punt and a contested pass interference call, the Broncos quickly jumped out to a 17-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.  


The Hokies rallied in the second quarter. After a 34-yard pass from Taylor to split end Jarrett Boykin, the Hokies quickly handed the ball off to their running back Ryan Williams for a one-yard touchdown. The Hokies defense came up big soon after. Tech's free safety Eddie Whitley caused Doug Martin to fumble the ball and on the ensuing drive, Taylor completed a 12-yard pass to Williams to close the gap to 20-14 at half.


The third quarter favored the Hokies as this time Moore fumbled the ball on the Broncos' 32-yard line. Tech converted this turnover with a one-yard touchdown by Williams, his third of the game, which gave the Hokies their first lead, 21-20.


Boise State quickly answered.  A handoff to D.J. Harper resulted in a 71-yard touchdown after two missed tackles by Tech linebacker's Bruce Taylor and Lyndell Gibson. The Broncos resumed their lead 26-21. The lead wouldn't last after the Hokies converted a crucial fourth down on the Broncos 28-yard line. Taylor completed a short pass to Boykin who broke a tackle and then scooted into the end zone putting the Hokies back on top 27-26 after a failed two-point conversion.


Entering the fourth quarter, the Hokies seemed to have found their rhythm. However, the Broncos defense held strong after the Hokies marched down the field. Chris Hazley made a 34-yard field goal, extending the lead to 30-26.


Things would change as time in the fourth quarter dwindled down. On third down on the Hokies 33-yard line, Tech decided to pass instead of run. Taylor's incomplete pass resulted in a punt, giving the Broncos over two minutes to drive down the field. Mitch Burroughs put Boise in great position after he returned the punt 25 yards to the Bronco 44-yard line, and the scale began to tip in favor of the Broncos.


A late hit out of bounds penalty by Tech's linebacker Bruce Taylor placed BSU on the Hokies 13-yard line. Moore's quick pass to wide receiver Austin Pettis over the middle put the Broncos up for good and kept their national title hopes alive.


"It happened too quick, too quick for me. A couple big plays helped them out but they are a good team. They're very experienced and have a lot of chemistry working together," said Tech's cornerback Rashad Carmichael.


 "It's not a lack of effort. I'm tremendously proud of the way our kids fought back but we did some things that weren't very good that put us in a hole. And in the end we did some things that weren't very good to hold the lead," said Beamer.


The Hokies look to bounce back after this loss as they play James Madison Dukes at home on September 8.