LINCOLN, Neb. -- For the second straight game, Frank Beamer got to do a dance in the visitors' locker room.
The 61-year-old Virginia Tech coach said his players deserved another fun reward after beating Nebraska 35-30 at Memorial Stadium.
In the end, Virginia Tech's night of solid special teams play outdid Nebraska's one spectacular one.
The Atlantic Coast Conference underdogs played in front of the largest crowd ever to see them win, though it wasn't without some late-game drama.
Nebraska wide out Nate Swift juked multiple defenders deep in Husker territory on a punt return, then turned up the left sideline for an 88-yard touchdown return midway through the fourth quarter.
"A couple times I thought we had (the win)," Beamer said. "But we didn't have it."
The punt return for a score was the fourth longest in Nebraska history, and couldn't have come at a worse time for Tech (4-1). Leading 28-17 with just more than eight minutes left, the Hokies' drive stalled at their own 41-yard line after they had also punted on their previous possession.
But the Hokies' special teams made their mark early and often. On the second offensive possession of the game for Nebraska (3-1), Virginia Tech cornerback Stephan Virgil blocked a punt from Dan Titchener deep in Husker territory.
The ball spun out of the back of the end zone, giving Tech a quick 2-0 lead. On the Huskers' next possession, cornerback Victor "Macho" Harris picked off a pass from Nebraska quarterback Joe Ganz. The senior returned his second interception of the season to the Huskers' 5-yard line. Tech would use the field position to go ahead 9-0 on a Darren Evans touchdown run.
Harris said the defense recognized Nebraska's alignment as a "high-low" formation, allowing him to get a jump on the pass.
"The coaches did a great job of putting us in position to make plays," Harris said. "That's all we did; we just executed the play and we made a play."
Harris also turned in big returns on a kickoff and punt return, with sprints of 16 yards and 28 yards, respectively, in the first half. He added a 21-yard scamper on a punt in the third quarter that led to another touchdown.
The runs set up good field position for the Hokies, who started four drives at no worse than their own 44-yard line before the break.
Beamer said he was proud of his special teams' play, particularly the consistently effective returns and the blocked punt.
"I was proud of our special teams play," Beamer said. "I think when you play a good football team - and Nebraska's a good football team - you better be good with your special teams."
Virginia Tech kicker Dustin Keys also hit career-high four field goals in four attempts, including a long boot of 38 yards.
Despite their offensive struggles, the Hokies held an 18-10 halftime lead. In addition to its own good starting field position, Virginia Tech forced Nebraska to starting 11 of its 13 possessions from inside its own 40 with solid tackling in the return game.
Harris said the win was fantastic not only for the Virginia Tech program but also the ACC. The senior added that for all the doubters around the country, Saturday's performance should speak for itself.
"A lot of people don't give us respect at all and that really gives us that fire inside," Harris said. "We put that chip on our shoulder and we come play ball."