With an 11-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Dyrell Roberts, junior quarterback Tyrod Taylor and the No. 13 Hokies defeated No. 19 Nebraska 16-15 at Lane Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The score was set up through an 81-yard hail-mary pass from Taylor to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Danny Coale, who missed reaching the end zone by three yards.
On the following play, a sack put the Hokies eight yards back but on the next play, Taylor connected with Roberts with 21 seconds left for the go-ahead score.
With little time remaining to answer, the Cornhuskers, starting their drive at their own 15-yard line, were penalized five yards for an illegal formation on their first play, which took nine seconds off the clock.
On the following play, Nebraska quarterback junior Zac Lee threw an interception to Tech redshirt senior rover Dorian Porch that signaled the end of the game and the victory for the Hokies.
"It was a great team win," redshirt junior defensive end Jason Worilds said. "Defensively we made some mistakes, and I can't speak for the offense but they came through when we needed them to."
The Hokies drew first blood in the game with redshirt freshman running back Ryan Williams rushing for a one-yard touchdown with 11:15 in the first quarter.
Nebraska answered with three consecutive field goals by junior kicker Alex Henery who earned the Cornhuskers a 9-7 lead with 5:23 to play in the first half.
The Hokies responded on the following drive, regaining the lead on a field goal of their own by redshirt senior Matt Waldron who knocked it through from 39 yards out.
Not to be outdone, Henery and the Huskers hit their fourth field goal with 18 seconds left in the half and carried a 12-10 lead into halftime.
Both teams were then kept scoreless in the third quarter with the Hokies not earning a first down in the second half until the former part of the fourth quarter when Henery, who was perfect on the day and accounted for all of his team's points, struck again.
With four and a half minutes left to play in the game, Nebraska increased their lead to five points when Henery hit from 38-yards out.
Three drives later, though, the Hokies struck when it counted most, giving Tech a 16-15 lead and eventually, a win.
"When you have great players on the field, and have worked as hard and care about each other as much as this crowd does, that is what makes this possible," Tech head coach Frank Beamer said.
Nebraska's Lee, who came into the contest ranked seventh in the country in passing efficiency, completed 11 of the 30 passes he attempted, throwing for 136 yards and two interceptions. Junior running back Roy Helu, Jr. carried the ball 28 times for 169 yards.
"I take my hat off to Virginia Tech," Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini said. "It was a hard fought football game. In the end, we had plenty of opportunities to put that football game away and we didn't do it. And, they made the play at the end. I take my hat off to them."
In addition to his one score in the first half, Williams rushed 21 times on the day for 107 yards. Taylor completed 12 of 27 passes throwing for 192 yards, 92 of which came on the final drive.
"There's always a chance if you've got a Tyrod," Beamer said.