Boise State just saved their 2010 season

Boise State Broncos wide receiver Austin Pettis (2) celebrates a touchdown against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the first quarter of their NCAA football game in Landover, Maryland, September 6, 2010.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Boise State might have well just won the Super Bowl.

Thanks to a Charmin extra soft schedule every year, when the Broncos play a team from a BCS conference they have to make it count. A loss guarantees that they won’t be playing for a national title, while a win essentially sets them up to run the table the rest of the season.

On Monday night, their game with No. 10 Virginia Tech lived up to the hype. Boise led 17-0 after one quarter, but VA Tech erased the deficit and then went up by one point after Ryan Williams scored on a one-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter. From that point on, the lead changed three more times before the Broncos seized a 33-30 victory when Kellen Moore found Austin Pettis on a 13-yard touchdown pass with only 1:09 remaining on the clock.

And what a final drive that Moore orchestrated to win the game. He led the Broncos on a five-play, 56-yard jaunt that took just 38 seconds to complete. He was 4-for-5 passing on the drive for 43 yards, which included the 13-yard strike to Pettis.

Moore once again proved that he has ice water running through his veins. Of course he had to, because VA Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor played out of his mind and almost willed the Hokies to victory himself. He was 15-for-22 on the night for 186 yards passing, two passing touchdowns and 73 yards rushing on 16 carries. He also scrambled for 11 yards on a broken play were he slipped out of the grasp of a Boise defender, kept his knee off the ground and then ran for a first down.

Houdini couldn’t have pulled the play off.

But back to Boise State. I laugh when people comment about how overrated this team is. I don’t understand how a team that went 14-0 last year and had 20 starters coming back could be overrated. Some get too caught up with the big school/little school aspect of college football and they push aside experience, coaching and fundamentals. I’m not saying that Boise deserves to go to a national championship just for beating one quality opponent a year. But time and time again they prove their mettle in big games.

The bottom line is that Boise State is a damn good football team, VA Tech is going to be tough to beat in the ACC, that was a freaking thrilling way to end Week 1 of the 2010 college football season and the Broncos’ season has been saved.

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The ACC takes a hit with NC’s upset of VA Tech

In the past two weeks, Frank Beamer’s Hokies have seen their season implode. After winning five straight to get to 5-1 on the season (they dropped the opener to Alabama), Virginia Tech was soundly defeated by Georgia Tech last Saturday and then was shocked last night by North Carolina, 20-17.

How do the Tar Heels walk into Blacksburg and earn a victory you ask? Well it helps when quarterback Tyrod Taylor starts the game 3-for-9 passing and finishes with only 161 yards and no touchdowns. He was highly inaccurate all night and often put the Hokies in third-and-longs by taking unnecessary sacks instead of getting rid of the ball.

That said, North Carolina’s defense deserves credit for pressuring Taylor the entire night and not allowing freshman running back Ryan Williams to run wild. He finished with 96 yards on 23 carries and no touchdowns, which is certainly respectable, but a far cry from some of his previous outings.

The Tar Heel defense stepped up big time in the first half while their offense sputtered, and then held on in the second half when the Hokies tried to make a run. Jheraine Boyd’s 13-yard touchdown pass from T.J. Yates right before the half gave North Carolina the momentum and confidence it needed to compete with the Hokies in the second half.

Not to crap on North Carolina’s accomplishment, but this wasn’t a favorable outcome for the ACC. VA Tech’s loss will likely drop them out of the top 25 and probably out of the top 15 of the BCS standings. That leaves Georgia Tech as the only ACC team in the top 15, and chances are the conference won’t have two BCS bowl teams.

But as they say: Oh, well. For a struggling North Carolina team to upset Virginia Tech on the road is quite an accomplishment and the bigger picture in the ACC shouldn’t tarnish what the Tar Heels did last night.

VA Tech’s title dreams evaporate in loss to Georgia Tech

Only once in the history of the BCS has a two-loss team every played for the national title (LSU in 2007). So forgive the Virginia Tech Hokies if they’re not feeling too good about their title hopes after they were upset 28-23 by Georgia Tech on Saturday.

The Hokies became yet another victim of the Yellow Jackets’ option attack as quarterback Josh Nesbitt passed for only 51 yards, but gained 122 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. Running back Jonathan Dwyer added 82 yards on 20 carries in the victory.

It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when VA Tech played like a team with something on the line. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor rushed for a 22-yard touchdown to cut Georgia Tech’s lead to 21-16, but Nesbitt scored on a 39-yard touchdown with three minutes remaining to put the Jackets back up 28-16. Ryan Williams scored on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Taylor with just under two minutes remaining, but it was too little too late. Despite making strides as a passer the past couple weeks, Taylor struggled outside of the fourth quarter.

What a win for Georgia Tech. They quieted many pundits that deemed them overrated and one-dimensional by turning in a solid defensive effort to go along with their potent option attack. The Jackets turned some heads tonight.

With the Hokies’ loss, the Coastal Division is now wide up. Between VA Tech, Miami, Georgia Tech and Virginia, the division is completely up for grabs.

2009 CFB Preview: Virginia Tech Hokies

Check out our other 2009 college football previews.

Preseason Ranking: No. 7 in AP Top 25; No. 7 in USA Today Poll.

Key Returning Players: Tyrod Taylor (QB); Darren Evans (RB); Jarrett Boykin (WR); Danny Coale (WR); Greg Boone (TE); Blake DeChristopher (OT); Ed Wang (OT); Sergio Render (G); Cody Grimm (LB); Cam Martin (LB); Jason Worilds (DE); John Graves (DT); Cordarrow Thompson (DT); Stephan Virgil (CB); Kam Chancellor (S); Dorian Porch (S).

Key Losses: Victor “Macho” Harris (CB); Orion Martin (DE); Purnell Sturdivant (LB); Brett Warren (LB); Dustin Keys (K); Nick Marshman (G); Ryan Shuman (C).

Player to Watch: Tyrod Taylor, QB.
Darren Evans’ name would have been listed here, but the running back tore his ACL in practice and will miss the entire 2009 season. That said, it’s just as easy to wax poetically about Taylor’s potential, as it would have been Evans’. In his third season as VA Tech’s signal caller, Taylor (and his coaching staff) wants to be a complete quarterback. In his final couple of games last year, things seemed to have clicked for Taylor, who doesn’t have to worry about splitting time with Sean Glennon this season. Taylor is a dual-threat and if he can take the next step as a passer, the Hokies will compete for a national title.

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VA Tech saves ACC from more bowl embarrassment

Darren EvansEntering the Virginia Tech-Cincinnati Orange Bowl matchup Thursday night, the ACC hadn’t earned a BCS victory since 1999 and some media outlets were even suggesting that the conference champion should lose its automatic BCS bid. Making matters worse, the conference was just 3-6 in non-BCS bowl games this year, further adding to the embarrassment.

But Frank Beamer’s Hokies put an end to the ACC’s drought with their convincing 20-7 win over the Big East Champion Bearcats. Tech held Brian Kelly’s dynamic offense to just 239 passing yards and picked off Cincy quarterback Tony Pike four times.

Offensively, Hokie frosh running back Darren Evans did most of the damage, rushing for 153 yards and a touchdown, while sophomore quarterback Tyrod Taylor added 47 rushing yards and a score. As a team, Tech rushed for 259 yards, which was their third 250-yard rushing game of the year.

Maybe this win will breathe some life into the ACC, which certainly has some talented programs, but inconsistency seems to be the conference’s major drawback.

VA Tech always has one of the more talented defenses, but poor quarterback play doomed them for most of the year. Georgia Tech’s triple option was impossible to stop at times, but LSU’s 38-3 rout in the Chick-fil-A Bowl proved that the Jackets still have a long way to go to compete for a national title. Boston College, NC State and Maryland have some great young talent, but once again, inconsistency doomed those three programs throughout the year.

With players like Evans, Taylor, Da’Rel Scott and Russell Wilson, the ACC will feature some of the best young talent in college football heading into 2009. So hopefully the ACC can turn their BCS misfortunes around and produce a legit title contender next year, instead of being the conference that’s best known for its underachieving.

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