When you think about last year’s game between the Huskers and Virginia Tech, in many ways, it was the precursor of things to come for this team. First, it showed the defense could play well at times, but would be too inconsistent and it showed that this team, offensively would not quit and yet sometimes found a way to shoot themselves in the foot. I think this game is going to be somewhat of a crystal ball for this year as well.
You think about last year’s game, it was pretty crazy. There was a safety, a punt return for a touchdown. A fun game to watch and yet a lot of hair pulling at the same time. 35-30 was the final last year. Va Tech scored six straight times in the 2nd and 3rd quarters and were up 28-10. The Huskers cut it to 28-23, and with the help of two penalties by the Huskers defense, the Hokies added to their lead at 35-23 lead. However, Joe Ganz led the Huskers down the field 80 yards in four plays to cut it to five, then after forcing a punt, the Huskers started from their own 10 and Ganz got them across midfield, but Todd Peterson fumbled at the Virginia Tech 44 and that ended the game. The bitterness of that loss and wanting to show they’ve improved is a major motivation factor for Bo Pelini and the Huskers.
Last year, Tyrod Taylor hurt the Huskers just as much with his arm as he did his feet. He didn’t throw much, only making 15 attempts, but his 9 completions were for 171 yards, about 19 yards a pop. He also rushed for 87 net yards. This is a game as you listen to players like Ndamukong Suh, you realize there is a lot at stake, not just in terms of a win, but with bringing back some credibility to the program.
Obviously the first big test of the year to see if the Huskers are worthy of that #19 ranking. On the other hand, Virginia Tech is down to #13 after a loss to Alabama and a slow start against Marshall, I think this is a great opportunity for the Huskers to go in and steal this one away. Regardless, that first game against a formidable opponent will really tell a lot about your team.