ACC: Broncos-Hokies-090610

LANDOVER, Md. -- Following a botched two-point conversion attempt in the third quarter of Monday night’s game against Boise State, Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor grabbed his leg in pain from a hard hit -- a moment that likely froze time for most Hokies fans.

“Oh I’m good,” he said after the game. “That’s what I live for.”

[+] EnlargeTyrod Taylor
James Lang/US PresswireTyrod Taylor completed 15 of 22 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns and ran 16 times for 73 yards against Boise State.
In the Hokies’ 33-30 loss to Boise State, he didn’t have much of a choice.

Despite the return of two 1,000-yard rushers to Virginia Tech’s backfield, Boise State loaded the box and was able to contain the Hokies’ running game, making Taylor’s performance even more critical. He responded under pressure and was a main reason Virginia Tech had a chance to win despite trailing 17-0 in the first quarter.

It wasn’t a flawless performance -- his incomplete pass on third down in the fourth quarter gave the Broncos the time they needed to win -- but his effort on Monday night was proof he has made strides towards becoming a better passer and in turn a more complete player. He completed 15 of 22 passes for 186 yards, and was the team’s leading rusher with 73 yards despite being sacked three times.

Part of the problem, though, was that he was the Hokies’ leading rusher.

“It helped a lot,” said running back Ryan Williams, who finished with 44 yards and two touchdowns. “With them being as physical as they were up front, there were a lot of times I got the ball and had a defender right in my face. They did an excellent job. It was put on Tyrod’s shoulders to do something for this game.”

Taylor was in sync with receiver Jarrett Boykin, who finished with six catches for 102 yards and a touchdown. Taylor’s 28-yard pass to Boykin down the sideline on fourth-and-five with under three minutes remaining in the third quarter gave Virginia Tech a precarious 27-26 edge -- the Hokies’ first lead of the game.

Taylor said the Hokies’ receivers had an advantage over Boise State’s defensive backs and proved it.

“Last year allowed us to go into this game confident and know we can go out there and complete passes against people,” he said. “As far as the passing game we went out there and made some good plays in the passing game and were able to take advantage of their defensive backs.”

It’s his ability to scramble, though, that has gotten Virginia Tech out of several jams during his career. There was a point in the game when he was nearly sacked, had a hand in the dirt, and somehow managed to turn it into an 11-yard scramble.

“I think my legs are good enough to get out of most pressure, but it was a little bit frustrating, but that’s the game,” he said. “You have to move in the pocket sometime.”

His ability to run has never been in question. It’s the passing game that has been under scrutiny.

At ACC media days in July, Taylor told the media he aspired to complete 70 percent of his passes this year -- a goal some quietly scoffed at, considering Taylor had only completed 56 percent of his passes in the previous three seasons.

Against Boise State he completed 68 percent. Usually, that’s good enough to win.

“I believe we beat ourselves,” Taylor said. “It wasn’t anything they did to beat us. I strongly believe that.”

Video: Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor

September, 7, 2010
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Heather Dinich talks with Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor following the Hokies’ loss to Boise State.

Video: Boise State's big win

September, 7, 2010
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Heather Dinich and Ivan Maisel talk about Boise State’s win over Virginia Tech.
How the game was won: Boise State didn't quit. With 1:09 left in the game, quarterback Kellen Moore threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Austin Pettis for the winner that sucked the life out of the Virginia Tech crowd -- and the Hokies' defense.

Turning point: Virginia Tech linebacker Bruce Taylor -- who had been praised all offseason by defensive coordinator Bud Foster for filling in for injured starter Barquell Rivers -- delivered a costly late hit that gave the Broncos 13 yards and a first down at the Hokies' 13-yard line. Two plays later, the Broncos scored.

Stat of the game: Boise State had 11 penalties for 105 yards. There were plenty of mistakes and turnovers for both teams, but the Broncos' undisciplined penalties were almost their undoing. Almost.

Player of the game: Quarterback Kellen Moore. He kept his Heisman chances alive by engineering the game-winning drive.

Unsung hero of the game: Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor. He made plays in the clutch and was the answer when the Hokies couldn't get their ground game going.

What it means: Boise State’s national title hopes remain alive, and its chances at a second straight undefeated season look good. Virginia Tech can keep its national title hopes alive if it doesn't lose again, but the Hokies extended their sorry streak against top five teams, dropping to 1-26.

LANDOVER, Md. -- Surprise. Virginia Tech's leading rusher right now is quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Ryan Williams has scored three touchdowns, but he's been held under 100 yards. This is good news for Virginia Tech because it means this offense isn't one-dimensional and doesn't have to depend on Williams if defenses key in on him.

Taylor's feet were also an aspect of the offense that was limited last year. Part of the reason they were limited was a fear of getting Taylor hurt, and a lack of confidence in his backups. Clearly that's changed this year.

Tyrod Taylor outplaying Kellen Moore

September, 6, 2010
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LANDOVER, Md. -- The Heisman hype has gone to Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, but Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor has been the difference-maker in this game. He has shown significant improvement as a passer, and that's played a huge role in keeping the Hokies in the game. Can he keep it up?

Who wins this game?

September, 6, 2010
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LANDOVER, Md. -- I have no idea who wins this game. I can't type fast enough to keep up with the momentum swings. Just when it looks like Virginia Tech has gotten some control, Boise answers with a 71-yard touchdown run and the Hokies are missing tackles. Virginia Tech needs to wear down Boise State's front seven in order to win this game. The Hokies' running game has been less-than-spectacular, and Chris Petersen has won big games before. His team won't fold. This game is going to come down to the wire. It's hard to believe it was once 17-0. The biggest comeback in Frank Beamer's career has been by 15 points.

Change in momentum?

September, 6, 2010
9/06/10
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LANDOVER, Md. -- It's not like Virginia Tech came out of the locker room looking like a totally different team, but sometimes it only takes one play to change the momentum. The Hokies got that when Kellen Moore fumbled on third down, setting the Hokies up on the Broncos' 31. All of a sudden the crowd here has some life in it again, as the Hokies are on the verge of scoring the go-ahead touchdown.

ACC Good news/bad news

September, 6, 2010
9/06/10
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LANDOVER, Md. -- First, the good news for ACC fans. The conference has won 10 games this weekend -- an unprecedented accomplishment for the conference in Week 1.

Now, the bad news for Hokies fans: Virginia Tech is just 21-59 under Frank Beamer when trailing at the half.
LANDOVER, Md. -- Finally, we have a ball game. Here's a quick look at the first half:

Best player in the half: Boise State defensive tackle Billy Winn. He's done a great job of helping to slow down a Virginia Tech backfield loaded with talent. The Hokies had eight plays of negative yards and three for no gain.

What Virginia Tech needs to do: The Hokies need to continue to establish their running game and stop making mistakes on special teams. They’ve helped the Broncos win the field-position battle in what has to have been one of the worst special teams halves in Frank Beamer’s tenure.

What Boise State needs to do: Get back to the first-quarter defense. The Broncos have been executing a balanced offense and taking advantage of the Hokies’ mistakes, but it was the defense that was most impressive in the first quarter. They have to continue to get past Virginia Tech’s offensive line. Their run defense has been a big factor in slowing the Hokies.

Welcome back, Darren Evans

September, 6, 2010
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LANDOVER, Md. -- Sorry, meant to post this earlier when Darren Evans took the field for the first time since 2008 and carried the ball for 2 yards. He and Ryan Williams have both been on the field at the same time. Unfortunately for Virginia Tech fans, it has yet to have the effect many anticipated.

Hokies' not-so-special teams

September, 6, 2010
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LANDOVER, Md. -- Frank Beamer must be boiling inside. Of all three phases of the game, special teams has been his forté. Tonight it could be his undoing. A missed field goal, a blocked punt, a roughing the punter penalty, a kickoff out of bounds ... they're all adding up in Boise State's favor.

Hokies' o-line key

September, 6, 2010
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LANDOVER, Md. -- When Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor has had time to throw, he's been effective. When the blocks are made, Ryan Williams is certainly good enough to take advantage of them. We saw flashes of that on Virginia Tech's lone scoring drive. The Hokies' offensive line has to play better and more consistently in this game if Virginia Tech is going to continue to move the ball.

Field position has also been big in this game for Boise State, as the Hokies' kickoff went out of bounds to start the Broncos at the 40. They capitalized with a field goal and have taken a 20-7 lead. For Virginia Tech's special teams to be part of the problem can't sit well with Frank Beamer.

Virginia Tech imploding

September, 6, 2010
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LANDOVER, Md. -- Honestly, this is more like what I expected from the undermanned North Carolina team against LSU. Is this the ACC's best team? If it is, the conference is in trouble. Virginia Tech trails Boise State 17-0, and that's only after a quarter. The defensive line is losing the battle. The offensive line doesn't look like it's made much progress. Bud Foster's defense looks like it had to replace seven starters. Virginia Tech has the fans, it has the flashy unis, but it doesn't have much of a chance if it continues to play this poorly.
LANDOVER, Md. -- Virginia Tech, trailing 10-0, is not looking like a top-10 team. National title contender? This team doesn't look like a Coastal Division contender right now. Sure, it's still early, and Boise State deserves a lot of credit (the Broncos ARE the No. 3 team in the nation), but Virginia Tech has three yards and one turnover. If Virginia Tech doesn't make some progress soon, this could get ugly.

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