Preview: Virginia Tech at Nebraska
By Staff, with contributions from the ACC, Big 12
September 24, 2008
These teams have never met in the regular season. Nebraska is on its third head coach (Frank Solich, Bill Callahan, Bo Pelini) since Tom Osborne's team beat the Hokies in the 1996 Orange Bowl. At that point in history, Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer was still a relative newcomer as a head coach compared to Osborne. This is Beamer's chance to show if experience matters.
Beamer is in his 22nd season at Virginia Tech where he has compiled a record of 170-86-2. He has the 2008 Hokies off to a 3-1 start with back-to-back ACC wins over Georgia Tech and North Carolina by identical 20-17 scores.
Pelini is in his first season at Nebraska and has the Cornhuskers off to a 3-0 start with wins over Western Michigan, San Jose State and New Mexico State. Pelini was also the interim head coach at Nebraska for the 2003 Alamo Bowl after Frank Solich was fired, and the Cornhuskers won that game 17-3 over Michigan State. From 2005-2007, Pelini was the defensive coordinator at LSU.
Virginia Tech last ventured into Big 12 country in 2002 when it beat Texas A&M 13-3. The Hokies went to Oklahoma in 1991 where they lost 27-17. Virginia Tech has faced numerous Big 12 teams over the years, most recently losing 24-21 to Kansas in last year's Orange Bowl. The Hokies beat Texas 28-10 in the 1995 Sugar Bowl. Overall, Virginia Tech is 5-7 against schools that are current members of the Big 12. The Hokies are 3-3 vs. the Big 12 under Beamer.
Nebraska's last outing against an ACC team was last year's successful visit to Wake Forest where the 'Huskers secured a 20-17 win. Nebraska also beat Wake in Lincoln in 2005, 31-3. Prior to that, Nebraska had not faced a current ACC team since losing 37-14 to Miami (then a member of the Big East) in the 2001 BCS title game at the Rose Bowl. The 'Huskers are 14-14 all-time against current ACC members.
Virginia Tech QB Tyrod Taylor
improved to 7-0 as a starting QB in the win over the Tar Heels. He completed 11-of-21 passes for 125 yards, with two interceptions.
The Hokies were outgained 307-268, but Tech’s defense forced four Tar Heel turnovers.
Nebraska is 3-0 for the first time since 2005, and owns an NCAA record of 293 consecutive sellouts at Memorial Stadium.
QB Joe Ganz became just the third Nebraska player in history to score
TD's by run, pass and catch in the same game when the senior accomplished that feat against New Mexico State two weeks ago. Marlon Lucky became the 24th player in
school history to rush for 2,000 career yards and finished the game with 2,045 career yards.
While Virginia Tech was engaged in a physical game at UNC, Nebraska had the week off to prepare for this contest. It will be televised on ABC beginning at 8pm eastern time, and will also be available on ESPN GamePlan. Big Ten country will get Illinois-Penn State on ABC.
The "experts" have installed Nebraska as a 7-point favorite. The computer gives the nod to the visiting Hokies by 2.56 points.