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Virginia Tech football falls to Boise State, 33-30, on late touchdown

Boise State's Austin Pettis, right, catches the game-winning touchdown pass aganst Virginia Tech defender Jeron Gouveia-Winslow as Boise State defeats Virginia Tech, 33 - 30. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)
Boise State's Austin Pettis, right, catches the game-winning touchdown pass aganst Virginia Tech defender Jeron Gouveia-Winslow as Boise State defeats Virginia Tech, 33 - 30. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

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By Mark Giannotto
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, September 7, 2010; 1:28 AM

During the build-up to Monday night's showdown between No. 3 Boise State and No. 10 Virginia Tech, Hokies Coach Frank Beamer was quick to point out that his team would be taking 22 players to FedEx Field who had never played in a college game.

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And just like he feared, that youth came back to haunt Virginia Tech as it fell to Boise State, 33-30, in front of a sellout crowd of 86,587.

After Virginia Tech climbed out from a 17-0 first-quarter hole to take a late 30-26 lead, Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore connected with wide receiver Austin Pettis on a 13-yard touchdown reception as sophomore linebacker Jeron Gouveia-Winslow gave chase with 1 minute 9 seconds remaining for the game-winning score. It capped a 56-yard drive that took all of 38 seconds.

"We kind of get down and that changes the whole complexion," said Beamer, who has lost three straight season openers. "It was a lot of young guys making young guy mistakes."

To begin the first quarter, senior quarterback Tyrod Taylor fumbled the snap on the second play from scrimmage, and the ball was kicked by center Beau Warren, allowing the Broncos to recover on Virginia Tech's 31-yard-line.

The Hokies' defense, which featured seven new starters, held its ground and forced Boise State to settle for a 44-yard field goal from place kicker Kyle Brotzman.

After losing 11 yards on its next offensive possession, Virginia Tech suffered another miscue. This time the culprit was special teams, usually the Hokies' strong suit.

On the ensuing punt, Pettis came through unmarked around the edge to block senior Brian Saunders's kick, and the Broncos took over on Virginia Tech's 12-yard-line. Two plays later, Pettis gave Boise State a 10-0 lead with 9:48 remaining in the first quarter when he caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Moore.

Boise State got more help from the Hokies' special teams before the first quarter was over. After Virginia Tech's Steven Friday sacked Moore for a nine-yard loss, forcing a Boise State punt from midfield, sophomore wide receiver D.J. Coles ran into Brotzman on the punt and then committed a personal foul on the return.

Boise State regained possession at Virginia Tech's 32-yard line, and promptly marched to the end zone, capping off the drive when tight end Tommy Gallarda made a spectacular one-handed touchdown catch to give the Broncos a 17-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

"They had everything going their way to start the game," said cornerback Rashad Carmichael. "We tried to stay calm . . . but they're a good team."

Less than four minutes into the second quarter, running back Ryan Williams cut the deficit to 17-7 when he rumbled into the end zone on a one-yard run that was set up by a 34-yard pass from Taylor to wide receiver Jarrett Boykin on the previous play.


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