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Is Tyrod Taylor Going to Have a Break Out Season?
This game pits two of the best college programs in the nation, and two that get the least amount of respect from your average college football fan.
The Broncos have gone 49-4 in Head Coach Chris Petersen's four seasons at the helm, and last year became only the second team in NCAA history to record a 14-0 season.
Virginia Tech just extended the contract of Coach Frank Beamer through 2016 as thanks for guiding the Hokies to their sixth straight season with 10 or more wins.
Despite what both programs have accomplished, the loser of this game will likely see their BCS Championship Game hopes come to an end.
While both teams have historically held their opponents to less than 20 points a game, the advantage in this game has to go the offense.
Boise State is led by QB Kellen Moore, who threw 39 TDs while only being intercepted three times and finished second in the nation in passing efficiency. Expect Moore to have another fantastic year with two All-American candidate wideouts in Titus Young (79 catches, 1041 yards, 10 TDs) and Austin Pettis (63 catches, 855 yards and 14 TDs).
The running game is by committee, with senior Jeremy Avery leading the way. The Broncos averaged 186 yards on the ground last year.
The Hokies quarterback Tyrod Taylor drawing favorable comparisons from Coach Beamer to arguably the best quarterback in Virginia Tech history: “I feel the same way with him out there as I did when Michael Vick was out there,” said Beamer, “Any play has a chance of going a long ways.”
While Taylor “only” threw for 2,300 yards last year, the top six receivers for the Hokies return, so everybody should be on the same page if Virginia Tech goes to a no-huddle offense.
Behind Taylor are two running backs who have each rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 10 TDs in a season.
Darren Evans, coming off a knee injury that sidelined him last year, ran for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2008. Not to be outdone, Ryan Williams ran for 1,655 yards and 21 touchdowns last year.
Prediction: While it would be an amazing story for the Broncos to go undefeated again this season, the funny bounces that occur in football suggest that the bewitching hour is close at hand. The Hokies, playing in front of a friendly crowd at a neutral site, should outlast the Broncos, 31-28.