MIAMI, Fla. - Virginia Tech's second venture into Bowl Alliance territory wasn't as successful as the first, but the Hokies' 41-21 loss to power-packed Nebraska, was much closer than the final scored indicated.
Nebraska out-gained Tech by just seven yards, 415 to 408, in total offense and managed to lead by only three points with less than one minute remaining in the third quarter. In the end, it was the Nebraska depth that wore down the Hokies.
A crowd of 51,212 at Pro Player Stadium saw Tech quarterback Jim Druckenmiller throw three touchdown passes despite a fierce rush by Cornhusker defenders. Tech opened the scoring with 3:14 left in the first quarter when Marcus Parker scored on a 19-yard screen pass from Druckenmiller.
Nebraska answered with a 25-yard field goal by Kris Brown and a 5-yard scoring run by quarterback Scott Frost. Then came the play that may have been most crucial in the Hokies' defeat. Druckenmiller fumbled when hit and Nebraska's Jason Peter scooped up the ball and ran 31 yards into the end zone. That made the score 17-7, Nebraska.
Tech came right back, scoring with just 19 seconds left in the half on a 6-yard pass from Druckenmiller to Shawn Scales, who took the ball away from a Cornhusker defender. The score was 24-21 in favor of Nebraska after Druckenmiller's 33-yard scoring pass to Cornelius White late in the third quarter. But Nebraska then salted the victory away, scoring the final 17 points.
Tailback Ken Oxendine was voted Tech's Most Valuable Player after running for 150 yards on 20 carries - the fifth best individual rushing performance in the bowl's history. Druckenmiller wound up completing 16 of 33 passes for 214 yards. The Hokies' top defensive player was safety Torrian Gray who had a total of 12 tackles.