If only more events were required to live up to the hype and anticipation, we'd be spared Kimbo Slice and movies with
, and we'd revel in frequent
The Hokies and Broncos gave a national TV audience and a capacity crowd of 86,000-plus at
's moneymaking playpen a worthy kickoff to the college football season.
Boise State and quarterback Kellen Moore, who shed the Little Engine That Could label, threatened to run away early.
The Hokies, who labored mightily in the opening half of Monday's
struggle, showed some serious mettle in coming back and taking the lead.
But the Broncos demonstrated why they thrive in these moments, twice coming from behind for a taut, tense 33-30 victory.
Moore displayed his poise and experience when it mattered most, driving the Broncos 56 yards in 38 seconds and connecting with wide receiver Austin Pettis in the back of the end zone for the final points.
The outcome wasn't decided until Tyrod Taylor's incompletion on fourth down with 31 seconds remaining.
Taylor opened his senior season with a remarkable performance on one of the biggest stages of his career. He completed 15 of 22 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns, and he rushed and scrambled for another 76 yards.
Ryan Williams scored three touchdowns two rushing and one receiving but Boise State's defense contained him for just 44 yards rushing and 2.1 yards per carry.
Unable to run the ball as effectively as they wanted and needed Tech still managed an eight-plus-minute advantage in time of possession.
But in the end, Moore and the Broncos capitalized on their most important possession. Trailing 30-26, they forced a Tech punt and took possession at their own 44 with 1:47 remaining and no timeouts.
No matter. Three Moore completions to three different receivers, aided by a late hit on Hokies linebacker Bruce Taylor, he found Pettis on a post route and put the ball in his hands, just over Jeron Gouveia-Winslow in the back of the end zone.
The game exhibited much of what we thought we knew about both teams. Taylor is elusive and can be crazy efficient. Moore is clever and experienced.
The Hokies' offensive line is uneven, particularly without projected left tackle starter Nick Becton. The athletic defense plays fast, if not always well, as it gains experience at several key positions.
Boise State is resourceful and opportunistic, which brings us to Tech's gaffes.
The Broncos turned three Hokies' mistakes into 17 points. Taylor's fumbled center snap on the game's second play led to a Boise field goal.
A blocked punt became a remarkably short and easy Broncos' touchdown drive. Two penalties by Tech's D.J. Coles on the same punt extended a Boise drive and became a touchdown and 17-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
A pattern was painfully evident. Tech's so-called Pride and Joy its special teams were neither.
The Hokies suffered a blocked punt, along with Coles' brain cramp.
After Tech finally exhibited offensive life and scored a touchdown to pull within 17-7, Justin Myer kicked off out of bounds.
Set up at its 40-yard line, the Broncos needed travel just 30 yards to tack on a field goal.
Tech answered with a solid drive on the ensuing possession. Poised to cut into the lead, however, new placekicker Chris Hazley pushed a 34-yard field goal attempt wide right.
The Hokies came all the way back from a 17-point deficit and took the lead. Twice, at 21-20 and then at 27-26, before a Hazley field goal pushed the lead to 30-26.
Boise State's comeback and victory put a serious crimp in Tech's push for a national championship, but both sides have much to build upon following an entertaining affair that lived up to advance billing.