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(306) 1978 Nebraska - 24
These two teams shared one thing in common - the inability to get by Alabama. Nebraska lost to Alabama 20-3 during the 1978 season, and USC finished second to Alabama in the polls after the 1979 season. I-backs Rick Berns and I.M. Hipp were productive for the Huskers, running for a combined 188 yards, but Oudius Lee and the defense couldn't stop the USC Student Body Right offense.
(178) 1999 Virginia Tech - 24
(79) 1980 Penn State - 20
Joe Paterno's Nittany Lions had to fight an up-hill battle against a Virginia Tech team with eons more athleticism than anybody PSU faced in 1980. QB Todd Blackledge was sacked 7 times and Leo Wisniewski and the defense finally wore down in the fourth quarter after chasing around the speedy Hokies.
(50) 1979 USC - 23
(178) 1999 Virginia Tech - 25
The amount of offensive skill on the field in this Bracket Final was breathtaking. The favored Trojans featured a backfield of Charles White and Marcus Allen. But Virginia Tech had their ace in the hole with the unreal Michael Vick at quarterback.
Things started off well for USC. Charles White took a toss 24 yards for a touchdown on the Trojans' opening drive. The defense forced Virginia Tech to go three-and-out thanks to two straight tackles for loss by linebacker Chip Banks. Eric Hipp tacked on a field goal giving USC an easy 10-0 lead.
But Virginia Tech fought back into the game as they often did in 1999 - with their special teams and a big run by Michael Vick on a busted play.
With the Trojans forced to punt out of their own end zone to start the second quarter, you could hear the rumble of the Hokies fans in attendance anticipating the inevitable. Sure enough, Cory Bird rushed in off the left edge and blocked the punt out of the back of the end zone giving Virginia Tech their first points of the ball game.
On the ensueing drive, Michael Vick rolled right and took off 54 yards for a touchdown on a play that looked like it was supposed to be a toss left to tailback Shyrone Stith.
The Trojans continued to move the ball on the ground, but by halftime it was apparent that, despite leading 13-9, they were going to need more balance in order to keep up with the athletic Hokies.
In the second half Vick continued to put on a show. On the second possession of the third quarter he put the Hokies on top with a 33-yard touchdown run on an option keeper in which he turned safety Ronnie Lott completely around with a couple jukes near the goal line.
Meanwhile the USC offense was beginning to fall apart. With head coach John Robinson clearly trying to establish the passing game, quarterback Paul McDonald threw a couple of high passes that left his receivers in vulnerable positions. Ike Charlton capitalized with a big hit on Dan Garcia, who missed the next two drives recovering.
After exchanging punts, USC once again found themselves deep in their own territory. This time it was Corey Moore storming nearly untouched around the right tackle who came up with the safety, sacking McDonald in the end zone before he even knew what hit him.
On the first play after the punt, Michael Vick found Andre' Davis over the top for a 60 yard touchdown, and just like that the Hokies were up 25-13.
Virginia Tech didn't score again, but the 16 points they scored like a flash of lightning turned out to be enough.
1999 Virginia Tech (#178 overall seed) advances to the Bracket of Champions. The Hokies will face the winner of Bracket 15 in the first round.