PHOENIX (Ticker) -- A film major whose career goal is to become a producer, Tyler Fredrickson could not have written himself a better script.
After missing his previous five field goals, Fredrickson kicked a 35-yarder as time expired, lifting California to a wild 52-49 victory over Virginia Tech in the Insight Bowl.
"I didn't win the game, I ended it," Fredrickson said. "The tenacity of this team, their heart, that is what Cal football is about."
The Golden Bears (8-6) took advantage of a host of uncharacteristic special teams mistakes by the Hokies to record their first bowl victory since 1993.
Among Virginia Tech's miscues were three missed field goals by Carter Worley and three kickoffs that went out of a bounds.
"I think we just kicked the ball poorly," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "To kick the ball as poorly as we did, that's disappointing. I feel for those guys."
The Hokies, who squandered two 14-point leads, erased a 49-42 deficit on D'Angelo Hall's 52-yard punt return with 3:11 left.
After three missed field goals and two errant kickoffs by Warley, Beamer went with Brandon Pace, but his kickoff went out of bounds at the 1-yard line, giving the Golden Bears possession at the 35.
Aaron Rodgers, who picked apart the Hokies' secondary, completed three straight passes to get Fredrickson in position for the winning kick.
"It is a fairy tale ending, not only to end your season, not only to win your first bowl game in 10 years, (but) to come out and end my college career and to feel this again," said Fredrickson, who kicked the winning field goal in Cal's upset victory over Southern California.
"You are only as good as your last kick, so I am 1-for-1."
It was a disappointing finish to a once-promising season for the Hokies (8-5), who had national championship aspirations and climbed as high as third in the rankings.
But they lost five of their last seven games after a 6-0 start, including the final three. Virginia Tech allowed more than 30 points in four of its defeats.
Rodgers made it look easy, completing 27-of-35 passes for 394 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for two scores. He completed his first 12 passes in the second half as the Golden Bears scored 28 straight points after falling behind, 28-14.
"We never panicked," Rodgers said. "There's no panic in this team. We believe in each other. We have since day one."
"Aaron was phenomenal," California coach Jeff Tedford said. "Did a great job of running the show today. Threw the ball excellent, made great decisions, pulled the ball down and ran it when he needed to. Put the ball right there over and over."
Virginia Tech's Bryan Randall was 24-of-34 for 398 yards.