Saturday’s top 25: Old Dominion shocks No. 13 Virginia Tech
Norfolk, Va. — This was supposed to be a relatively easy road trip for Virginia Tech. Cross the state, connect with some its fans and maybe a few recruits there, and pick up a routine victory against Old Dominion.
The Monarchs and their backup quarterback turned the Hokies first visit to their campus into maybe the biggest victory in school history – in any sport.
Blake LaRussa came off the bench to throw for 495 yards and four touchdowns to lead Old Dominion to a 49-35 upset of No. 13 Virginia Tech on Saturday in the Hokies’ first game at the cross-state school that restarted its football program in 2009.
LaRussa, who entered the game on ODU’s second series, completed 30 of 49 and rushed for a touchdown to lead the 28½-point underdog Monarchs (1-3) to a stunning win over the Hokies (2-1) from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Virginia Tech started the season with a decisive victory as an underdog against Florida State and now the Hokies are on the receiving end of what will likely be one of the biggest upsets of the season.
“I told them, ‘I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible,” Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said about his team. “When everybody told you you didn’t have any chance in that first game, and all you did was work your tails off.’ And then now we get all feeling good about ourselves and we got brought back down to earth. We got what we deserved.”
Jeremy Cox’s 40-yard touchdown run with 1:34 remaining sealed the biggest win in program history. After the game, the ODU faithful stormed the field.
Longtime ODU coach Bobby Wilder called it “one of the biggest moments in Hampton Roads sports history.”
Virginia Tech beat ODU 38-0 in Blacksburg last year. This was the second meeting of a scheduled 13 over 14 seasons, including six in Norfolk.
The Hokies (2-1) led 28-21 after a 72-yard touchdown pass from Josh Jackson to Damon Hazelton with 32 seconds left in the third quarter, but ODU scored on its next two possessions, taking a 35-28 lead on a 15-yard touchdown run by Cox with 9:57 to go - the Monarchs first lead of the game.
Things got worse for Virginia Tech, as Jackson went down with a lower leg injury on the first play of the ensuing drive. Backup quarterback Ryan Willis led the Hokies on a 75-yard march that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Chris Cunningham with 7:15 remaining, tying the game at 35.
But the Hokies simply had no answer for ODU. LaRussa polished off a 75-yard drive with a beautiful 29-yard fade pattern to Jonathan Duhart for a touchdown with 5:11 left that was the game winner.
“At night when you dream about this game, this is what you picture,” Monarchs wide receiver Travis Fulgham said.
Led by LaRussa and Cox, ODU finished with 632 yards of offense against a Virginia Tech team that has prided itself on defense for decades under coordinator Bud Foster. Cox rushed for 130 yards.
“Very disappointed in how we competed,” Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster said. “I just didn’t think we competed for balls. We played just poor technique. We weren’t ready to play is the bottom line and I take full responsibility for that.”
Steven Peoples paced the Hokies with a career-high 156 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Jackson threw two touchdown passes before leaving with the injury.
Fuente did not have an immediate update on Jackson’s condition.
The Hokies looked flat coming off an unscheduled open week courtesy of Hurricane Florence, which forced last Saturday’s cancellation of Virginia Tech’s game against East Carolina. The Hokies’ defense looked nothing like the unit that had given up just 20 points combined in the first two games.
Foster will have to shore up a banged-up secondary, as Tech heads into ACC play.
The Monarch appear to have found a leader in LaRussa, who came into the game with 183 yards passing as a reserve, but surpassed that in the first half. The 5-foot-11 LaRussa showed uncanny accuracy against Virginia Tech’s man coverage, taking advantage of the 6-foot-3 Duhart and 6-3 Travis Fulgham (188 yards). He may just be the spark that the Monarchs needed after getting off to a dismal 0-3 start that included losses to Liberty, FIU and Charlotte.
More top 25
(At) No. 1 Alabama 45, No. 22 Texas A&M 23: Tua Tagovailoa passed for 387 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another score to lead Alabama.
The Crimson Tide (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) easily passed the first test against a ranked team. Kellen Mond and the Aggies (2-2, 0-1) couldn’t put up nearly the fight they had in a 28-26 loss to No. 3 Clemson.
Tagovailoa completed 22 of 30 passes before leaving after Henry Ruggs III took a shuttle pass 57 yards for a score late in the third. His first attempt went for a 30-yard touchdown to a diving DeVonta Smith, and he hit tight end Hale Hentges for two more scores.
Damien Harris didn’t get many touches but had a 35-yard run and a 52-yard catch.
Mond completed 16 of 33 passes for 196 yards with a touchdown but was intercepted twice, including on his first throw. He collected 98 yards rushing despite getting sacked seven times. The SEC’s top rusher, Trayveon Williams, found little room to run. He gained 31 yards on eight carries.
No. 2 Georgia 43, (at) Missouri 29: Jake Fromm threw three touchdown passes and Georgia had a defensive touchdown and returned a blocked punt for a score.
The Bulldogs (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) blanketed Missouri’s wide receivers, harassed star quarterback Drew Lock, and forced three turnovers in the first half against the seventh-best offense in the country entering the game. Lock completed 23 of 48 passes for 221 yards for the Tigers (3-1, 0-1).
The Bulldogs opened a 20-7 halftime lead without an offensive touchdown. In the first quarter, Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell stripped Missouri tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, scooped up the ball and returned it 68 yards for a touchdown – along the way, picking up an accidental downfield block from an official against Lock. In the second quarter, Eric Stokes burst off the left side of the Georgia line, blocked a punt and returned it 8 yards for another TD.
Fromm threw touchdown passes of 33 yards to Riley Ridley, 61 yards to Jeremiah Holloman and 54 yards to Mecole Hardman in the second half. Fromm completed 13 of 23 passes for 260 yards. Elijah Holyfield rushed 14 times for 90 yards, and D’Andre Swift added 16 carries for 71 yards.
Missouri rushed for 172 yards, with Larry Rountree III, Damarea Crockett, Tyler Badie and Lock all scoring rushing touchdowns. Okwuegbunam had nine catches for 81 yards.
No. 3 Clemson 49, (at) Georgia Tech 21: Freshman Trevor Lawrence took a leading role in Clemson’s quarterback rotation, coming off the bench to throw four touchdown passes against Georgia Tech.
After starter Kelly Bryant produced just 13 yards and one first down on Clemson’s first two possessions, Lawrence entered the game early in the second quarter. The youngster, a native of nearby Cartersville, quickly guided the Tigers on a seven-play, 74-yard drive capped by a 17-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow that made it 14-0.
Lawrence finished with 176 yards on 13-of-18 passing for the Tigers (4-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), also connecting with Justun Ross for a 53-yard score, Travis Etienne on a 3-yard touchdown just before halftime and Tee Higgins for a 30-yarder in the closing minutes.
It was a thoroughly dismal performance by Georgia Tech (1-3, 0-2).
(At) No. 5 Oklahoma 28, Army 21, OT: Kyler Murray threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb in overtime, and Parnell Motley intercepted Kelvin Hopkins’ fourth-down pass to help No. 5 Oklahoma escape with a victory over Army.
Kenneth Murray had a school-record 28 tackles for the Sooners (4-0).
Army had the ball for 44:41 and ran 87 plays to Oklahoma’s 40.
Oklahoma led 21-14 at halftime after Army had 16-play, 75-yard touchdown drives on its first two possessions. Murray passed for 123 yards and two touchdows and ran for 40 yards and another score before the break.
Hopkins ran for 55 yards in the first half, including a nifty 5-yard touchdown run. Army (2-2) ran 39 times for 183 yards in the first half and had the ball for 22:01 of the 30 minutes. Oklahoma only had the ball for 20 plays in the first half.
(At) No. 6 LSU 38, Louisiana Tech 21: Nick Brossette scored three touchdowns, Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for a career-high 136 yards and two TDs, and LSU beat Louisiana Tech.
The Tigers (4-0) were favored by about three touchdowns and raced to a 24-0 lead, only to see the Bulldogs (2-1) pull as close as 24-21 on J’Mar Smith’s 42-yard touchdown pass to Adrian Hardy early in the fourth quarter.
LSU immediately responded with a touchdown drive of its own, highlighted by Joe Burrow’s 28-yard timing pass down the right sideline to Dee Anderson, who narrowly stayed in bounds as he made the catch in tight coverage. The Tigers also benefited from a pass interference penalty in the end zone before Brossette’s 2-yard run gave LSU a two-score lead again. Edwards-Helaire scored his second touchdown on LSU’s next possession late in the game.
Burrow was 16 of 28 for 191 yards.
No. 7 Stanford 38, (at) No. 20 Oregon 31, OT: K.J. Costello threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns, the last a 23-yarder to Colby Parkinson in overtime, and Stanford rallied to beat Oregon.
After Costello’s TD pass to Parkinson, Stanford’s Lameen Murphy intercepted Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert’s pass in the end zone for the victory.
Bryce Love returned after sitting out last week against UC Davis to rest minor injuries. He ran for 89 yards and a touchdown as Stanford remained undefeated with another tough test against No. 8 Notre Dame looming next week.
Love’s 22-yard scoring run late in the third quarter cut Oregon’s lead to 24-21, but Cyrus Habibi-Likio scored on a 1-yard run for the Ducks with 4:39 left. In the frenzied final minutes of regulation, Stanford answered with Costello’s 15-yard TD pass to JJ Arcega-Whiteside to narrow it again before Sean Barton recovered CJ Verdell’s fumble on the Stanford 40 with 51 seconds left Costello passed for a pair of first downs on the ensuing drive and Jet Toner hit a 32-yard field to tie it.
No. 8 Notre Dame 56, (at) Wake Forest 27: Ian Book rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two more for Notre Dame.
Book replaced Brandon Wimbush in the starting lineup and was 25 of 34 for 325 yards with touchdown passes covering 3 yards to Brock Wright and 7 yards to Chase Claypool, along with three short scoring runs. Book helped the Fighting Irish (4-0) more than double their season high for scoring and roll up a season-best 566 total yards.
Jafar Armstrong had touchdown runs of 1 and 30 yards, and Tony Jones Jr. added a short scoring run for the Fighting Irish. Wake Forest (2-2) has lost two straight.
(At) No. 9 Auburn 34, Arkansas 3: Noah Igbinoghene scored on a 96-yard kickoff return, and a partially blocked punt by Jordyn Peters set up another touchdown as big plays on special teams on special teams helped Auburn beat Arkansas.
Freshman JaTarvious Whitlow ran for two touchdowns as Auburn (3-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) regrouped after last week’s last-second loss to No. 6 LSU. The Tigers were far from dominant on offense as Jarrett Stidham passed for only 134 yards.
Auburn was held to 91 yards rushing. Whitlow ran for 49 yards, including a 15-yarder for a touchdown midway through the final quarter that was the team’s longest run of the night. Whitlow had a 5-yard scoring run in the first quarter.
Auburn led only 10-0 late in the first half when Peters partially blocked a punt by Reid Bauer. K.J. Britt returned the ball to the Arkansas 9, setting up Stidham’s 4-yard scoring run.
Rakeem Boyd had eight carries for 66 yards, but the Razorbacks (1-3, 0-1) had few offensive highlights.
(At) No. 10 Washington 27, Arizona State 20: Jake Browning threw a pair of touchdown passes in the first quarter, added a third TD toss early in the fourth quarter and No. 10 Washington outlasted Arizona State.
Browning hit Aaron Fuller and Ty Jones on TD passes during a brilliant first quarter, and found Cade Otton in the back corner of the end zone early in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard TD to give Washington (3-1, 2-0 Pac-12) a 27-13 lead.
Browning finished 15 of 22 passing for 202 yards, but was at his best in the first quarter when he hit 6 of 7 passes for 110 yards and his first two touchdowns.
Herm Edwards suffered his second straight loss in charge of the Sun Devils’ after a promising 2-0 start that included an upset of Michigan State. The problem against Washington was simply a lack of punch from Edwards’ offense.
Arizona State (2-2, 0-1) rediscovered its run game that was absent the previous two weeks, with Eno Benjamin rushing for 104 yards. But quarterback Manny Wilkins threw for only 104 yards and star wide receiver N’Keal Harry was limited to five catches for 20 yards, unable to find space against Washington’s stellar secondary.
(At) No. 12 West Virginia 35, Kansas State 6: Will Grier threw five touchdown passes for the fifth time in his career and
West Virginia shook off a sloppy start in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
Grier finished 25 of 35 for 356 yards and the five scores, three of them to David Sills, and two interceptions as the Mountaineers (3-0) had little trouble against the punchless Wildcats (2-2). Sills caught 10 passes for 73 yards and the three touchdowns. Marcus Simms added five receptions for 136 yards – including an 82-yard catch-and-run to open the scoring.
West Virginia outgained Kansas State 464-318, had four sacks and was never really threatened after getting it together late in the first half.
Kentucky 28, (at) No. 14 Mississippi State 7: Benny Snell Jr. rushed for four touchdowns to break a Kentucky career record, including two in the fourth quarter, and the Wildcats held No. 14 Mississippi State to 56 yards rushing for an upset.
After Tyrell Ajian’s 35-yard interception return to the Bulldogs 36, Snell broke left and down the left sideline for his third score with 8 minutes remaining to break Randall Cobb’s previous mark of 37 total touchdowns.
The junior wasn’t done and added a 23-yard TD run on the next possession for 21-point cushion the Wildcats (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) preserved for their second win over a ranked school this month. Kentucky beat then-No. 25 Florida two weeks ago to break a 31-game losing streak to the Gators.
Snell also had TD runs of 1 and 2 yards to finish with 165 on 25 carries, his 15th career 100-yard game. His four rushing TDs also matched a school record. Kentucky rushed for 229 overall and outgained the Bulldogs 300-201.
MSU (3-1, 0-1) was held nearly 256 rushing yards below its SEC-leading average of 311.7 coming in. The Bulldogs only managed Nick Fitzgerald’s 1-yard TD run midway through the second quarter.
Texas Tech 41, (at) No. 15 Oklahoma State 17: Alan Bowman threw for 397 yards and two touchdowns and Texas Tech ended a nine-game losing streak to Oklahoma State.
The win is the third straight since a season-opening loss to Mississippi for the Red Raiders (3-1, 1-0 Big 12), whose last victory over Oklahoma State came in 2008.
Bowman completed 35 of 46 passes in his Big 12 debut, guiding the nation’s top offense to 621 total yards. Demarcus Felton added a pair of rushing touchdowns for Texas Tech and finished with 121 yards rushing on 12 carries. Nine Red Raiders caught passes in the win, with Ja’Deion High leading the way with eight catches for 79 yards and Antoine Wesley and Zach Austin finishing with seven catches apiece.
Justice Hill rushed 12 times for 111 yards and a touchdown for the Cowboys (3-1, 0-1).
(At) Texas 31, No. 17 TCU 16: Sam Ehlinger passed for two touchdowns and ran for a score, all in the second half, and Texas ended a four-game losing streak to TCU in the Big 12 opener for both teams.
Texas (3-1) had been outscored 153-33 the last four years by TCU and trailed 16-10 before the defense forced three turnovers by quarterback Shawn Robinson in the third quarter.
A fumble recovery set up a diving touchdown catch by Collin Johnson and an interception return by freshman safety Caden Sterns to the TCU 2 set up Ehlinger’s scoring run one play later. Ehlinger’s 38-yard touchdown strike to Lil’Jordan Humphrey with 3:18 left put the game away.
The victory gives Texas its first three-game win streak since 2014. The Longhorns also have their first back-to-back wins over ranked opponents since winning three in a row in 2008, a run that vaulted Texas to No. 1 that season.
Ehlinger passed for 255 yards. Johnson finished with 124 yards on seven catches.
Texas mostly shut down a TCU running game that had gained at least 200 yards in each of its first three games. Texas allowed the Horned Frogs (2-2) 141 yards on the ground Saturday, but took it away for much of the first half. Robinson passed for 197 yards.
(At) No. 21 Miami 31, FIU 17: N’Kosi Perry came off the bench to throw three touchdown passes, and Miami’s defense was airtight for most of the day.
Travis Homer rushed 13 times for 114 yards and a touchdown, Lawrence Cager caught two scoring passes, and Miami held FIU to 31 yards on its first 10 possessions.
Brevin Jordan also had a TD catch for the Hurricanes (3-1), who lost top receiver and returner Jeff Thomas in the first quarter for what was believed to be a cramping-related issue.
CJ Worton caught a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes from James Morgan for FIU (2-2), which outscored Miami 17-0 and gained 139 of its 187 yards in the final 15 minutes.
(At) No. 25 BYU 30, McNeese State 3: Freshmen Lopini Katoa ran for two touchdowns, Skyler Southam kicked three field goals and No. 25 BYU took advantage of McNeese State’s second-quarter mistakes in a 30-3 victory Saturday.
Coming off an upset victory at Wisconsin, the Cougars (3-1) easily pushed aside McNeese State (3-1) for their 12th victory over an FCS school in the last 30 years.
The Cowboys led 3-0 in the first quarter, but had four turnovers, 10 penalties, a timeout request they no longer had available, a missed field and a blocked field goal.
The second errant field goal was returned 35 yards by Troy Warner with 11:36 left in the second quarter and led to Katoa’s 4-yard scoring run. Less than a minute later, Tanner Jacobsen intercepted Cody Orgeron’s pass and returned it to the McNeese 31. Tanner Mangum, who passed for just 118 yards, then found Talon Shumway on a 7-yard strike to make it 14-3.