Previously winless Old Dominion shocks No. 13 Virginia Tech

Yahoo Sports
Old Dominion pulled the upset of the season on Saturday. (Getty)
Old Dominion pulled the upset of the season on Saturday. (Getty)

Old Dominion provided the biggest upset of the 2018 college football season with a shocking 49-35 win over No. 13 Virginia Tech.

The Monarchs’ game-winning score came when Blake LaRussa found Jonathan Duhart for a 29-yard touchdown with 5:11 left in the fourth quarter. LaRussa laid the ball up perfectly for Duhart, who was being blatantly interfered with by a Virginia Tech defender and still made the catch.

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Virginia Tech QB Josh Jackson was injured during the fourth quarter and didn’t return to the game. His left ankle turned nastily outwards while he was being tackled and was carted to the locker room. He emerged on crutches with a boot on his left ankle.

Jackson was replaced by Ryan Willis, who led a game-tying drive to make the game 35-35. That TD pass came on fourth down with 7:15 left. But a fourth-down pass with 2:33 left fell incomplete in ODU territory and the Monarchs then scored another touchdown while trying to run out the clock to provide the winning margin.

Virginia Tech was a 4-TD favorite

Virginia Tech was favored by 28 points entering the game. The line was so massive because Old Dominion lost to Liberty, Florida International and Charlotte over the first three weeks of the season and had never beaten a program from a Power Five conference. The Monarchs’ reborn football program is less than 10 years old, too. Old Dominion restarted football after a 60+ year hiatus in 2009.

Both teams finished with backup QBs

Like Willis, LaRussa didn’t start the game. He entered on the second series after Steven Williams started the game. LaRussa ended up throwing for 495 yards and four touchdowns. He was fantastic and poised throughout the second half as Virginia Tech tried to keep pace with the Monarchs.

Virginia Tech didn’t help itself throughout the game with penalties. The Hokies had four personal foul penalties and committed seven infractions for 95 yards. ODU committed just two five-yard penalties.

The defense was abysmal as well. Bud Foster’s unit had been very good through the first two games of the season, though it’s worth noting that Florida State and William & Mary were the opponents. ODU had 632 yards of total offense on Saturday. At 2-1, there’s no excuse for anyone to keep Virginia Tech on their top 25 ballots entering Week 5. The Hokies clearly aren’t as good as people thought they were after the win over Florida State in Week 1 with or without a healthy Jackson.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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