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Ryan Willis threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns and Virginia Tech fended off a second-half rally to defeat Old Dominion 31-17 on Saturday in Blacksburg, Va.
In avenging last season’s bitter defeat to ODU, the Hokies (1-1) allowed just three first-half points and stopped the Monarchs on two fourth-quarter drives that followed Virginia Tech lost fumbles.
Virginia Tech built a 24-3 lead midway through the third quarter before the Monarchs (1-1) scored two straight touchdowns to pull within 24-17 early in the fourth quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Virginia Tech’s Terius Wheatley ran 71 yards to the Monarchs’ 17. Willis then hit Phil Patterson with a 13-yard scoring pass with 11:56 remaining to build a 31-17 lead.
Old Dominion gained 48 yards in 6:43 on its first possession, which ended with a field goal. The Monarchs managed only 22 yards the rest of the first half. Quarterback Stone Smartt hit just 4-of-7 passes for 23 yards in the half.
Willis completed 11-of-20 first-half throws for 191 yards. Five of the completions were for 20 or more yards to five different receiver. Three of those big-play completions set up two first-half touchdowns to give Virginia Tech a 17-3 advantage.
Overall, Willis was 16-of-28. Virginia Tech compiled 403 offensive yards total, and ODU had 324.
A year ago, Old Dominion scored 28 fourth-quarter points in a shocking 49-35 upset of the Hokies.
—Field Level Media