ODU Upsets Virginia Tech In Season Opener
Photo courtesy of Keith Lucas/ ODU Athletics
Old Dominion upset Virginia Tech, 20-17, in an absolute primetime thriller on Friday night. This is the second time ODU has played the Hokies in four years. The Monarchs also defeated the Hokies 49-35 in 2018.
The Monarchs were a 6-point underdog in their own stadium headed into Friday night's matchup.
It is worth noting Dave Patenaude abruptly resigned as ODU's offensive coordinator just two weeks ago, leaving former Penn State offensive analyst Kirk Campbell to fill the role.
Both offenses were lackluster as ODU struggled to utilize the pass and run game, while Virginia Tech was plagued with turnovers and penalties.
The ODU offense struggled to stay on the field throughout the game, going 3 for 16 on third downs and 1-2 on fourth down.
ODU sophomore quarterback Hayden Wolff went 14 for 35 and threw for 165 yards, while their offense rushed for only 80 yards. Their leading rusher, junior Blake Watson, had 19 carries for 56 yards.
Virginia Tech had 340 yards of total offense yet had five turnovers, four of which were due to interceptions and one a fumble. The Hokies also had an astounding 14 penalties totaling 100 yards.
The Monarch defense played physically throughout the contest, despite being on the field a majority of the game. Sophomore lineman Jason Henderson led the defense with 16 tackles, 2 solos, and 1 tackle for a loss. Four different ODU defensive players also had picks during the game including LaMareon James, Ryan Henry, Terry Jones and Tobias Harris.
Let us not forget to mention perhaps the biggest game changer for the Monarchs, the scoop 'n score by redshirt junior safety Robert Kennedy III on a blocked kick late in the second quarter.
It was everything you could ask for in a primetime inaugural Sun Belt football game. Old Dominion had a sell out crowd of almost 22,000 and got to host an in-state ACC team, ultimately defeating that team in the final seconds of the game, resulting in fans rushing the field in excitement.
Sun Belt football is back.
ODU returns next Saturday at East Carolina.
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