Old Dominion takes down Virginia Tech: ‘I couldn’t be more proud of this team’

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It’s not how Brent Pry envisioned his first game as head coach of the Virginia Tech Hokies.

For the second time in four tries, Old Dominion took down Virginia Tech after a 1-yard run from Blake Watson with 33 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.

Old Dominion running back Blake Watson (2) scores a go-ahead touchdown against Virginia Tech during the second half Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, in Norfolk, Va.
(AP Photo/Mike Caudill)

“Usually, I run into the locker room,” said Virginia Tech senior linebacker Dax Hollifield, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

“But I wanted to soak it all in, just walk through it all. And let that fuel me. Fuel all of us. It’s embarrassing. Very embarrassing.”

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For Old Dominion, it was a repeat of the 2018 game against the Hokies when the Monarchs took down then-No. 13 Virginia Tech 49-35. Old Dominion is in its first year as a member of the Sun Belt Conference.

“Our kids fought hard,” Old Dominion head coach Ricky Rahne said. “They deserved to win that game because they did the things that are necessary to win the game. When you play that hard with that much effort, you’re going to create your own luck. And that’s what we did tonight. I couldn’ t be more proud of this team.”

Old Dominion coach Ricky Rahne, right, shakes hands with Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry after Old Dominion's win Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, in Norfolk, Va.

Old Dominion coach Ricky Rahne, right, shakes hands with Virginia Tech coach Brent Pry after Old Dominion’s win Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, in Norfolk, Va.
(AP Photo/Mike Caudill)

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Virginia Tech committed five turnovers on the night, leading to 17 points for the Monarchs. The most crucial turnover came at the end of the fourth quarter, when quarterback Grant Wells was intercepted with 2:58 remaining in the game. Wells finished the night 21-36 for 193 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions.

It wasn’t just the turnovers that doomed Virginia Tech.

The Hokies committed 14 penalties for 100 yards, the most by a Virginia Tech team in a decade, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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“I am surprised we were sloppy, and I felt like they pressed. And, you know, attention to detail, which showed up in the last scrimmage a little bit. Just more penalties than we’ve been having,” Pry said.

Old Dominion coach Ricky Rahne reacts after being doused next to defensive tackle Denzel Lowry (45) after the team's win over Virginia Tech Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, in Norfolk, Va.

Old Dominion coach Ricky Rahne reacts after being doused next to defensive tackle Denzel Lowry (45) after the team’s win over Virginia Tech Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, in Norfolk, Va.
(AP Photo/Mike Caudill)

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“You want to make people earn it, and we didn’t do that.”

Virginia Tech will try to regroup in its Week 2 matchup against Boston College, while Old Dominion heads to East Carolina.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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