For the second time in four years, Virginia Tech lost on the road to Old Dominion, falling Friday night 20-17.
Old Dominion fans stormed the field to celebrate their second win over a Power 5 team. The first also came against the Hokies in 2018, a 49-35 victory.
This was not exactly the way first-year Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry wanted to start the season. The Hokies had five turnovers, leading to 17 Old Dominion points. The most crucial came with 2:58 remaining in the game. Leading 17-13, quarterback Grant Wells threw an interception that set up the game-winning score, a 1-yard touchdown run from Blake Watson with 33 seconds remaining.
The Hokies also committed 15 penalties for 121 yards. Wells, starting his first game for Virginia Tech, threw four interceptions and went 21-of-36 for 197 yards with a touchdown.
"They wanted to make plays, they wanted to play hard, but I definitely think they pressed and were sloppy," Pry said. "You want to make people earn it, and we didn't do that."
Added linebacker Dax Hollifield: "It's embarrassing. Very embarrassing."
Playing road games against the Group of 5 has not worked out particularly well for ACC teams that end up scheduling them. With this loss, the league now has 20 road losses against Group of 5 teams in the College Football Playoff era.
𝗪𝗘 𝗣𝗨𝗧 𝗢𝗡 𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗖𝗜𝗧𝗬!!!— ODU Football (@ODUFootball) September 3, 2022
The game was a slog right from the outset as neither offense could find much rhythm. Old Dominion led 10-7 at halftime. Then, the start of the second half was delayed 15 minutes because members of the Virginia Tech coaching staff got stuck between floors on an elevator. Eventually, the coaches were able to get off the elevator, but they had to run up the six flights of stairs up to the coaches box.
That might be a good metaphor for what unfolded in the second half. But this is not the last time the schools will see each other. They are currently scheduled to play every year through 2031, with four of those games at Old Dominion.