Old Dominion Upsets No. 13 Virginia Tech for 1st Win vs. Power 5 Team in History

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2018

BLACKSBURG, VA - SEPTEMBER 22: Cornerback Geronda Hall #23 of the Old Dominion Monarchs celebrates his interception against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the first half at S. B. Ballard Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Norfolk, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)
Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

The Old Dominion Monarchs shocked the No. 13 Virginia Tech Hokies on Saturday, pulling off a 49-35 upset at S.B. Ballard Stadium in Norfolk, Virginia.

Saturday's win marked the first in ODU history against a Power Five conference team, according to WTKR's Adam Winkler.

Old Dominion made the transition from FCS to FBS in 2013 and joined Conference USA in 2014.

The decisive play occurred with 5:11 remaining in the game when junior quarterback Blake LaRussa threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Jonathan Duhart to break a 35-35 tie:

CBS Sports Network @CBSSportsNet

WHAT A CATCH. OLD DOMINION BACK OUT FRONT. The 0-3 Monarchs are 5 minutes away from shocking No. 13 Virginia Tech! https://t.co/761zh6EQU2

LaRussa finished with 495 passing yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing for another score in the winning effort.

Virginia Tech fell to 2-1 on the season with the loss, while Old Dominion improved to 1-3 after previously losing to Liberty, Florida International and Charlotte.

To make matters worse for Virginia Tech, starting quarterback Josh Jackson was carted off the field with an apparent ankle injury in the fourth quarter, per Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports.

Jackson was just 8-of-16 for 151 yards with two touchdowns and one interception before being replaced by junior Ryan Willis.

Virginia Tech squandered a great performance from senior running back Steven Peoples, who rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns.

After ODU scored to take a 42-35 lead, it stopped Virginia Tech on fourth down and could have knelt on the ball to end the game since the Hokies were out of timeouts.

Instead, LaRussa handed the ball to senior running back Jeremy Cox, who ripped off a 40-yard touchdown run to seal the win:

CBS Sports Network @CBSSportsNet

"Why take a knee when you can celebrate in the end zone!???" Old Dominion puts an exclamation point on the upset bid over No. 13 Virginia Tech! https://t.co/XHt3CRdCMb

Given how poorly Old Dominion played to open the season, former NFL tight end George Wrighster expressed his belief that the win over Virginia Tech was an all-time great upset:

George Wrighster III @georgewrighster

Virginia Tech lost to Old Dominion. This is one of the biggest upsets in college football history. ODU is one of the worst teams in the country. Most have them ranked around number 127/130 FBS programs. #VTvsODU

ESPN's Heather Dinich added further legitimacy to that claim with the following stat from ESPN Stats & Info:

Heather Dinich @CFBHeather

Some more perspective here from @ESPNStatsInfo If Old Dominion can hold on against Virginia Tech, they would pull the biggest upset by an FBS team over an ACC opponent in the last 40 seasons.

Per OddsShark, the Monarchs were 28.5-point underdogs entering the game.

Given the enormity of the upset, Brad Crawford of 247Sports suggested Virginia Tech is no longer worthy of a spot in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll:

Brad Crawford @BCrawford247

After Virginia Tech's loss at Old Dominion, no way the Hokies deserve to be ranked inside the AP Top 25 on Sunday. Tech was 2-0 with wins over Florida State and William & Mary.

The Hokies even had an extra week to prepare for Old Dominion since last week's scheduled game against East Carolina was canceled because of Hurricane Florence.

Virginia Tech will look to shake off the loss next week when it travels to take on the Duke Blue Devils in a key ACC clash.

Meanwhile, Old Dominion will attempt to build on the momentum gained from the biggest win in school history when it faces East Carolina next Saturday.