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Virginia Tech falls to Old Dominion, 20-17, in season opener

Not a great start for new Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry.

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Old Dominion Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The Old Dominion Monarchs defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 20-17 in the season opener on Friday night in Norfolk.

The Monarchs took advantage of five Virginia Tech turnovers and 15 penalties to pull off the win despite scoring only one offensive touchdown.

The following sequence is when it fell apart for the Hokies.

On a 3rd and long, Virginia Tech quarterback Grant Wells rolled to his left, and tossed a short pass to the running back, only for the ball to bounce off his hands into the waiting arms of an ODU defender.

The Hokies held a 17-13 lead with around two minutes remaining. It appeared that the Hokies would hold on when sophomore safety Jalen Stroman hit Old Dominion quarterback Hayden Wolff to force a fumble. However, upon further review, Wolff’s knee was down and the Monarchs would keep the ball, facing a 4th-and-1 around midfield.

On the next play, Virginia Tech bottled up running back Blake Watson in the backfield for an apparent loss. Somehow, Watson escaped and gained two yards. Shortly after, Wolff went deep to wide receiver Ali Jennings, and suddenly ODU had a 1st and goal.

A couple of plays later, Watson punched it in, and the Monarchs had a three-point lead with around 30 seconds remaining.

Wells looked deep on three consecutive passes, but all came up short with his final pass intercepted — his fourth of the game — and the Hokies dropped the first game of the Brent Pry era.

Wells completed 21 of 36 passes for 197 with a touchdown and four interceptions. He also rushed for a touchdown. Wells did some good things at times, but his reputation of putting the ball in danger followed him from Marshall, at least for Week 1.

Junior running back Keshawn King rushed for 111 yards and also finished with a receiving touchdown. The Hokies finished with 333 yards of total offense, while the Monarchs finished with 248 yards.

Tech dominated in certain parts of the game. Unfortunately, the Hokies severely lost the turnover and penalty battle, and it cost them the game.

Next up for the Hokies is Boston College in Blacksburg.