Saturday saw one of the craziest upsets in a while, with Conference USA’s Old Dominion Monarchs (0-3, with a 52-10 loss to Liberty, a 28-20 loss to Florida International, and a 28-25 loss to Charlotte) taking down the No. 13 Virginia Tech Hokies 49-35. The Monarchs, playing at home, led at several points in this one, and took the crucial lead late off an incredible one-handed touchdown catch by Jonathan Duhart:
Here’s another look at that, which also came with a (declined) pass interference penalty on Hokies’ defender Bryce Watts:
Old Dominion then added another late touchdown to seal the win. This is only the 10th season of the current Monarchs’ program, which started at the FCS level in 2009 and only moved to FBS in 2014. Head coach Bobby Wilder has been there since 2009, and this is a huge moment for him and the program; the current Monarchs were previously 0-9 against Power Five teams. And they got this win thanks to a remarkable in-game change; Monarchs’ starting quarterback Steven Williams was pulled after one series, and backup Blake LaRussa came in and completed 30 of 49 passes for 494 yards and four touchdowns. That paved the way for a great win, and a great celebration:
It didn’t help Virginia Tech that they had their own quarterback change thanks to an injury, with starter Josh Jackson carted off in the fourth quarter, but there were plenty of other mistakes from the Hokies on the day. And there were plenty of dominant plays by the Monarchs. That’s certainly a way to turn their season around, and to record one of the most memorable upsets of the year along the way.