NCAA

No. 23 Hokies stay in control of ACC Coastal Divison with win over Duke

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No. 23 Hokies stay in control of ACC Coastal Divison with win over Duke

DURHAM, N.C. — Virginia Tech took the lead with some "Beamerball."

The Hokies kept hold of it with another program staple -- some tough defense at the right time.

Adonis Alexander returned a blocked field goal 75 yards for the early, go-ahead touchdown, and No. 23 Virginia Tech held on to beat Duke 24-21 on Saturday and remain in control of the ACC's Coastal Division race.

"We took what could have been a really difficult situation, and the kids did a great job," first-year Tech coach Justin Fuente said.

It was classic "Beamerball" -- even without Frank Beamer, who's in his first year of retirement.

RELATED: HOKIES RANKED IN FIRST CFB PLAYOFF POLL

Travon McMillian ran 14 yards for a TD and Jerod Evans passed for 192 yards and scored on a 7-yard run, carrying three Duke defenders along for the ride, for the Hokies (7-2, 5-1, No. 19 CFP).

Daniel Jones pulled Duke within three points with his second touchdown run of the game, a 2-yarder with 7:10 to play.

The Blue Devils got the ball back with 5:55 remaining after forcing a three-and-out, but it looked like they gave it right back when Shaun Wilson fumbled at the 35. But that decision was overturned after a review determined Virginia Tech rover Terrell Edmunds should have been called for targeting, giving the Blue Devils the ball at midfield.

These Hokies didn't buckle. Duke's next three plays netted three yards before the Blue Devils punted back, and Virginia Tech ran out the final 4:06, with Evans converting the game-sealing third-and-3 with less than 2 minutes to go.

"I was pleased with the way the team responded after that event," Fuente said. "That was an opportunity to kind of let the air out of your balloon, so to speak, and it certainly did not happen. The defense responded, the offense got the ball and ran the clock out to finish the ball game."

Jones, who finished with 148 yards passing, also scored from 7 yards out late in the third quarter to make it 21-14, before Joey Slye extended the Hokies' lead to 10 with a 27-yard field goal on the next possession.

Wilson had a short touchdown run for the Blue Devils (3-6, 0-5), who have lost three straight and are 1-4 since upsetting Notre Dame.

Bowl season: Penn State, UVA get New Year's Six, the Hokies bowl shuffle and Navy's tough draw

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Bowl season: Penn State, UVA get New Year's Six, the Hokies bowl shuffle and Navy's tough draw

The regular season is over, the conference championships decided and the playoff bracket is set. Yes, it's bowl season. Bowl bids were handed out on Sunday and Penn State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Navy all found out their postseason fates.

Here's where each team is headed this bowl season:

Penn State vs. Memphis, Cotton Bowl Classic on Saturday, Dec. 28

Ohio State is headed to the College Football Playoff and the Big Ten's Rose Bowl bid is going to Wisconsin. Penn State, however, managed to squeak into the New Year's Six as the No. 10 team in the nation. They will take on Group of 5 representative Memphis who won the AAC.

Virginia vs. Florida, Orange Bowl on Monday, Dec. 30

The Cavaliers are headed to the Orange Bowl for the first time in school history. More on this game here.

Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky, Belk Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 31

The Belk Bowl always seemed like the likely destination for Virginia Tech, but their opponent was a bit of a mystery. If you were following along on Twitter before things were made official, the Hokies were supposed to play Mississippi State, then it was Tennessee, then Kentucky, then Tennesse again and then back to Kentucky.

Now it's official and we know for sure it will be Virginia Tech vs. Kentucky.

The issue was reportedly Tennessee changing its bowl preference at the last minute.


Navy vs. Kansas State, Liberty Bowl on Tuesday, Dec. 31

Kansas State is the only team in the nation with a win over a College Football Playoff team. They defeated Oklahoma 48-41 in October.

Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo had the quote of the day about his team's matchup.

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Virginia is Orange Bowl bound for the first time ever

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Virginia is Orange Bowl bound for the first time ever

The Virginia Cavaliers are headed to the Orange Bowl where they will play the Florida Gators on Dec. 30 it was announced Sunday. The Cavaliers were smoked by Clemson to the tune of 62-17 in Saturday's ACC Championship Game thus cementing the Tigers' spot in the College Football Playoff. With the conference champs in the playoff, the ACC's Orange Bowl bid then fell to the Cavaliers as the next highest-ranked ACC team.

This will be Virginia's first-ever trip to the Orange Bowl.

The Hoos' opponent will be 10-2 Florida. The Gators finished the season ranked No. 9 in the final College Football Playoff rankings after a season in which their only two losses came go No. 1 LSU in Death Valley and No. 5 Georgia in a neutral site game in Jacksonville.

This is the third-straight bowl season for Bronco Mendenhall in his four seasons at UVA. Last season the Cavaliers won a decisive 28-0 victory over South Carolina in the Belk Bowl. A nine-win regular season was Virginia's first since 2007 and clinched the team's first-ever Coastal Division championship. The reward has thus far been a game against undefeated Clemson and another top-ten team in Florida. Virginia, however, will have much more time to prepare for the Gators than they did against the Tigers. They also will not be coming off an emotional rivalry win like they were in ACC Championship Game, playing just one week after their first win over rival Virginia Tech since 2003. It also gives time for star quarterback Bryce Perkins to heal who appeared to be ailing and grabbing his chest towards the end of the loss to Clemson.

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