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.
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.