NCAA

Virginia Tech cruises past NC A&T 90-60

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Virginia Tech cruises past NC A&T 90-60

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Virginia Tech's four-game, season-opening homestand is over. Now, the Hokies get ready to hit the road and take on one of the best teams in the nation.

Zach LeDay scored 26 points to lift Virginia Tech to a 90-60 victory over North Carolina A&T on Tuesday.

The Hokies (3-1) won their third straight game and travel to Destin, Florida, for a Friday-night game against Iowa State, ranked No. 4 nationally in this week's Associated Press poll.

"I think all coaches would say that they'd like more time (to prepare)," Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams said. "I think when you're playing a team that's potentially good enough to beat Kansas in the Big 12 regular season and a team with the talent that they have, you always want more time. But you can't change it. We'll see where we stack up."

The Hokies tuned up by taking on the Aggies. LeDay hit 8 of 14 from the floor and 10 of 12 from the free-throw line in tying his career high. He also grabbed 12 rebounds to record his third double-double this season.

Chris Clarke had 14 points for the Hokies, who lost their season opener to Alabama State. Justin Bibbs and Kerry Blackshear Jr. each scored 12.

Virginia Tech trailed the first seven minutes, but grabbed a 9-7 lead on a field goal by Clarke with 12:56 left in the half. North Carolina A&T's Mike Owona gave the Aggies a 10-9 lead with a 3-point play, but Clarke connected again, scoring with 11:58 to go to give Virginia Teach a lead it never would relinquish.

Clarke's basket started a 16-2 run in which Clarke and LeDay combined for 12 points and the Hokies gradually opened a 20-point lead and led 46-32 at halftime.

"We try to come out very hard every game," LeDay said. "We try to get better every game. We came out hard and executed, and it led to a big `W.'

"It's a race to maturity right now for us. We're trying to make strides and mature as fast as possible. Chris is a freshman, and J-Rob (Justin Robinson) is a freshman. We've got a bunch of sophomores. We've got all these new people coming together. We're trying to mature as a team and get better every day."

The game featured a combined 51 fouls, with North Carolina A&T committing 34. Virginia Tech shot 34 of 50 from the free-throw line, while the Aggies made 6 of 10. The Aggies also hurt themselves with a season-high 20 turnovers.

"It's 50 to 10," North Carolina A&T coach Cy Alexander said of the free-throw disparity. "I'm not a person that complains about officiating, but it's hard not to complain tonight. I thought Virginia Tech played well, but I thought our guys felt like they were being hampered because . it's 50-10.

"In the second half, we had seven team fouls before the first media timeout. We played so-so, and Virginia Tech played a pretty good game. But still, the disparity at the free-throw line . it's hard not to complain about that."

In the second half, Virginia Tech led by as many as 32 points, with LeDay scoring 15 points in the half.

Bruce Beckford led the Aggies (0-6) with 14 points.

TIP-INS

Virginia Tech: LeDay became the first player to record consecutive double-doubles since Jarell Eddie in 2013 . Clarke has scored in double figures in all four games this season . Virginia Tech moved to 5-0 all-time in the series and to 27-0 all-time against teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference . The game marked the end of the Hokies' four-game, season-opening home stand . Devin Wilson saw his first action of the season. He missed the first three games with a hip muscle injury . Blackshear scored in double figures for the first time in his career. Walk-ons Matt Galloway and Greg Donlon saw action for the first time this season. Donlon scored a career-high four points.

North Carolina A&T: The Aggies put the Hokies in the bonus within the first six minutes of the game and the double bonus within the first nine minutes . Twelve of the 15 players who played in the game scored . Ahmad Abdullah started for the third straight game . Beckford has led or shared for the team lead in scoring in all six games.

UP NEXT

North Carolina A&T travels to Fargo, North Dakota to play a Saturday game against North Dakota State.

Virginia Tech plays Iowa State on Friday night in Destin, Florida as part of the Emerald Coast Classic.

No. 13 Virginia Tech upset by winless Old Dominion, backup QB

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No. 13 Virginia Tech upset by winless Old Dominion, backup QB

NORFOLK, Va. -- This was supposed to be a relatively easy road trip for Virginia Tech. Cross the state, connect with some its fans and maybe a few recruits there, and pick up a routine victory against Old Dominion.

The Monarchs and their backup quarterback turned the Hokies first visit to their stadium into maybe the most notable victory in school history -- in any sport.

Blake LaRussa came off the bench to throw for 495 yards and four touchdowns to lead Old Dominion to a 49-35 upset of No. 13 Virginia Tech on Saturday in the Hokies' first game at the cross-state school that restarted its football program in 2009.

LaRussa, who entered the game on ODU's second series, completed 30 of 49 and rushed for a touchdown to lead the 28-point underdog Monarchs (1-3) to a stunning win over the Hokies (2-1) from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Virginia Tech started the season with a decisive victory as an underdog against Florida State and now the Hokies are on the receiving end of what will likely be one of the biggest upsets of the season.

"I told them, `I liked you guys a lot better when everybody told you you were terrible,'" Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said about his team. "When everybody told you you didn't have any chance in that first game, and all you did was work your tails off.' And then now we get all feeling good about ourselves and we got brought back down to earth. We got what we deserved."

Jeremy Cox's 40-yard touchdown run with 1:34 remaining sealed the stunner. After the game, the ODU faithful stormed the field.

Longtime ODU coach Bobby Wilder called it "one of the biggest moments in Hampton Roads sports history."

Virginia Tech beat ODU 38-0 in Blacksburg last year. This was the second meeting of a scheduled 13 over 14 seasons, including six in Norfolk.

The Hokies led 28-21 after a 72-yard touchdown pass from Josh Jackson to Damon Hazelton with 32 seconds left in the third quarter, but ODU scored on its next two possessions, taking a 35-28 lead on a 15-yard touchdown run by Cox with 9:57 to go - the Monarchs' first lead of the game.

Things got worse for Virginia Tech, as Jackson went down with a lower leg injury on the first play of the ensuing drive. Backup quarterback Ryan Willis led the Hokies on a 75-yard march that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Chris Cunningham with 7:15 remaining, tying the game at 35.

But the Hokies simply had no answer for ODU. LaRussa polished off a 75-yard drive with a beautiful 29-yard fade pattern to Jonathan Duhart for a touchdown with 5:11 left that put ODU ahead to stay.

"At night when you dream about this game, this is what you picture," Monarchs wide receiver Travis Fulgham said.

Led by LaRussa and Cox, ODU finished with 632 yards against a Virginia Tech team that has prided itself on defense for decades under coordinator Bud Foster. Cox rushed for 130 yards.

"Very disappointed in how we competed," Foster said. "I just didn't think we competed for balls. We played just poor technique. We weren't ready to play is the bottom line and I take full responsibility for that."

Steven Peoples paced the Hokies with a career-high 156 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Jackson threw two touchdown passes before leaving with the injury. Fuente did not have an immediate update on Jackson's condition.

THE TAKEAWAY

Virginia Tech: The Hokies looked flat coming off an unscheduled open week courtesy of Hurricane Florence, which forced last Saturday's cancellation of Virginia Tech's game against East Carolina. The Hokies' defense looked nothing like the unit that had given up just 20 points combined in the first two games.

Foster will have to shore up a banged-up secondary as Tech heads into ACC play.

ODU: The Monarch appear to have found a leader in LaRussa, who came into the game with 183 yards passing as a reserve, but surpassed that in the first half. The 5-foot-11 LaRussa showed uncanny accuracy against Virginia Tech's man coverage, taking advantage of the 6-foot-3 Duhart and 6-3 Travis Fulgham (188 yards). He may just be the spark the Monarchs needed after getting off to a dismal 0-3 start that included losses to Liberty, FIU and Charlotte.

UNDISCIPLINED HOKIES

Frustrations boiled over at several points throughout the second half for the Hokies, who ended up being penalized seven times for 95 yards. The cluster of penalties included four unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, which drew the ire of Fuente.

"It's inexcusable," Fuente said. "What happened was we got in the middle of a real game - a real competitive game and things weren't going our way, and that's how we responded. And that's inexcusable.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Virginia Tech could very likely be unranked on Sunday when the new AP poll is released.

UP NEXT

Virginia Tech: The Hokies open ACC play next Saturday when they take on Duke in Durham, North Carolina.

ODU: The Monarchs travel to East Carolina.

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College football AP Top 25 Poll: LSU soars, Virginia Tech stays put

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USA TODAY Sports

College football AP Top 25 Poll: LSU soars, Virginia Tech stays put

LSU surged to No. 6 in The Associated Press college football poll after its second victory of September against a highly ranked team, and Wisconsin tumbled to No. 18 after becoming the first top-10 team to be upset by an unranked team.

Top-ranked Alabama strengthened its hold on No. 1 on Sunday , receiving a season-high 58 first-place votes from the media panel. Clemson slipped out of the No. 2 spot for the first time this season. Georgia moved up a spot to second behind the Crimson Tide, giving the Southeastern Conference the top two teams in the ranking. Clemson is third with three first-place votes, followed by No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Oklahoma.

LSU has now gone from No. 25 to start the season to No. 6 in three weeks.

The Tigers beat Miami, the preseason No. 8, in Week 1 in Arlington, Texas, and then knocked off Auburn on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn slipped from No. 7 to No. 9.

Wisconsin's loss to BYU was Saturday's most surprising result. The Badgers were three-touchdown favorites but missed a last-second field goal to tie and lost 24-21 in Madison. The Big Ten had five teams in the top 14 to begin the seasons and three (Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin) have already lost.

BYU's reward was being ranked No. 25.

PAC-12 SLOP

The Big Ten drew a lot of attention for having a rough Saturday, with half the league losing nonconference games. The Pac-12, more specifically the Pac-12 South, also had a rough one -- though much of the damage was done after a lot of East of the Mississippi bedtimes.

Southern California fell out of the ranking after its second straight loss, a thumping at Texas. The Trojans have now been outscored 54-17 the last two weeks. Arizona State also fell from the ranking when it could not back up its nice home win against Michigan State, losing at San Diego State.

Within the conference, Utah was beaten at home by Pac-12 North power No. 10 Washington, thwarting the Utes' chances of being ranked. UCLA dropped to 0-3 under Chip Kelly and Arizona finally managed to get coach Kevin Sumlin a victory -- by beating Southern Utah of the FCS.

Colorado is the lone unbeaten Pac-12 South team. Looks bleak, but just two seasons ago the landscape was similar for the division. After opening-week losses by USC and UCLA to start 2016, the Pac-12 South had no ranked teams. Ultimately, Colorado, the eventual Pac-12 South champ, and Utah moved into the ranking and finished in the Top 25. USC made a late-season surge behind Sam Darnold, too.

UP

The other big mover in the right direction this week was Oklahoma State. The Cowboys jumped nine spots to No. 15 after an impressive 44-21 victory against Boise State, which tumbled out of the rankings after being No. 17.

Oklahoma State began the season unranked after being ranked at the end of the last three seasons.

IN

Three teams moved into the ranking for the first time this season, with Boston College making its return to the Top 25 for the first time since 2008.

The Eagles beat Wake Forest on Thursday night to improve to 3-0 behind a dynamic offense led by running back A.J. Dillon and blossoming quarterback Anthony Brown. BC has not won more than seven games since 2009. The 2008 team won nine and the ACC Atlantic Division but was last ranked on Nov. 30 of that year.

-- No. 22 Texas A&M is ranked for the first time since November 2016.

-- No. 25 BYU is ranked for the first time since September 2015.

CONFERENCE CALL

The SEC has the top two teams in the AP poll for the 23rd time since 2006. Alabama was either No. 1 or 2 in all of those. The conference with the next most 1-2 appearances in the poll since 2006 is the Big Ten with eight.

SEC -- 6.

Big Ten -- 5.

Big 12 -- 4.

ACC -- 4.

Pac-12 -- 3.

Independent -- 2.

American -- 1.

Week 4 College Football AP Top 25

1. Alabama 3-0 (58 votes, no change from last week)

2. Georgia 3-0 (No. 3 last week)

3. Clemson 3-0 (3 votes, No. 2 last week)

4. Ohio State 3-0 (No change from last week)

5. Oklahoma 3-0 (No change from last week)

6. LSU 3-0 (No. 12 last week)

7. Stanford 3-0 (No. 9 last week)

8. Notre Dame 3-0 (No change from last week)

9. Auburn 2-1 (No. 7 last week)

T-10. Penn State 3-0 (No. 11 last week)

T-10. Washington 2-1 (No change from last week)

12. West Virginia 2-0 (No. 14 last week)

13. Virginia Tech 2-0 (No change from last week)

14. Mississippi State 3-0 (No. 16 last week)

15. Oklahoma State 3-0 (No. 24 last week)

16. UCF 2-0 (No. 18 last week)

17. TCU 2-1 (No. 15 last week)

18. Wisconsin 2-1 (No. 6 last week)

19. Michigan 2-1 (No change from last week)

20. Oregon 3-0 (No change from last week)

21. Miami 2-1 (No change from last week)

22. Texas A&M 2-1 (Not ranked last week)

23. Boston College 3-0 (Not ranked last week)

24. Michigan State 1-1 (No. 25 last week)

25. BYU 2-1 (Not ranked last week)

Dropped from the rankings: Boise State, USC, Arizona State

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