Virginia Tech 31 Old Dominion 17

Breaking down the Hokies' third down execution, quarterback reps and the bench.

[Cory Hancock]

In a vacuum, Virginia Tech's 31-17 win over Old Dominion was stomachable. Sprint out to an early lead, never trail, fend off every chance of the comeback, send the home crowd to the reverse tailgate with a double-digit win. That's not a bad day at the office.

Context is crucial for complete understanding though. Vegas (28.5-point Tech favorite), recruiting rankings (19-1 Hokies' 247Sports Composite 4-stars advantage) and advanced stats (SP+ predicted 26.7-point Tech victory) all favored the Hokies by wide margins.

And as much as Justin Fuente wanted the focus on the 2019 contest, last season's shocker provided the backdrop. Tech didn't knockout ODU with a palatable payback blow when it had them on the ropes. Instead, the game lingered and by its conclusion the Monarchs facilitated a sense they belonged on the field and would have their chance to even the series back in Norfolk next season (if the football gods were cruel enough and such a game existed). The Hokies didn't prove the monumental 2018 upset was a fluke. And depending on your maroon and orange perspective, perhaps they didn't have to, but that would've been much more satisfying.

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