Virginia Tech snapped a seven-game losing streak Saturday afternoon with a 23-22 victory over host Liberty in Lynchburg, Va.
The Hokies (3-8) were led by a rushing attack that covered 176 yards and helped them chew up more than 36 minutes of clock. The ground game was powered by Jalen Holston, who ran for 99 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. Keshawn King added 78 yards on 11 totes.
It’s the second straight loss for Liberty (8-3). The Flames used two quarterbacks in Johnathan Bennett and Kaidon Salter. Bennett started and completed 8-of-15 passes for 98 yards, while Salter was 12-of-18 passing for 119 yards. Neither threw a touchdown, but Bennett rushed for a 15-yard score to even the score late in the first quarter.
The game featured three lead changes. Virginia Tech scored first on a two-yard dive from Holston, then extended its lead to 17-7 in the second quarter after Holston’s second score and a field goal by John Love.
After the Love field goal, the Flames’ Shedro Louis returned the kickoff 97 yards to cut the Hokies’ lead to 17-14.
Liberty tied the game just before halftime on a 47-yard field goal by Nick Brown, then took a two-point lead after Kendy Charles sacked Hokies quarterback Grant Wells in the end zone for a safety early in the third quarter. Another Brown field goal put Liberty ahead 22-17 in the third.
Following a Salter fumble, Virginia Tech engineered a 13-play, 64-yard drive that ended with Holston’s third touchdown of the day, giving the Hokies a narrow advantage. Virginia Tech failed to convert a two-point attempt but forced Liberty into a turnover on downs and a fumble on its ensuing possessions.
Virginia Tech converted all three of its fourth downs and didn’t turn the ball over.
In remembrance of the three University of Virginia players who were killed last weekend, Liberty and Virginia Tech wore UVA colors. The Flames sported navy and the Hokies donned orange.
It remains unclear if Virginia Tech and Virginia will play next weekend for the Commonwealth Cup. Virginia canceled its game on Saturday against Coastal Carolina in the wake of last weekend’s on-campus shooting.
–Field Level Media