Football Writers Association of America Sept. 24, 2018
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Gangi
Monarchs stun in-state foe Virginia Tech
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DALLAS (FWAA) – Quarterback Blake LaRussa came off the bench and threw for 495 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Old Dominion Monarchs to a banner offensive day and a 49-35 upset of No. 13 Virginia Tech before an over-capacity home crowd of 20,532. For knocking off Power 5 conference foe for the first time since restarting the program in 2009, Old Dominion has earned the Reveal Suits National Team of the Week for the weekend of Sept. 22.

This is the first time for Old Dominion (1-3) to earn this honor, which dates to the 2002 season. The announcement came on "Off Campus with Mark Packer" on ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM. Each Monday during the season, the Reveal Suits National Team of the Week will be unveiled during the program, which airs weekdays from 4-7 p.m. ET. The FWAA's All-America Committee selects the weekly winner and all Division I FBS and FCS schools are eligible to be selected.

LaRussa, a junior from Virginia Beach, Va., entered the game on ODU's second possession and kick-started an offense that also included Jeremy Cox's 130 rushing yards and 100-yard receiving games from Jonathan Duhart and Travis Fulgham. LaRussa was 30-of-49 passing and accounted for 501 total yards, the fifth-highest mark in the FBS this season, and he also ran for a touchdown. The Monarchs' 632 total yards are the most allowed by a Virginia Tech defense since 2002.

ODU took its final lead with five minutes left on a 29-yard touchdown fade pattern from LaRussa to Duhart to break a 35-35 tie. The Hokies drove to the ODU 21 on the ensuing possession but stopped there, failing to complete a fourth-down pass. The Monarchs iced the game with 1:34 left on Cox's 40-yard touchdown run.

"At night when you dream about this game, this is what you picture," Fulgham said, referring to the ODU fans rushing the field at the end of the game.

The Monarchs came into the game following losses to Liberty, FIU and Charlotte. Their win marks the first time a Conference USA team has knocked off a ranked opponent since Houston defeated No. 22 Penn State in 2012, and this is first Team of the Week recognition for a C-USA team since UAB earned it in the final week of the 2014 season.

The other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Sept. 22 were:

• Kentucky (4-0): The Wildcats stayed tied atop the SEC East with a 28-7 whipping of No. 14 Mississippi State. Benny Snell Jr. rushed for 165 yards on 25 carries with four touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter to break the game open, and the Wildcats held the Bulldogs to 56 yards rushing. It was the second win over a ranked team this season for Kentucky, which was the National Team of the Week the weekend of Sept. 8 after winning at No. 25 Florida.

• Stanford (4-0): The Cardinal shocked No. 20 Oregon, rallying from a 24-7 deficit to force overtime and then stealing it on K.J. Costello’s (327 yards, 3 TD) tipped-pass-touchdown to Colby Parkinson in the end zone. Moments after Oregon had a touchdown overturned in the third quarter, Stanford's Joey Alfieri scooped up an Oregon fumble and scored on an 80-yard return to begin the rally. Jet Toner hit a 32-yard field goal at the end of regulation for Stanford to send the game into overtime.

• Texas (3-1): The Longhorns secured their first three-game win streak since 2014 in a big way, topping No. 17 TCU 31-16 and ending a four-game losing streak to the Horned Frogs. Texas receiver Collin Johnson, who finished with seven receptions for 124 yards, scored the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter on a 31-yard diving catch from Sam Ehlinger. The Longhorns, who beat then-No. 22 USC last week, have consecutive wins over Top-25 programs for the first time in 10 seasons.

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Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of 1,400 men and women who cover college football. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at

2018 Reveal Suits National Teams of the Week
• Weekend of Sept. 1: Maryland Terrapins
• Weekend of Sept. 8: Kentucky Wildcats
• Weekend of Sept. 15: BYU Cougars
• Weekend of Sept. 22: Old Dominion Monarchs
• Weekend of Sept. 29: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Weekend of Oct. 6: Texas Longhorns
• Weekend of Oct. 13: Iowa State Cyclones
• Weekend of Oct. 20: Purdue Boilermakers
• Weekend of Oct. 27: Oklahoma State Cowboys
• Weekend of Nov. 3: Alabama Crimson Tide
• Weekend of Nov. 10: California Golden Bears
• Weekend of Nov. 17: UCF Knights
• Weekend of Nov. 24: Washington Huskies