Virginia Tech tops Rutgers in overtime at Russell Athletic Bowl

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Cody Journell kicked a 22-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime to help Virginia Tech beat Rutgers 13-10 in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Friday night.

Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas completes a pass during the Russell Athletic Bowl.  The Hokies knocked off Rutgers on a 22-yard field goal in overtime Friday night.  BRIAN BLANCO/ASSOCIATED PRESS
BRIAN BLANCO/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas completes a pass during the Russell Athletic Bowl. The Hokies knocked off Rutgers on a 22-yard field goal in overtime Friday night.

Virginia Tech (7-6) won its third consecutive game to avoid its first losing season since 1992.

Rutgers (9-4) had a chance to tie it in overtime, but Nick Borgese missed a 42-yard try.

Virginia Tech trailed 10-0 at the half, then rallied in the final 30 minutes thanks to some timely turnovers and offense. Quarterback Logan Thomas struggled in the first and finished with a pair of interceptions, but also had 192 yards passing.

Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum, selected the most valuable player of the game, picked off Gary Nova’s pass early in the fourth quarter to set up the tying score – Thomas’ 21-yard pass to Corey Fuller with 10:56 left as steady rain began to fall.

Rutgers opened the scoring when Virginia Tech center Caleb Farris sent his second snap of the night sailing past Thomas and into the end zone. Thomas tried to run it out, but he was swarmed and lost the ball as he was tackled. It was eventually recovered by Khaseem Greene for the touchdown.

INDEPENDENCE BOWL

OHIO 45, LOUISIANA-MONROE 14

In Shreveport, La., Tyler Tettleton threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns, Beau Blankenship scored four touchdowns, and Ohio (9-4) cruised over Louisiana-Monroe (8-5).

Chase Cochran caught three passes for 162 yards and a touchdown as the Bobcats (9-4) won their second straight bowl game. Blankenship’s four rushing touchdowns set an Independence Bowl record. He added 104 yards rushing.

Tettleton was especially sharp in the first half, completing 9 of 14 passes for 215 yards and two touchdowns as Ohio built a 24-7 lead.

Louisiana-Monroe struggled in its first bowl game after 19 seasons in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Kolton Browning completed 21 of 39 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw three first-half interceptions.

LATE THURSDAY

HOLIDAY BOWL

BAYLOR 49, UCLA 26

In San Diego, Glasco Martin ran for three touchdowns, Nick Florence threw for two scores and ran for another, and Baylor (8-5) overwhelmed UCLA (9-5).

Lache Seastrunk rushed 16 times for 138 yards and one score for Baylor, which outgained UCLA 494-362. The Bears came in leading the nation in total offense with 387.7 yards per game.

Florence completed 10 of 13 passes for 188 yards, giving him 4,309 for the season to break Robert Griffin III’s school season record of 4,293 set in 2011.

Baylor’s defense came up big, too. The Bears sacked Brett Hundley six times, including two by Chris McAllister, and shut down UCLA’s career rushing leader Johnathan Franklin.

Franklin, who averaged 130.8 yards this season, gained 12 yards on his first carry of the game but was a non-factor after that, finishing with just 34 yards on 14 carries.

Baylor (8-5) won its final four games and five of six. UCLA (9-5) lost its final three.

Hundley was 26 of 50 for 329 yards and three touchdowns to set UCLA’s season passing record with 3,740 yards.


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