DURHAM N.C. -- Adonis Alexander returned a blocked field goal 75 yards for a touchdown for the go-ahead points in the second quarter and No. 19 Virginia Tech went on to defeat Duke 24-21 on Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium. Quarterback Jerod Evans ran for 83 yards and threw for 192 yards for the Hokies who have won three games in a row - the last two by three-point margins.
The outcome was in doubt until the final minutes because of Virginia Tech's sluggish second-half offense but the result delighted thousands of Hokies' fans who nearly took over the stadium. Virginia Tech (7-2 5-1) kept pace atop the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division with North Carolina which defeated Georgia Tech earlier in the day. The Hokies though control their destiny and if they win home contests against Georgia Tech and Virginia they'll advance to the ACC championship game next month.
Duke quarterback Daniel Jones ran for touchdowns of 7 and 2 yards in the final 19 minutes the latter drawing the Blue Devils (3-6 0-5) within 24-21 with 7:10 to play. After a three-and-out for Virginia Tech Duke took possession at its own 32-yard line with 5:55 to play. Two plays later a Blue Devils' fumble was negated on a targeting and ejection call on defensive back Terrell Edmunds putting the ball at midfield. But Duke was forced to punt and the Hokies chewed up the final 4:06 by picking up three first downs.
Virginia Tech running back Travon McMillian rushed 15 times for 72 yards including the game's first points on a 14-yard run. Jones was credited with 99 rushing yards and 148 yards (18 for 31) through the air but Duke's losing streak extended to three games and put the Blue Devils in further danger of missing the postseason after a four-year bowl streak. Jones ran 7 yards for a touchdown to pull Duke within 21-14 with an 11-play 85-yard drive with four minutes remaining.
Virginia Tech regained a double-digit lead on Joey Slye's 27-yard field goal with 14:09 left shortly after a fourth-down conversion near midfield. Earlier Duke responded after Virginia Tech's first touchdown. The Blue Devils drove 75 yards on 10 plays scoring on running back Shaun Wilson's 3-yard run.
Duke's AJ Reed lined up for a 30-yard field goal attempt but defensive back Greg Stroman blocked the kick and Alexander a cornerback scooped the ball and sprinted 75 yards untouched for the go-ahead score. Evans ran 7 yards on fourth-and-1 for a touchdown pushing the Hokies to a 21-7 lead with 6:57 to play in the first half. Duke drove to the Virginia Tech 20 on the first possession of the second half but consecutive sacks pushed the Blue Devils out of field goal range. Virginia Tech wasted a first-quarter scoring chance on Slye's missed 34-yard field goal.