FBS Weds-Fri Recap: Virginia Tech Upsets UNC; Ohio State Passes First Test; UCF Rallies Past Boise State

September 3, 2021 by Staff

Virginia Tech on Friday night had a stellar defensive effort against Sam Howell and North Carolina that led to a 17-10 win for Justin Fuente's first victory (1-7) against a top ten opponent since taking over the program. The Hokies opened a 14-0 lead by controlling the clock for over 20 minutes of the first half and missed a couple of opportunities in the second half to put the game away, but the defense picked off Howell 3 times and lived in the Tar Heel backfield. Virginia Tech had its worst defensive stats in decades last season, the first without the retired Bud Foster as DC since 1994.

Also on Friday night, Charlotte picked up its first-ever win against a Power 5 program, downing Duke 31-28  on an 11-yard TD pass with 33 seconds left. And Kansas halted its 13-game losing streak with a 17-14 win over South Dakota on a 16-yard TD pass with 1:10 left.

Meanwhile, South Dakota State went to Colorado State and crushed the Rams 42-23 for the third FCS win over a FBS program in two days. On Thursday night, UC Davis took down Tulsa 19-17, and Eastern Washington followed suit with a 35-33 win in double-overtime at UNLV.

The big game on Thursday night saw Ohio State pass its first test of the season -  a road conference opener against a solid Minnesota team. The Buckeyes put up 21 points in the 3rd quarter, including a sack fumble scoop-and-score, to gain control of see-saw battle and pull out the 45-31 win. The Gophers' fortunes seem to turn on a lower leg injury to star running back Mohamed Ibrahim late in the 3rd. At that point, he had 163 yards on 30 carries with 2 scores. The Buckeyes got a solid performance out of CJ Stroud at QB as he passed for 294 yards on just 13 completions out of 24 attempts. He was also picked off once.

Ohio State has current FBS-longest winning streaks of 22 conference games, 10 road games, and 22 regular season games. Next up for the Buckeyes is their home opener in an intersectional matchup on Saturday, September 11 versus Oregon.

UCF endured a lengthy delay to the start of its opener vs. Boise State in the "Bounce House", then had to recover from a 24-7 first half deficit to pull out a 36-31 victory in a game that ended at 1:25 a.m. on the east coast. Isaiah Bowser scored what proved to be the winning touchdown on an 8-yard run 4:16 left to play. Gus Malzahn got the win in his first game as head coach of the Knights while Andy Avalos took the loss in his inaugural game as head coach of the Broncos. UCF wound up outgaining Boise State 573 yards to 283.

Defending FCS champion Sam Houston State racked up 591 yards of offense and rolled to a 42-16 win at Northern Arizona.

UAB and Jacksonville State jump-started the weekend with a Wednesday night contest in the Montgomery Kick-off that saw the Blazers blank the Gamecocks 31-0.