Virginia Tech upsets No. 15 Oklahoma State, 81-71

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Virginia Tech upsets No. 15 Oklahoma State, 81-71

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- For an out-of-conference coach, Oklahoma State's Travis Ford has probably seen more of Virginia Tech and Erick Green in the last three years than anyone in the country. After Saturday afternoon, Ford will be pleased never to see them again.

Green scored 28 points and hit eight critical free throws in the final 76 seconds as Virginia Tech continued its surprising start under new coach James Johnson, beating the No. 15 Cowboys (5-1) for the fourth time in the past three seasons.

"He's one of the best guards in the country, one of the best point guards in the county, bar none," Ford said of Green, who did all his scoring and grabbed seven rebounds in just 26 minutes after drawing two fouls in the first three minutes.

The Hokies, picked to finish 10th in the ACC, are off to their first 7-0 start since the 1982-83 season, and their victory was their first nonconference triumph against a ranked team since they beat Virginia in December 1995 at Roanoke Coliseum.

"I think people were sleeping on us because of the coaching change and because of the players that left," Green, thee Hokies' lone senior, said. "But I hope that we've shown people we can play with anybody and that we're a great team.

"We've got to keep it going. Consistency is the key," Green said.

Robert Brown added 18 points and Jarell Eddie had 15 with 12 rebounds for the Hokies, who outrebounded the taller, more athletic Cowboys 41-31 and scored 22 points off their 13 offensive rebounds. The victory finished a week that started with a 95-79 blowout of Iowa in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, a game that many viewed as their first real test of the year.

"Coach Johnson told us that we could do anything we wanted if we put our mind to it as a team, and everyone is putting their minds to one game at a time and winning that game," Brown, a sophomore guard, said. "We've done it so far."

Le'Bryan Nash and Marcus Smart scored 18 each to lead the Cowboys (5-1).

Smart hadn't played in those earlier losses, but heard all about them this week.

"We were pretty amped up knowing that they beat us in those two meetings last season, and we knew they were going to be pumped up, especially with us in the top 15," Smart said. "We knew we were going to have to come and play."

The game was close throughout, especially after Tech saw an eight-point led cut to 69-66 on Markel Brown's deep 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:22 remaining. Then Green took over, and the Hokies were in good hands.

Brown missed the front end of a one-and-one for Virginia Tech, but as Oklahoma was setting up its offense, Green stole the ball and was fouled driving toward the basket. He made both, pushing the Hokies' lead to 71-66. Nash made 1 of 2 at the other end, and Green was fouled again with 53.8 seconds left. He made both again, and the lead climbed to 73-67.

"We had a few misses, but at the end, when it counted, everyone hit them," Green said.

He finished the game having made 51 of his last 53 from the line.

Green played only nine minutes in the first half after drawing two quick fouls, but still scored 10 points in his time. He also scored the Hokies' first 10 points of the second half on a pair of 3-pointers, two free throws and a long fadeaway.

"Even the guys told me they were going to feed off me and that I was going to have a big second half," Green said. "I had a challenge in front of me and wanted to show people that I could play with the best. Hopefully, I showed people that."

Jarell Eddie's 3-pointer gave Virginia Tech a 49-46 lead with 15 minutes left. Forte scored for Oklahoma State, and Robert Brown, answered, putting back his own miss. Smart's drive cut the Hokies' lead to 51-50 with 13:17 to go, but the Cowboys didn't score against for 5:05 as the Hokies reeled off seven straight.

The Cowboys used a 9-2 run featuring five points by Smart to close to 60-59, but after the Hokies' Robert Brown and the Cowboys' Kamari Murphy traded baskets, Virginia Tech scored seven of the next nine.

The Cowboys led 36-32 at a first half in which both teams took turns going on short scoring bursts.

The biggest of those was an early 10-0 run by Oklahoma State that gave it a 12-7 lead. The score remained close until 3-pointers by Smart and Forte around an inside basket by Michael Cobbins gave the Cowboys a 34-26 lead. Virginia scored six of the last eight points in the half to get within four at the break.

The last three meetings were in preseason tournaments in 2010 and 2011, and a scheduled game Dec. 31, 2011 in Stillwater.

Juco transfer named Hokies' starting quarterback for opener

Juco transfer named Hokies' starting quarterback for opener

In his first game with the Virginia Tech Hokies, Jerod Evans will be leading the team as the starting quarterback, head coach Justin Fuente announced on Thursday. The quarterback competition started as a two-man race between Evans and fifth-year senior Brenden Motley before a late surge by true freshman Josh Jackson turned it into a three-way battle. In the end, however, the decision was no surprise.

Evans, a junior transfer, began his college career at Air Force in 2013. He transferred to Trinity Valley Community College where he developed into a dynamic talent. In 2015, Evans threw for 395.5 yards per game and 38 touchdowns in just eight games before a wrist injury ended his season.

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Rated as the No. 1 dual-threat JUCO quarterback in the country, Evans was recruited by Fuente while he was still at Memphis and chose to follow the head coach to Blacksburg.

New coaches are rarely afforded the opportunity of starting their own recruit in their first season at a new school. Given that and the high potential of Evans as a playmaker, it was ultimately no surprise to hear Fuente peg him as the starter.

The announcement came with one caveat, however. Evans was named the starter specifically for the opener against Liberty, but not beyond that. Granted, Evans would have to play pretty poorly to force Fuente into switching starters the week before the Battle at Bristol against Tennessee, but an opener against an FCS team should allow for Fuente to play multiple quarterbacks. If Motley outplays Evans, perhaps it could reignite the quarterback battle.

Even so, Thursday's announcement shows the starting job is now Evans to lose.

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Virginia names ECU transfer their starting quarterback

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USA TODAY Sports

Virginia names ECU transfer their starting quarterback

When Virginia opens the season on Sept. 3 against Richmond, they will have a new quarterback starting under center. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall named junior transfer Kurt Benkert the starting quarterback on Wednesday morning over seniors Matt Johns and Connor Brewer, according to multiple reports.

Benkert was expected to start for ECU just last season, but a knee injury in preseason forced him to miss the entire year. He is considered the most mobile of the three, which given Mendenhall's history with dual-threat quarterbacks, likely was a major factor in the head coach's decision.

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As a junior, Benkert was the only candidate with two years of eligibility remaining, a prospect hat reportedly "intrigued" Mendenhall. If Benkert is able to hold on to the position and start next season as well, it would represent a measure of stability Virginia has not known for quite some time.

What likely helped Benkert was the fact that his head coach at ECU, Ruffin McNeill, is now an assistant as UVa. By coming into a school with an offensive system Benkert was familiar with, it eliminated the learning curve most transfers go through with their new teams.

Benkert will replace Johns who was the team's starter last season and co-starter the season before. The fact that the competition was a three-man race at this point in the summer despite Johns' experience was a clear indication that his ability to win back the starting job was in clear jeopardy.

In addition, Mendenhall also announced Johns and Brewer were still competing for the backup role.

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Virginia Tech reveals uniforms for Battle at Bristol game vs. Tennessee

Virginia Tech reveals uniforms for Battle at Bristol game vs. Tennessee

A big-time game deserves a big-time uniform.

Virginia Tech delivered on that claim aturday as they revealed their look for the upcoming Battle at Bristol game vs. Tennessee.

The Sept. 20 non-conference game between the border rivals will be played in the infield of Bristol International Speedway in is what expected to be the largest crowd in college football history.

The official reveal was made via a video posted on YouTube:

Other views of the uniforms were also posted on Twitter:

The famous Hokie Stone was the inspiration for the look. The Hokies Stone is a type of rock found in Western Virginia almost exclusively in a nearby quarry owned by the school. It has become an iconic symbol of the school as several building on campus were built from the stone. Players will tap a Hokie Stone that hangs over the tunnel as they enter Lane Stadium during the football season.

The uniform's primary color scheme of black and grey pays homage to the team's history as those were the official colors of Virginia Tech before the school adopted the classic burnt orange and Chicago maroon we recognize today. The color grey was also chosen because it is a prominent color of the Corps of Cadets, according to a statement on the school's athletics website.

And boy do they look sharp. What do you think? Be sure to let us know!

The Battle at Bristol against Tennessee will take place on Sept. 10 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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