Virginia Tech wide receiver Corey Fuller, right, hauls in a pass in the end zone for a touchdown in front of Rutgers defensive back Logan Ryan during the fourth quarter of the Russell Athletic Bowl on Friday. Virginia Tech scored the game’s final 13 points to win 13-10 in overtime. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
ORLANDO, Fla. — Cody Journell kicked a 22-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime Friday to help Virginia Tech beat Rutgers 13-10 in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
Virginia Tech (7-6) won its third straight 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 half and finished with a pair of interceptions, but he also had 192 yards passing.
“Not everything in life is real smooth,” Hokies coach Frank Beamer said. “These players worked hard and how they reacted to adversity and to disappointment and when all of them wanted to do better — they kept together.”
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.
Meineke Car Care Bowl
Texas Tech 34,
HOUSTON — D.J. Johnson returned an interception 39 yards and Ryan Bustin made a 28-yard field goal as time expired to give Texas Tech a comeback victory over Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Seth Doege found Eric Ward on a short pass, and he outran a defender for a 35-yard scoring play to tie it at 31 with just more than a minute remaining.
Michael Carter intercepted two of Doege’s passes in the fourth quarter before the tying score, but Minnesota couldn’t convert either of the turnovers into points.
The Red Raiders (8-5) got their third straight bowl win to wrap up a month that began with coach Tommy Tuberville’s abrupt departure for the job at Cincinnati. Texas Tech has hired Kliff Kingsbury to replace him, but interim coach Chris Thomsen led the team against Minnesota (6-7). Kingsbury was at the game, watching from a suite.
SHREVEPORT, La. — Tyler Tettleton threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns, and Beau Blankenship scored four touchdowns to set an Independence Bowl in Ohio’s victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
The Bobcats (9-4) won their second straight bowl game, and they broke several Independence Bowl records, including the 31-point margin and 556 total yards.
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. He finished 14 of 22 and averaged more than 23 yards per completion.
Blankenship finished with 104 yards rushing. He had a school-record 1,604 yards rushing yards this season and topped the 100-yard mark 10 times. Chase Cochran caught three passes for 162 yards and a touchdown.
Louisiana-Monroe (8-5) 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 he threw three first-half interceptions.