CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP)Brendan Farrell kicked a 26-yard field goal with no time remaining and Virginia rallied in a frenetic final minute and beat Old Dominion 16-14 on Saturday.
The Cavaliers (2-1), who saw Old Dominion go ahead 14-13 with 1:01 to play, drove 56 yards before Brennan Armstrong took a knee on the next-to-last play to set up the kick. Farrell, who kicked two other field goals but missed a 36-yard try earlier in the fourth quarter, split the uprights, throwing his arms in the air as his teammates ran onto the field and mobbed him in celebration.
Old Dominion (1-2) had gone ahead on Hayden Wolff’s 18-yard pass to Zack Kuntz, quieting a small crowd at Scott Stadium. Wolff had several big completions in the 80-yard drive, including a 22-yarder to Kuntz on fourth-and-8 from his own 22. Virginia helped, too, with Anthony Johnson Jr. getting called for pass interference on a fourth-and-15 play from the Cavaliers’ 33.
”You would have loved in that two minutes at the end of the game to get off the field,” Virginia defensive coordinator John Rudzinski said. ”Some great learning moments and it’s always nice to have learning moments when it’s a win.”
Monarchs defensive back Tobias Harris returned the interference favor on Virginia’s winning drive, getting called when Armstrong threw for Dontayvion Wicks in the back left corner of the end zone. That moved the ball to the 5.
The Cavaliers outgained Old Dominion 513-324, but twice fumbled the ball away inside the Monarchs’ 5 yard-line, and another time to set up ODU’s first points.
Mike Hollins ran for a touchdown for Virginia, but coughed the ball up at the 4 later in the first half. Armstrong lost the other two, once at the ODU 5 when he was hit from behind by Ryan Henry.
Armstrong finished 20 of 37 for 284 yards, including a 30-yard connection with Lavel Davis Jr. to start the winning drive. He also ran for 54 yards, including a 13-yarder to get Virginia to the ODU 20 in the final minute.
”He’s dangerous when he’s outside the pocket,” Monarchs safety R’Terriun Johnson said of Armstrong, who carried the ball 14 times. ”He got a huge first down after that big completion and it hurt us.”
Monarchs coach Ricky Rahne didn’t mince words with his team afterward.
”I told the truth; it should hurt. I’m not saying it shouldn’t hurt. It should hurt, but all losses should hurt,” he said. ”If the loss doesn’t hurt when you lose by a last second field goal or you lose by three touchdowns, you didn’t invest enough, you didn’t care enough, you gave up too early.”
Wolff was 23-for-37 passing for 235 yards. His other touchdown came on a 29-yard pass to Ali Jennings with 19 second left in the first half.
Old Dominion: The Monarchs were bidding to take out their second Power Five opponent of the season, having beaten Virginia Tech in their opener.
Virginia: Tight end Grant Misch, who had seven career receptions in 37 games prior to Saturday, caught four passes for 33 yards.
The Monarchs return home to face Arkansas State next Saturday.
The Cavaliers go on the road to play at Syracuse on Friday night.
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