Old Dominion at Virginia Tech, Saturday at 8 p.m. ET (ACCN)
Line: Virginia Tech by 15 ½, according to FanDuel Sportsbook
Series record: Tied 2-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Brent Pry begins his second season as coach of the Hokies trying to show that his rebuild is working. Virginia Tech lost 20-17 last year to Old Dominion in Norfolk on its way to a 3-8 finish. ODU coach Ricky Rahne also hopes for vast improvement this year. The Monarchs started 3-3 last season, also beating eventual Sun Belt Conference champion Coastal Carolina, 49-21, but lost their last six games.
Virginia Tech's young defense against the ODU offense. Rahne brought in new offensive coordinator Kevin Decker from Fordham, which had the second-best offense in FCS history with 609 yards per game last year and ranked second in the country with 49.5 points per game. The Hokies once fancied themselves as Defensive Back U, but will need pressure up front to aid a very young secondary.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Old Dominion: LB Jason Henderson. He's a handful and led the country last season with 186 tackles, 39 more than the runner-up, and just 8 shy of the single season FBS record set in 2003 by Lawrence Flugence of Texas Tech.
Virginia Tech: QB Grant Wells. His four interceptions, including two in the last 3 minutes, doomed the Hokies in this game last year The third one set up the Monarchs for a 74-yard drive ending on a go-ahead TD with 33 seconds to play. FACTS & FIGURES
Old Dominion’s 58 newcomers are the seventh-most of any FBS team in the country and its 41 scholarship newcomers are also seventh most. ... The Monarchs have just six seniors, tied with New Mexico for fewest in the nation. ... QB Grant Wilson will be the ninth consecutive different QB to open the season as ODU's starter. ... The home team has won all four games in this series. ... WR Ali Jennings, who had five catches for 122 yards in last year's game, transferred from ODU to Virginia Tech for this year. He had 54 receptions for 959 yards and nine TDs last year. ... Wells threw only five more interceptions after the opener last season.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll