BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Josh Jackson threw for a touchdown and ran for another on Saturday night to lead No. 13 Virginia Tech to a 24-3 win over Duke.
Jackson hit Sean Savoy with a 26-yard pass just before halftime to give the Hokies (7-1, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) a 17-3 lead. He scored on a 6-yard run in the third quarter, all but cementing Virginia Tech's third victory in a row on a night when it rained for most of the second half and footing became increasingly uncertain.
The Blue Devils (4-5, 1-5) lost their fifth in a row. They had less than 100 yards of offense until late in the third quarter when quarterback Daniel Jones broke free for a 33-yard run. But Jones threw incomplete on fourth-and-14 from the Virginia Tech 28 to turn the ball over.
The Hokies missed several opportunities in the first half, twice failing to get the necessary yardage on fourth-down plays. But Duke running back Shaun Wilson was called for a personal foul on third-and-6 from Duke's 6 late in the half. The play went for no gain, Austin Parker was forced to punt with his feet nearly on the line at the back of the end zone and the Hokies converted the mistake into a touchdown.
Jackson hit Eric Kumah for 16 yards, then spiked the ball to stop the clock. He finished with the pass to Sean Savoy to make it 17-3.
Duke: When the Blue Devils won four in a row to start the season, Jones' running ability seemed a big part of their identity in those games, including a 108-yard, two-touchdown performance against Northwestern. Without much of a running game to speak of aside from Jones occasionally taking off, Duke managed just 98 yards in the first half despite holding onto the ball from longer than Virginia. That's not the kind of production that will get them to a bowl game.
Virginia Tech: The Hokies weren't overly effective on offense, but Jackson, a redshirt freshman, continues to avoid silly mistakes. He now has 17 touchdown passes against only four interceptions. If he remains efficient, Bud Foster's defense certainly gives them a fighting chance in the next two games at Miami and at Georgia Tech.
Duke has a bye week then stays plays at Army West Point, which has won four in a row.
The Hokies begin a critical two-game road trip that should decide the Coastal champion as they play at Miami and then at Georgia Tech.