MONDAY HUDDLE: Monarchs come oh-so-close to being king of the state in college football

Brendan Farrell #40 of the Virginia Cavaliers celebrates after kicking the game-winning field goal in the second half during a game against the Old Dominion Monarchs at Scott Stadium on September 17, 2022 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly) (Getty Images)

Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene -- and a glimpse at what’s to come next week.

Cavaliers prevail late, denying Old Dominion double bragging rights

Could you imagine what it might have been like this week for Old Dominion fans and alumns around office water coolers or other spots where they converse regularly with Virginia and Virginia Tech supporters?

After earning a 20-17 win over Virginia Tech at home on Sept. 2, Old Dominion was on the verge of earning double bragging rights when it had Virginia on the ropes on Saturday.

The Monarchs took a 14-13 lead go-ahead touchdown with 1:01 left on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Hayden Wolff to Zack Kuntz.

But Virginia stayed composed, drove down the field, and earned a 16-14 win on a 26-yard field goal by Brendan Farrell with no time left on the clock.

Still, it’s been quite a season already for Old Dominion with how it has gone toe-to-toe with the Hokies and Cavaliers.

Virginia Tech gets ready for Black Diamond Trophy showdown

Virginia Tech took care of business with a 27-7 win over Wofford on Saturday, and now will get ready for another nonconference game where bragging rights are on the line.

The Hokies on Thursday will host West Virginia in the annual battle for the Black Diamond Trophy, which has been in Morgantown for the past year after West Virginia earned a 27-21 win last year at home.

Virginia Tech won the previous three meetings, and will look to get it back before getting back into ACC play.

Liberty showing no drop-off without Willis

Any concerns that Liberty would suffer greatly without quarterback Malik Willis, now in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans, seems to have been silenced so far.

Liberty nearly pulled off an upset at No. 19 Wake Forest, scoring a touchdown with 1:11 remaining to pull within 37-36.

Head coach Hugh Freeze then decided to go for a 2-point conversion and the lead, but the attempt failed and Wake Forest held on to win.

Quarterback Kaidon Salter went 19-of-34 passing for 256 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, and wideout Demario Douglas caught seven passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns for a Liberty team (2-1) that doesn’t look like it will drop off much.

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Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.