Hogs blow big lead in Belk Bowl loss to Virginia Tech

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Jerod Evans threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two scores and No. 18 Virginia Tech pulled off the largest comeback in its 124-year history, erasing a 24-point halftime deficit to beat Arkansas 35-24 on Thursday night in the Belk Bowl.

After being limited to 180 yards in the first half, Hokies (10-4) took advantage of three of Austin Allen’s interceptions and scored touchdowns on five of their first seven possessions of the second half.

Evans scored on a 4-yard run and threw touchdown strikes to Sam Rogers and Chris Cunningham to cut it to 24-21 In the third quarter. Travon McMillan put the Hokies ahead for good with 12:03 left in the game when he scored on a 6-yard run. Evans sealed the win with an 8-yard touchdown scamper

Virginia Tech came in averaging 35 points, but the Razorbacks (7-6) set the tone early by turning Evans’ fumble and interception into 10 points to take a 17-0 lead in the first quarter. Arkansas extended the lead to 24-0 at halftime and it looked as if it might cruise to an easy victory.

But Evans had other ideas.

He completed 12 of 16 passes for 129 yards and two TDs in the second half, helping Justin Fuente became the first coach in school history to win 10 games in his first season.