Virginia Tech To Face Arkansas In The Belk Bowl

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Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech will play Arkansas in Bank of America Stadium in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29th.

Virginia Tech will head to Charlotte, North Carolina to play in the Belk Bowl on December 29.  The Hokies’ opponent will be the Arkansas Razorbacks out of the SEC.  Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30, and the game will be televised by ESPN.

Tech finished the season with a 9-4 record after Saturday night’s narrow 42-35 loss to Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.  After four consecutive years of not winning 10 games, they’ve got a chance to reach that number for the first time since they went 11-3 in 2011.

Arkansas concluded their season with a 7-5 overall record, including a 3-5 mark in the SEC.  They outscored their opponents by a narrow 370-369 margin.  Here’s a look at their game-by-game results…

Vs. Louisiana Tech: 21-20 W
at TCU: 41-38 W (2OT)
vs. Texas State: 42-3 W
at Texas A&M (AT&T Stadium): 45-24 L
vs. Alcorn State: 52-10 W
vs. Alabama: 49-30 L
vs. Ole Miss: 34-30 W
at Auburn: 56-3 L
vs. Florida: 31-10 W
vs. LSU: 38-10 L
at Mississippi State: 58-42 W
at Missouri: 28-24 L

In the S&P+ advanced statistics, the Razorbacks are rated the #52 team in the country.  They are ranked #42 offensively, but only #76 on the defensive side of the ball.

The traditional stats also show that Arkansas has a porous defense.  In games against FBS competition, they rank #80 in total defense, allowing 439.2 yards per game.  They allow 469.8 yards per game against FBS teams with winning records, and 492.8 yards per game against Power 5 opponents.

Arkansas is coached by former Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema.  He holds a 25-25 record in four seasons with the Razorbacks after going 68-24 in seven seasons with Wisconsin.

We’ll have more about the matchup in the coming days, so stay tuned.

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25 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Do not undersell the Hogs!! They are a bad matchup for us. Our line backing weaknesses will be exposed by their running game. Go Hokies!

  2. Again I believe we got put down the list in favor Miami, but I believe hat the money for the bowls in divided equally between all schools, even UVA gets money for winning two games, so I think this is correct. If not I am sure someone will correct me! Also I agree, a win against a SEC school is always good and it will get us to 10, not bad for a team that has not played very well since 2011.

    1. This should be a very winnable game for VT. Our historic bowl record could use some more wins. I rather see VT end the season with a win rather than another loss in a top tier bowl against a top tier team.

  3. Chris:
    Please explain how and why we settled for the Belk bowl.
    GT is going to Jacksonville with an average payout of about $3M and we’re settling for Charlotte at about $1.5M payout and we are the ACC Coastal Champions with an overall better ACC record and standing…. did we actually prefer a lesser bowl and why?? Or did the bowl actually prefer a GT/ Kentucky matchup? And why??

  4. Wow! The fan base is quite divided. I would love to hit a bowl game after an up-season (kinda), but frankly, Arkansas doesn’t do anything for me. It’s like watching the PITT game again but with a worse record. I feel like part of the issue though is the team deserves the support. They shouldn’t be punished because Tech is getting short changed by the selection process. On the other hand, going to the Belk bowl is meaningless for many reasons: no “vacation” to be had in Charlotte during late December, like you can just use FL as a vacation and attend the bowl while there; next, we were right there with Clemson, and it’s not a shoulda, woulda, coulda thing, but how is the fan base meant to feel like they are in for a great exhibition type event when they had a marquee match-up followed by the bottom of the SEC?; Face it, if Are-Kansas had played anyone otherthan fcs trash for two games (didn’t really look maybe they were fbs) then they wouldn’t even be bowl eligible, so we rebound and go dumpster diving; the cost of a trip for us would be unreasonable. We’re in UT, so when we spend thousands to watch Tech play, then we expect a reason to make that commitment. We have two toddlers so either we pay out the ass for a quick trip out and back or we take our kids with us but have nothing for them to do. Not to mention it’s just before new years and it’s not like we will enjoy our new years when we are spending it traveling or toting kids around, all while attending a bottom tier bowl – the equivalent of a blood transfusion from a Charlotte street-walking vagrant. It just seems like a crappy reward. We basically have the same record as Louisville but get the same level of treatment as if this was last season. I get not going to boycott “the man”, but if we lived in VA right now I’d go to be there for the team. I hate seeing Hokies turn their back on the team because of this. I can’t justify a few grand and quick turn around for this level of “excitement” but would encourage others to reconsider if it’s in their neck of the woods. A solid showing, followed by better play calling and decision making next season could generate better results that we all like.

    1. I bought two lower level tickets immediately… but I live in Charlotte and didn’t get to see the Hokies play this year. I will be supporting them full strength to make sure we don’t get complacent against a mediocre team (again). We’ll be expected to win, so while a win won’t help our image too much, a loss may hurt it.

  5. Presumably this is good for Tech fans who want to go the bowl. Charlotte for many is just down the road; far more expensive than trip to Orlando. My problem is not with the location but rather with the opposing team. Arkansas is a mid-level SEC team in a down year for the SEC. Winning will not do much for Tech’s reputation.

  6. This is absolutely a farce. I can see not going to the one out west, but those two Orlando Bowls were worth a million and a half-million more than the stupid department store cheapskate. And with a lousy Arkansas team we can’t win but we could sure big loosers if we get upset – and the boys might just be upset about this decision. A Virginia Tech – West Virginia game at the Russell would have packed the stadium (probably sell out the tickets in a week) and the move on to fill half the bars in town. Someone owes Coach Fuente an apology.

    1. No problem with one taking Lville ~ pair of 9-3 teams so they picked one, fine. But the Russell would have been better off with VT or Pitt, as I think WVU is the one game Pitt fans would actually travel to see. Picking Miami for anything is asking to be disappointed, but they should know that.

  7. No thanks. I’ll watch on tv and root (of course), but out of principle I won’t attend. The players earned the bowl berth. We were Coastal division champions. The players want (and deserve) to go to FL. This smells like something that was concocted by Greensboro for political reasons. And VT/Whit (for some unknown reason) obliged.

    We didn’t get picked for Orlando because of concerns about a rematch against WVU at the beginning of next season?! Really? Who gives a rat’s tail? It’s 9 months away, not 2 weeks away. Guess what, we are playing ECU again next year too. We played them this year.

    And we don’t want the Citrus because our basketball team is playing Duke on the 31st? Sorry, but Duke is going to beat us whether there are 50 fans or 10,000 fans there. That would be amongst the lamest excuses I’ve ever heard.

    Hey Orlando, enjoy the 27 traveling Miami fans in attendance. It will look great on TV.

    1. I agree…… in the hierarchy of bowls where does bell fit as far as prestige and money compared to FL???

  8. Not going to support acc in nc…they hosed us by moving acc championship game to Orlando…would have gone to bowl anywhere else..esp fla

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