BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech Athletics Department and the Atlantic Coast Conference announced the Hokies’ 2016 football schedule on Tuesday.
A Thursday night game against Miami on Oct. 20 highlights Tech’s schedule at Lane Stadium along with home contests against ACC foes Boston College, Georgia Tech and Virginia. The Hokies open the season at home against Liberty on Sept. 3 and also face East Carolina in Blacksburg on Sept. 24.
“I can’t wait to lead our team out of the tunnel on Sept. 3, and I know Hokie Nation will be ready, too,” Tech head coach Justin Fuente said. “Our fans should be especially enthused about showcasing Lane Stadium for a Thursday night game, as well as the chance to participate in a historic event like the Battle at Bristol.
“Our guys are working hard in our winter conditioning program right now, and I speak for everybody when I say we’re all excited to get on the practice field this spring. We’re all anxious to compete this fall with the tremendous support of great Virginia Tech fans.”
Fuente joined the Hokies after resurrecting the football program at Memphis, where he guided the Tigers to 19 wins and two bowl appearances over the past two seasons. Following his first game as Tech’s head coach on Sept. 3, the Hokies will face Southeastern Conference foe Tennessee in the much-anticipated Battle at Bristol on Sept. 10.
The first college football game ever set to be staged at Bristol Motor Speedway – one of racing’s most iconic venues – is anticipated to shatter college football’s current single-game attendance record of 115,109 (Notre Dame at Michigan in 2013). The neutral-site contest in Bristol, Tennessee, will mark the first meeting between the Hokies and Volunteers since Tech registered a 37-14 against Tennessee in the 2009 Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
The ACC portion of the Hokies’ schedule starts Sept. 17, as Boston College visits Lane Stadium. Tech produced a 26-10 win at BC last season and is looking for back-to-back wins against the Eagles for the first time since winning five straight from 2008-12. The Hokies close out the month with a non-conference home date with East Carolina on Sept. 24.
The Hokies will then take to the road for two straight road games – at North Carolina (Oct. 8) and at Syracuse (Oct. 15). Tech then will play back-to-back Thursday night games. The Hokies will play host to their 17th Thursday night game at Lane Stadium, with the Miami Hurricanes serving as the opponent on Oct. 20. Their new head coach, Mark Richt, will lead Miami into Blacksburg. Tech is 11-5 in Thursday night games at home.
The Hokies follow that with their 32nd overall regular-season Thursday night game when they travel to Pitt to take on the Panthers on Oct. 27 at Heinz Field, which also serves as the home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. Tech’s overall record in regular-season Thursday night games is 21-9, including a 23-21 win last season at Georgia Tech.
Tech will seek to avenge last year’s four-overtime loss to Duke when the Hokies travel to Durham, North Carolina, on Nov. 5. Since joining the ACC in 2004, Tech owns a 10-2 mark against the Blue Devils, including a perfect 5-0 record at Duke. The Hokies then return home to face Georgia Tech on Nov. 12 seeking to build upon a 9-3 mark in ACC competition against the Yellow Jackets.
An already historic season will take another twist when the Hokies play Notre Dame for the initial time in school history, as Tech travels to one of the college football’s most storied venues on Nov. 19. The contest will mark the first of four games currently scheduled against the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame is slated to visit Blacksburg in 2018 and 2021, while Tech will return to face the Irish on the road again in 2019.
Virginia Tech will conclude the 2016 regular season with a Commonwealth Cup clash against Virginia at Lane Stadium on Nov. 26. The Hokies have won 12 straight meetings with the Cavaliers and their last eight home games against UVA. Over the past 17 seasons, Virginia Tech has dominated its in-state FBS rival like no other major program, posting a 16-1 record against the Cavaliers over that span.
The Hokies enter the 2016 season seeking to extend a streak of 23 consecutive winning seasons after beating Tulsa in the 2015 Independence Bowl. Tech has made 23 straight bowl appearances – the longest active streak recognized by the NCAA. The Hokies return eight starters on offense and seven on defense from those who started in that bowl triumph.
The renewal process for 2015 Virginia Tech season ticket holders and Hokie Club members (as of Dec. 31, 2015) begins on Feb. 4. Individuals who renew early during an exclusive two-week window from Feb. 4-18 will receive a $25 per ticket loyalty rebate on their $350 season-ticket purchase. This rebate will be issued at the conclusion of the two-week window.
All 2015 season ticket holders and Hokie Club members will be mailed a ticket catalog and paper application in early February. Those wishing to take advantage of the loyalty rebate would need to return that application by Feb. 18. Or, starting Feb. 4, fans can renew online at hokietickets.com, or by calling the Athletics Ticket office at either of these two numbers – 1-800 VA TECH4 or 540-231-6731.
2016 Virginia Tech Football Schedule
Sept. 3 Liberty
Sept. 10 vs. Tennessee (Battle at Bristol)
Sept. 17 Boston College*
Sept. 24 East Carolina
Oct. 8 at North Carolina*
Oct. 15 at Syracuse*
Oct. 20 Miami* (Thurs.)
Oct. 27 at Pitt* (Thurs.)
Nov. 5 at Duke*
Nov. 12 Georgia Tech*
Nov. 19 at Notre Dame
Nov. 26 Virginia*
* – denotes conference opponent