Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Virginia Tech fans need new tailgate tradition

Virginia Tech has six home games but won't host a Thursday night game at Lane Stadium for the first time since 2001.

A Virginia Tech fan celebrates.

The Roanoke Times | File

A Virginia Tech fan celebrates.

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VIRGINIA TECH’S SCHEDULE

  • Aug. 31: vs. Alabama (in Atlanta), TBA
  • Sept. 7: vs. Western Carolina, TBA
  • Sept. 14: at East Carolina, TBA
  • Sept. 21: vs. Marshall, TBA
  • Sept. 26: at Georgia Tech, 7:30 p.m.
  • Oct. 5: vs. North Carolina, TBA
  • Oct. 12: vs. Pittsburgh, TBA
  • Oct. 19: OPEN
  • Oct. 26: vs. Duke, TBA
  • Nov. 2: at Boston College, TBA
  • Nov. 9: at Miami, TBA
  • Nov. 16: vs. Maryland, TBA
  • Nov. 23: OPEN
  • Nov. 30: at Virginia, TBA

Non-Saturday ACC Games

  • Thursday, Aug. 29: UNC at South Carolina
  • Thursday, Aug. 29: Presbyterian at Wake Forest
  • Monday, Sept. 2: Florida State at Pittsburgh
  • Friday, Sept. 6: Wake Forest at Boston College
  • Thursday, Sept. 19: Clemson at N.C. State
  • Thursday, Sept. 26: Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech
  • Thursday, Oct. 17: Miami at North Carolina
  • Thursday, Nov. 14: Georgia Tech at Clemson
  • Friday, Nov. 29: Miami at Pittsburgh

For the first time since 2001, Virginia Tech's football schedule will not feature a Thursday night game in Lane Stadium.

The ACC released the full 2013 schedule Monday afternoon. The Hokies, who made a name for themselves on Thursday nights, have only one of those games this year - a Sept. 26 contest at Georgia Tech.

Unlike past seasons against the Yellow Jackets, Virginia Tech will not have a bye or any extended time in advance to prepare for Georgia Tech's spread option offense.

The Hokies host Marshall on Sept. 21, just five days before the matchup in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets host North Carolina on that day.

It's the fifth time since joining the ACC that Virginia Tech will play Georgia Tech on a Thursday night. They met on Labor Day to open last season. The Hokies have never had less than a week of preparation time leading up to the matchup.

It's the first time since 2010 that Tech has had only one Thursday night game and only the second time since the school joined the ACC. It has six Saturday home games this year after having only four last season.

The Hokies will make two trips to Atlanta in the season's first month. They open the year against two-time defending national champion Alabama in the Georgia Dome on Aug. 31.

Virginia Tech begins a three-game home stretch in October against North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Duke.

The Hokies close with road games in three of their final four contests, traveling to Boston College and Miami in consecutive weeks to start November and closing with a game at Virginia.

Because of the timing of the schedule this year, all teams have two bye weeks. Virginia Tech has its byes on Oct. 19 and Nov. 23.

Hokies' toughest stretch

Once the nonconference portion of the schedule is over, things ramp up quickly. The Hokies travel to Georgia Tech on a short week to play a Thursday night game, then return to Lane Stadium the following two weeks to play North Carolina and Pittsburgh, two teams that beat them last year.

Hokies' easiest stretch

Excluding the three nonconference games after Alabama, Tech closes with games at Boston College, at Miami, vs. Maryland and at Virginia. Although three are on the road, three of those four teams didn't make a bowl last year. BC, Maryland and UVa combined to go 5-19 in ACC play.

Toughest stretches in the ACC

Boston College: The Eagles play at Southern Cal, vs. Florida State and at Clemson in a five-week span starting Sept.14.

Florida State: After a bye in mid-October, the Seminoles play at Clemson in a game that could decide the Atlantic Division before hosting annual stumbling block N.C. State and state-rival Miami.

Georgia Tech: In a four-week span starting Sept. 21, the Yellow Jackets host North Carolina, then Virginia Tech on a short week. They follow it up with trips to Miami and BYU the following two weeks.

Pittsburgh: The Panthers finish up with a tough stretch, going to Georgia Tech before hosting Notre Dame and North Carolina They follow up a trip to Syracuse with a Friday night game at home against Miami in the regular season finale.

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