BLACKSBURG (hokiesports.com) - The Atlantic Coast Conference released its 2013 football schedule Monday, and Virginia Tech’s 12-game slate features an exciting six-game home lineup of both conference and non-conference contests.
The Hokies will open their 2013 season in primetime on Saturday, Aug. 31, with a game against two-time defending national champion Alabama in Atlanta on ESPN.
Tech will follow the Alabama game with three more non-conference games: at home against Western Carolina (Sept. 7), at East Carolina (Sept. 14) and home against Marshall (Sept. 21).
The Hokies will then jump into league play with eight consecutive ACC contests to end the season. Tech will have a short week to prepare for Georgia Tech and the conference opener as the Hokies take on the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta on Thursday, Sept. 26 before returning home on Oct. 5 for a contest against North Carolina. New league brethren Pittsburgh comes to town on Oct. 12 before the Hokies have the first of two open dates (Oct. 19 and Nov. 23).
After the open weekend, the Hokies will play their third straight home game, a game against Duke on Oct. 26. Tech will then travel the spectrum of the conference for a tough two-game stretch, traveling to Boston College on Nov. 2 and then traveling to Miami on Nov. 9. Tech wraps up its home schedule on Nov. 16 with a game against Maryland for Senior Day. After the second off week, the Hokies finish up with a road trip to Virginia on Nov. 30 for the annual battle for the Commonwealth Cup.
“Opening up the season against defending national champion Alabama in Atlanta and finishing with rival Virginia at Charlottesville certainly make for an important beginning and end for our season,” Tech head coach Frank Beamer said. “The biggest negative is playing a Thursday night game at Georgia Tech just five days after facing Marshall. We will definitely want to spend some time during the preseason preparing for that game, particularly on defense.”
All four non-conference opponents on this year’s schedule are new. The Hokies and Alabama last met in the 2009 Chick-fil-A College Kickoff, while this will be the first meeting between Tech and Western Carolina. Tech and East Carolina continue their series this year and have met 17 previous times, with the Hokies leading the series 12-5. This will be the 12th meeting between Tech and Marshall, the first since 2011. Maryland rolls onto the Hokies’ ACC slate this year, while Florida State drops off. Pittsburgh, originally scheduled to be a non-conference game when the contract was signed, becomes a league game with the Panthers (and Syracuse) joining the league this year.
Five of the 12 teams on Tech’s schedule played in bowls last year: Alabama (BCS National Championship), East Carolina (New Orleans), Pittsburgh (Compass), Duke (Belk), Georgia Tech (Sun), while Miami was bowl eligible, but declined to play in a postseason contest and North Carolina was ineligible for postseason play.
This is the first time since the 2001 season that Virginia Tech has not been the host for a Thursday night ESPN game.
Once again this season, the league is broken into two separate divisions - the Atlantic (Maryland, Clemson, NC State, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Boston College and Florida State) and Coastal (Virginia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, Pittsburgh, Miami and Virginia Tech) - with the two division winners meeting on Dec. 7 in the Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C.
Times for most games will be made available as the season gets closer.
The full 2013 Tech football schedule can be found here.
The composite schedule for all 14 ACC teams can be found at TheACC.com.
The deadline for fans to have their renewals in for season ticket orders to the Virginia Tech Athletics Ticket Office is March 15. Mail orders must be received, not postmarked, by March 15. Virginia Tech is offering season ticket holders and Hokie Club members an exclusive opportunity to order game tickets to the Virginia Tech-Alabama game on the ticket application in addition to their season tickets. The game will be played at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Aug. 31, and is not included in the season ticket package. Tickets will go on sale to the general public in June. That release can be found here.
For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Football).