Hokies to meet Arkansas for first time in Belk Bowl

No. 18 Virginia Tech will travel to Charlotte, North Carolina this Saturday and will continue its preparations leading up to the 2016 Belk Bowl. The Hokies will take on Arkansas in their 24th straight bowl appearance in Bank of America Stadium. The game, which can be seen nationally on ESPN, will kick at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday night, Dec. 29.

  • GAME NOTES page - includes links to Tech's game notes, this week's opponent's game notes, ACC weekly notes and head coach Justin Fuente's quotes from Monday's press conference.


  • Virginia Tech (AP No. 18, Coaches No. 19, CFB Playoff No. 22) faces Arkansas for the first time as the Hokies make their debut in the Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte (12/29).
  • VT is playing in a bowl for 24th consecutive season, the longest active streak recognized by the NCAA.
  • The Hokies are no strangers to Charlotte, winning the 2010 ACC Championship Game with a 44-33 win over Florida State at Bank of America Stadium (12/4/10).
  • The Hokies have won three of their last four bowl games, including a 55-52 victory in the Independence Bowl over Tulsa that capped the storied career of Frank Beamer, who led the Hokies for 29 seasons.
  • Virginia Tech is seeking its first 10-win season since 2011 which would make Justin Fuente the first coach in school history to claim 10 wins in his debut campaign.
  • Tech owns a long history of success against SEC teams with its last bowl meeting against an SEC foe resulting in a 37-14 victory vs. Tennessee in the 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl (12/31/09).
  • Winning vs. the SEC is not new to Fuente, who guided Memphis to a 15-game winning streak that included a 37-24 win vs. No. 13 Ole Miss (10/17/15).
  • Tech took No. 3 Clemson to the wire, suffering a narrow 42-35 loss in the ACC Championship Game in Orlando (12/3).
  • Arkansas has been idle since being handed a 28-24 setback at Missouri (11/25).


  • The Hokies haven’t lost consecutive games under Fuente, registering a win in the contest immediately following their three losses earlier this season.
  • VT has outscored its foes by a combined 455-295 margin in 2016, while Arkansas has been outscored 370-369.
  • Tech is 3-1 in games decided by seven points or fewer while Arkansas is 4-1 in such games in 2016.
  • Virginia Tech has outscored its foes by a 39.9-16.3 ppg margin in its nine wins in 2016.
  • Arkansas has been outscored by an average margin of 43.2-18.2 ppg in its five losses.
  • Virginia Tech is +6 (17 takes/11 gives) in its nine wins and -9 (4 takes/13 gives) in its four losses.
  • Arkansas is -2 (19 takes/21 gives) on the season, going +5 (11 takes/6 gives) in its seven wins and -7 (8 takes/15 gives) in its five losses.
  • Virginia Tech owns a 38-3 record (.927) dating back to 1996 when forcing three or more INTs.
  • Arkansas is 1-6 under Bret Beilema when throwing two or more INTs, including a 1-3 mark in 2016​.


  • WR Isaiah Ford is the only ACC player to hold sole possession of his school’s career records for catches (204), rec. yards (2,911) and TD catches (24).
  • VT’s Ford, Cam Phillips & Bucky Hodges own 186 catches, 2,546 rec. yards and 19 TDs in 2016, equating to 72.1% of the team’s catches, 74.5% of its receiving yards & 65.5% of its TD receptions.
  • Ford (73 receptions) and Phillips (70) are the only VT duo to ever register 70 catches in a season.
  • Ford is three catches shy of breaking his own VT single-season record of 75 he established last year. Phillips’ 70 catches are the third-best single-season mark in Hokies’ history.
  • Ford registered 12 catches for 227 yards with a TD in the Independence Bowl vs. Tulsa (12/16/15), just the third 200-yard receiving game in school history.


  • Virginia Tech is 8-1 when scoring 30+ points in 2016.
  • Arkansas is 5-16 (.238) under Bielema when allowing 30+ points.
  • Arkansas has lost five consecutive games when committing two or more turnovers.
  • The Razorbacks are 7-18 (.250) against ranked foes under Bielema and have never faced a ranked non-con foe under his tenure.
  • Arkansas ranks 10th in the SEC, allowing 30.8 ppg.
  • The Razorbacks defense owns nine INTs. Only Ole Miss (8) and Vanderbilt (5) have registered fewer among SEC teams.
  • Only LSU (18.0) produced a lower KO return average in the SEC than Arkansas (18.7) in 2016.

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