Virginia Tech will open the 2017 football season against West Virginia at FedEx Field, the Redskins announced Tuesday.
The September 2, 2017 matchup will be Virginia Tech’s fourth game at FedEx Field since 2004. West Virginia is also quickly becoming a regular of the NFL stadium as they are slated to play BYU in Landover in 2016. The game against Virginia Tech will be their third visit.
“It is an exciting matchup for both schools’ fans to look forward to,” said Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock in a statement. “I appreciate the work of Coach Beamer and Associate AD John Ballein in arranging this extremely strong non-conference matchup. Not only will the game renew a passionate rivalry, it will also be played at a site that is centered in a major alumni base for both schools.”
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The two schools met annually from 1973 to 2005. The Black Diamond Trophy was introduced in 1997 and awarded to the winner each year. It was meant to symbolize the importance of coal mining to the Appalachian region in which both schools share.
On July 3, 2013, a home-and-home series was announced slated for 2021. With today’s announcement, fans will not have to wait as to see this storied rivalry renewed. The 2017 game will be the first contest between the schools in 12 years.
“West Virginia and Virginia Tech have had a great historical rivalry over the years,” said West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck, “and it’s great that the two schools can renew the series, staring in Washington, D.C. in 2017, and then two games in 2021 and 2022.”
FedEx Field has not been kind to Virginia Tech as the Hokies have lost all three of their previous games there. With the new College Football Playoff system placing an emphasis on strength of schedule, however, Virginia Tech was in clear need of a boost. Their three other non-conference opponents for 2017 are Delaware, East Carolina and Old Dominion.
Virginia Tech has won six of their past eight meetings with West Virginia, including the last two. The home opener in Blacksburg against Delaware that had originally been scheduled for September 2 has been moved to September 9.