Hokies to open against Appalachian State

Hokies to open against Appalachian State
February 14, 2011, 9:03 pm
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Monday, February 14, 2011, 4:06 p.m.

By Rich Tandler

The Virginia Tech Hokies released their football schedule today and they will get ready to defend their ACC title with four non-conference games in September before eight straight games against conference foes.

The highlight of the conference schedule is back-to-back Thursday night games at Georgia Tech and at home against North Carolina. The traditional season-ending game against Virginia for the Commonwealth Cup will be played Thanksgiving weekend in Charlottesville.

The Hokies have been scheduling traditional powers such as LSU and Alabama or up-and-coming programs such as Boise State as part of its non-conference schedule in recent seasons. That will not be the case this year. The slate consists of home games against FCS program Appalachian State and Arkansas State and at East Carolina and Marshall.

Virginia Tech will be bringing back some talented players but will have some holes to fill as well. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who started for the last three seasons, graduated and Logan Thomas, who saw limited action as a redshirt freshman last year, is expected to take the job as the signal caller.

Absent from Tech's ACC schedule are Florida State, the very early favorite for the conference title in 2011, North Carolina State, and Maryland.

The Hokies' complete schedule:

Sat., Sept. 3Appalachian StateSat., Sept. 10at East CarolinaSat., Sept. 17Arkansas StateSat., Sept. 24at MarshallSat., Oct. 1ClemsonSat., Oct. 8MiamiSat., Oct. 15at Wake ForestSat., Oct. 22Boston CollegeSat., Oct. 29at DukeThu., Nov. 10at Georgia TechThu., Nov. 17North CarolinaSat., Nov. 26at UVA
The team's release about the schedule follows:

BLACKSBURG - The Atlantic Coast Conference releasedits 2011 football schedule Monday, and defending champion VirginiaTechs 12-game slate features an exciting six-game home lineup of bothconference and non-conference contests. Tech is also scheduled for ahome Thursday night ESPN broadcast for the 10th straight season.

The Hokies are slated to open their 2011 season on Saturday, Sept. 3with a home game against FCS power Appalachian State. It will mark thefirst time since 2007 that the Hokies havent opened the season at aneutral site, as they played East Carolina in Charlotte in 2008,against Alabama in Atlanta in 2009 and against Boise State last year inLandover, Md.

Tech will follow the Appalachian State game with the rest of itsnon-conference games: at East Carolina (Sept. 10), home againstArkansas State (Sept. 17) and at Marshall (Sept. 24).

The Hokies will then jump into league play with eight consecutive ACC contests. Home games with Clemson (Oct. 1) and Miami (Oct. 8) start things off, followed by a road game at Wake Foreston Oct. 15. Tech returns home on Oct. 22 to face Boston College andthen heads to Durham, N.C., for a contest with Duke on Oct. 29.

After an open weekend (Nov. 5), a tough three-game stretch concludes the regular season, as the Hokies will close at Georgia Techon Thursday, Nov. 10, at home on a Thursday night against NorthCarolina (Nov. 17) for Senior Day and at in-state rival Virginia onNov. 26.

New on the schedule this year as non-conference opponents areAppalachian State, Marshall and Arkansas State. The Hokies andMountaineers have not met since 1982 and Tech leads the series 3-0 withall three games played in Blacksburg. This will be the fourth meetingbetween Tech and Arkansas State, with the Hokies leading 3-0. Techleads the series with Marshall 8-2 in a series that dates back to 1913.This will be Techs first trip to Huntington since playing there in1939 and 1940, the two losses for the Hokies in the series. Clemsonrolls onto the Hokies ACC slate this year, while NC State drops off.

Six of the 12 teams on Techs schedule played in bowls last year: EastCarolina (Military), Clemson (Meineke Car Care), Miami (Sun), BostonCollege (Kraft Fight Hunger), Georgia Tech (Independence) and NorthCarolina (Music City).

Once again this season, the league is broken into two separatedivisions - the Atlantic (Maryland, Clemson, NC State, Wake Forest,Boston College and Florida State)and Coastal (Virginia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, Miami andVirginia Tech) - with the two division winners meeting on Dec. 3 in theDr. Pepper ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C.

Times for most games will be made available as the season gets closer.