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Virginia Tech Hokies Face Manageable 2011 Football Schedule

The ACC released its conference schedule Monday, which completed the Hokies' 2011 slate. Virginia Tech will get its entire non-conference schedule out of the way before facing a single ACC opponent, a smart move considering it'll be breaking in a new starter under center.

This is the first time since Tyrod Taylor's freshman year in 2007 the the Hokies will open with four consecutive non-conference games. However, this year's schedule is significantly easier than that season's as the Hokies will play games against Appalachian State, at East Carolina, Arkansas State and at Marshall. In 2007 their non-conference schedule included a trip to LSU in which Taylor made his debut.

You hate to over-look an FCS opponent after last year's loss to James Madison, but the Hokies should sweep through their opening month unscathed. East Carolina lost four starting offensive lineman, its two best running backs, wide receiver Dwayne Harris and three of its best defensive players from last year's team. However, it will be quarterback Logan Thomas' first road game as a starter, so it will definitely be a game to watch.

The only part of the Hokies' schedule that really troubles me is opening ACC play with Clemson and Miami. Those games are at home, which will help Thomas a lot, but they will be against two of the better defenses in ACC play from last season. 

Tech will also finish its conference schedule with three out of four road games, including a Thursday night trip to Georgia Tech. Tech last played in Atlanta on a Thursday night in 2007 in a game that might have been Sean Glennon's finest hour and a 27-3 Hokie win. This is the first time since joining the ACC in 2004 that three of Tech's last four conference games will be on the road. That will be a good test the good finishing power Tech has had since joining the conference.

Things I really like about the schedule include the extra prep time for Georgia Tech (though we've seen that teams have had more trouble with their games AFTER playing the Jackets than before), playing one of our more important conference games at home on a Thursday against UNC (despite what happened last time), catching Clemson early and playing three teams (Clemson, Wake Forest and Virginia) the week after they've faced Florida State.

Also, the Hokies will face only two opponents (Boston College and North Carolina) that have had more rest than they will for the game. Only BC will have a full two weeks to prepare for the Hokies.

In all, this is a very good schedule for a team that is replacing very key members of its starting lineup, particularly the quarterback. I don't think the Hokies can go undefeated with this schedule, but their chances are much better than they have been in recent years, schedule-wise. Needless to say, I'm happy about the schedule and we should all be happy about the schedule.

Day Date Time Opponent Prior Game
Sat. Sept. 3 TBA Appalachian State None
Sat. Sept. 10 TBA at East Carolina South Carolina
Sat. Sept. 17 TBA Arkansas State Memphis
Sat. Sept. 24 TBA at Marshall at Ohio
Sat. Oct. 1 TBA Clemson Florida State
Sat. Oct. 8 TBA Miami Bethune-Cookman
Sat. Oct. 15 TBA at Wake Forest Florida State
Sat. Oct. 22 TBA Boston College Bye Week
Sat. Oct. 29 TBA at Duke Wake Forest
Thu. Nov. 10 8 p.m. at Georgia Tech Clemson (Oct. 29)
Thu. Nov. 17 8 p.m. North Carolina at NC State (Nov. 5)
Sat. Nov. 26 TBA at Virginia at Florida State

Schedule Notes

  • Hokies open with four non-conference games.
  • Tech will finish with three road games out of four for the first time in the ACC.
  • Only two opponents (BC and UNC) will have more rest than the Hokies.
  • Tech faces three teams coming off a game against FSU.
  • Blacksburg will be Clemson QB Tahj Boyd's first road game as a full-time starter.

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