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Virginia Tech football: A look at the 2020 schedule

The game with Penn State will tell us a lot about the 2020 Hokies.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 31 Belk Bowl - Virginia Tech v Kentucky Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Virginia Tech Hokies released their 2020 football schedule on Wednesday and it features several interesting games.

First, the Hokies kick off the season at Lane Stadium with Liberty. The Flames went 8-5 in their first season under new head coach Hugh Freeze in 2019. They will be coming to Blacksburg with high hopes to kick off the 2020 season.

The biggest test of Virginia Tech’s 2020 season will happen in the second week as Penn State comes to town. This will be a huge game for head coach Justin Fuente and the Hokies. If the Hokies win, they can arrive back on the national scene and Fuente will pick up his first true signature win at Virginia Tech.

The Penn State game is big for many reasons. Mainly, the Hokies have lost numerous battles to Penn State on the recruiting trail in recent years and beating them in Blacksburg could go a long way in helping reverse that trend.

The Hokies finish September with a road trip to Middle Tennessee State on 9/19 and 9/26 against North Alabama. The entire month of September will represent some new blood on Virginia Tech’s schedule.

The Hokies begin the ACC schedule on 10/3 at home against Georgia Tech. The following week, they travel to North Carolina and are off the following. Virginia Tech fans are already excited about 10/22 when the Hokies host Boston College on Thursday night. We all know how special Lane Stadium is for night games, especially those Thursday night games that help put Virginia Tech on the map.

The most challenging stretch of VT’s 2020 schedule is back-to-back road games at Louisville and Pittsburgh. The Pitt game is on a Friday night so it is a bit of a short week for Tech. It will be interesting to see the start time for the Louisville game.

It is nice to see Louisville on the schedule for the Hokies. I wish Tech didn’t have to play the same Atlantic Division team (Boston College) every season and rotated both games against Atlantic opponents. That is a scheduling quirk that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Virginia Tech returns home on 11/14 to host Miami. Both teams, along with UNC, are expected to be Coastal contenders in 2020 and that game could have major ramifications.

The following week, Tech travels to Durham to play Duke. This is one Fuente certainly will have circled on his calendar. And if the Hokies do get a lead in this one, I wouldn’t expect Fuente to take his foot off the gas. He will not forget David Cutcliffe and the fake punt late in the fourth quarter in Duke’s 2019 blowout win.

Finally, the battle for the Commonwealth Cup will actually happen on a Saturday instead of Black Friday in 2020. That is one that will surely make many Hokie fans happy.

The Hokies have seven home games in 2020 with Penn State being the most prominent matchup. Also, a return to Thursday night will make Hokie Nation very happy.

So, Hokies, what are your initial thoughts on the 2020 schedule?