Hokie's Schedule Released
Virginia Tech has their hands full in 2015. The Hokies play in the ACC which has the toughest schedules in college football. The ACC has scheduled more Power Five Conference teams than any other Power Five Conference. Though many are writing off the ACC as the weakest Power Five Conference, they continue to show that they are not afraid to schedule tough out of conference opponents. As for Virginia Tech, I will break their games down below so that you have a sense of what the Hokies can accomplish next Fall.
September 7, 2015 Ohio State vs. Virginia Tech
In arguably the most anticipated game for the upcoming season, the reigning national champion Buckeyes come to Blacksburg on Labor Day. This is a rematch from last year where the Hokies defeated the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes will come in with arguably the most talented team in college football to play a young Hokie team. The game is already almost sold out, and ticket prices are astronomically high. The atmosphere will be rocking in Blacksburg on that Monday night.
September 12, 2015 Furman vs. Virginia Tech
The Hokies only FCS opponent will make the trip up to Blacksburg the following weekend. Whether a huge win or demoralizing loss to the Buckeyes, the Hokies have to take care of business in this game. The game against William and Mary last year wasn't the best display by the Hokies, but they got the result they needed. Furman should lose to the Hokies.
September 19, 2015 Virginia Tech vs. Purdue
The Hokies start their two game road stint at Purdue. Purdue had a disappointing season in 2014, and missed out on a bowl game. They will want to make a statement to the Big 10 by beating the Hokies though. This is a classic trap game for Virginia Tech, especially if they enter 2-0. The Hokies tend to play down to their opponents in recent years, so this won't be a cakewalk by any means. I do see the Hokies improving their record here though.
September 26, 2015 Virginia Tech vs. East Carolina
In a rematch from last year, the Hokies travel to Greenville to try and beat a Pirate team that embarrassed them in Blacksburg last year. The Hokies will be looking for revenge, and they should get it in Greenville. They beat the Pirates here in 2013, and this is a weaker East Carolina team than last year. The Hokies should return home with two victories on the road.
October 3, 2015 Pittsburgh vs. Virginia Tech
The Panthers come into town to try and make it two straight on the Hokies after a win in Pittsburgh last season. James Connor is one of the best players in the ACC right now, and the Hokies allowed two rushing touchdowns to him last year. I think it will be different this year. The offense was an enigma last year, but should come together with an off-season to practice. The Hokies win a close game in Blacksburg.
October 9, 2015 NC State vs. Virginia Tech
A Friday night game in Blacksburg will feature the Hokies only home game against an Atlantic conference foe. NC State is not a bead team, and will test the Hokies mightily. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett was pretty good last year and should test this secondary. This is a game the Hokies will lose on national television if they are not careful. They lost their two Thursday night games last year, but I think they eek out a victory in primetime.
October 17, 2015 Virginia Tech vs. Miami
The Hokie's hardest stretch of the season starts away to Miami. The Hurricanes are slowly rebuilding their program to what it once was a decade ago. They completely embarrassed the Hokies on national television last year in Blacksburg. Thankfully, Duke Johnson will leave for the draft, leaving Miami in need of some offensive firepower. This game will single-handily determine the Hokies season because if they leave Miami with a win, it will give them the momentum they need heading into Blacksburg.
October 24, 2015 Duke vs. Virginia Tech
The Blue Devils come to Blacksburg to try and avenge their loss last season. The Hokies came into Durham last year and beat the then ranked Blue Devils, thus ending their quest for consecutive ACC Coastal Championships. Senior quarterback Antony Boone graduated, so the Hokies will have to gameplan for whoever steps in Boone's place. This will be a scrappy game, but it is very winnable for the Hokies.
October 31, 2015 Virginia Tech vs. Boston College
The Hokies end their tough three game stretch in Boston to play the Eagles. These games have been historically close the past couple years, and will determine the heart of many players. Luckily it is not in the brunt of winter, so the Hokies won't have to play in the cold Boston weather. These two teams are very similar in the way they play football, with ground and pound offenses and blue collar defenses. This will be an exciting game to watch from the neutral point of view.
November 12, 2015 Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech
The Hokies and Yellow Jackets both have a bye week to prepare for the Hokies only Thursday night game of the season. This was the same fixture that the Hokies won back in 2013, but this team is light-years better. Justin Thomas has been an excellent read-option quarterback, and he gave the Hokies trouble last year not only on the ground, but through the air. Virginia Tech's defensive line needs to be healthy for this game especially because of the Yellow Jacket's effectiveness on the ground. This could be the determining game for the ACC Coastal should both teams be in the hunt.
November 21, 2015 North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech
The final game in Lane Stadium for 2015 will be an electric one. Marquise Williams showed the country he was the real deal last season, and will look to finish his college career of right with a win in Blacksburg. The secondary will have to shut down the outside receivers if the Hokies want to win this game, but guys like Kendall Fuller, Brandon Facyson, and Donovan Riley are one of the best cornerback packages in college football. Hopefully the Hokies pull off a win in Lane so that they have momentum going forward against their in state rival.
November 28, 2015 Virginia Tech vs. Virginia
The Hokies final regular season game will be in Charlottesville. The Hoos gave the Hokies a run for their money last year in Blacksburg, but were left with a bad taste in their mouth after the Hokies come from behind win knocked them out of bowl contention. This game will be chippy like normal, but the Hokies should come out dominant once again. The game also means a lot for the recruiting in the state of Virginia because the Hoos have encroached on the Hokies territory recently. It's the perfect way to end what looks to be a fun season.
I'm predicting that the Hokies will win at least 8 games. We hopefully won't be plagued by injuries like we were this past year, and the offense will gel with whoever is behind center. Anything below seven wins would be a disappointment. I'm setting the bar high because I believe that this is a talented team, and they will only get better in the off-season. 10-2 is not out of the question for the Hokies this year.