Georgia Tech – Mon., Sep 3, 2012
This is a very interesting game to kick the season off with, considering the winner has gone on to represent the Coastal Division every year since the ACC divided. The Yellow Jackets bring the spread-option offense and it will be a test for Bud Foster’s defense right out of the gates. In addition, Georgia Tech is returning several starters on offense, including quarterback Tevin Washington. The Hokies need to reverse its trend of slow starts over the past few seasons, as a loss to the Yellow Jackets would not only start them off 0-1, but put them in a hole in the division as well.
Austin Peay – Sat., Sep 8, 2012
This game should be a blow out in the Hokies favor, but with the JMU incident not too far in the past, the situation is all too familiar: Tech will be facing an opponent from the Football Championship Subdivision with minimal rest after a big game. This is the first time these teams have met, and if Austin Peay’s resume against Bowl Championship Subdivision opponents is any indicator, the Hokies should be in for a good day, as the Governors took a 72-10 beating by Cincinnati last year. However, with that JMU loss in mind, the Hokies won’t be overlooking the Governors by any means.
At Pittsburgh – Sat., Sep 15, 2012
Tech faces a challenge in Pittsburgh as the Panthers have won three straight against the Hokies. The last meeting between these two teams was in 2003 when Pitt handed Tech a 31-28 loss at Heinz field, where the Hokies are 0-2. The Panthers will also have some improved firepower on offense as they return their top passer (Tino Sunseri), top rusher (All-Big East tailback Ray Graham), and top receiver (Devin Street). However, Pittsburgh once again has a new head coach in Paul Chryst. As their coaching carousel continues, it may spell trouble for the Panthers who will be across the field from a much more established coaching staff.
Bowling Green – Sat, Sep 22, 2012
The last time these two teams met was in 1993 when the Hokies bested the Falcons 33-16. Bowling Green’s defense will have improved from last year’s, which allowed 40 or more points in three games, as it returns several key players such as linebacker Dwayne Woods, who led the team in tackles. The Hokies lead the series with BG, 2-0, with both games hosted in Blacksburg. The Tech defense should cause problems for quarterback Matt Schilz and a BG offense that lost its leading receiver, Kamar Jorden, to graduation.
Vs. Cincinnati – Sat, Sep 29, 2012
When this game was scheduled and moved onto a bigger stage, the matchup at FedEx Field certainly looked a lot flashier. The two had recently met in the 2008 Orange Bowl and looked to be slugfest. But since then, Cincinnati lost its blossoming coach in Chip Kelly to Notre Dame and the program has been mediocre since
Cincinnati has lost a lot of talent to graduation including their quarterback, Zach Collaros, running back, Isaiah Pead, and leading tackler J.K. Schaeffer. With so many holes to fill, Cincinnati will find it difficult to move the ball against a veteran Hokie defense.
At North Carolina – Sat, Oct 6, 2012
North Carolina is another team with a new head coach, Larry Fedora, who recently led Southern Miss to a program-best 12-2 season. The Tar Heels return some talent in starting quarterback Bryn Renner and tailback Giovani Bernard as well as linebacker Kevin Reddick. However, the Tar Heels also lose some key players on defense to graduation and the NFL draft. North Carolina is never a throw-away game on the schedule as they tend to play the Hokies close year in and year out, with their talent-heavy defense always making things tough. Tech leads the series 18-10-6 and has won two straight with its last win coming in Blacksburg last year, 24-21.
Duke – Sat, Oct 13, 2012
Duke is another team that annually plays the Hokies too close for comfort, as Tech escaped with a 14-10 victory last year in Durham. The Blue Devils return many starters on offense this year, including quarterback Sean Renfree, top receiver Conner Vernon, and leading rusher Juwan Thompson. Duke will be upset minded when it comes to town, but will be entering a stadium it is 0-6 in all time. Tech also leads the series 12-7, with 11 straight wins going back to 1982.