The Hokies and Wolverines will play each other in 2020 and 2021, the schools announced Thursday. The first game will be in Ann Arbor’s Michigan Stadium on Sept. 19, 2020. The second will be at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg on Sept. 11, 2021.
“I am pleased that [Michigan athletic director] Dave Brandon and I have been able to work out this agreement,” Tech athletic director Jim Weaver said. “Michigan is the winningest college football program in the country, and it will be exciting to have the Wolverines come to Lane Stadium.”
Virginia Tech and Michigan have only met once before, but it was a thriller. The Wolverines edged the Hokies 23-20 in overtime, a finish most Tech fans still lament for the overturned touchdown catch by Danny Coale.
The Hokies have a Michigan connection on the staff right now. New offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler was a quarterback for the Wolverines in the mid-90′s, getting his coaching start there as a GA and returning later as the quarterbacks coach from 2002-07. Tech coach Frank Beamer consulted with former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr before hiring Loeffler in January.
Tech is currently 1-1 all-time against teams that were in the Big Ten at the time of the meeting, with both meetings coming in bowl games. Prior to their Sugar Bowl loss to Michigan in 2012, the Hokies beat Indiana 45-20 in the 1993 Independence Bowl.
It continues a trend of Big Ten non-conference scheduling for the Hokies, who have upcoming home-and-home series with Ohio State (2014-15) and Wisconsin (2016-17).
Tech’s other marquee non-conference game coming up is a trip to Notre Dame in 2016. A second game against the Fighting Irish should take place in Blacksburg from 2017-19 when the second cycle of the ACC’s scheduling agreement with Notre Dame begins.
It fits with Weaver’s scheduling philosophy of having at least one BCS-level opponent each season. The only seasons the Hokies lack that type of opponent are in 2018 and ’19, although those spots are sure to be filled in time.
Michigan had been on Weaver’s radar for a while. He said in the fall that he had discussed a possible home-and-home series with a Big Ten school, mentioning the Wolverines as a possibility on the Tech Talk Live radio show. But that an agreement had to be put on hold as conference realignment re-emerged.
He hinted at a Big Ten matchup last month when the Notre Dame game was announced but wouldn’t divulge the opponent until the contracts were signed.
At the time, Weaver said he has had conversations with a number of Big Ten schools, although he didn’t say which ones. Virginia Tech reportedly has had interest in scheduling Penn State. Weaver is a Penn State graduate, playing and later coaching there for Joe Paterno.
Here is an updated look at Virginia Tech’s future non-conference schedules:
- 2014: vs. William & Mary, vs. East Carolina, at Ohio State, vs. Western Michigan
- 2015: vs. Furman, at East Carolina, vs. Ohio State
- 2016: vs. Liberty, vs. Wisconsin, vs. East Carolina, at Notre Dame
- 2017: vs. Delaware, at Wisconsin, at East Carolina, vs. Old Dominion
- 2018: vs. William & Mary, at Old Dominion, vs. East Carolina
- 2019: vs. Charlotte, vs. Old Dominion, at East Carolina
- 2020: vs. Liberty, vs. East Carolina, at Michigan
- 2021: vs. Richmond, vs. Michigan