At this point, all Virginia Tech needs to do is look ahead. The 2018 season was not what the Hokies had hoped for and a chaotic offseason — one with constant references to the transfer portal and the injured list — culminated in a spring game that was delayed by a couple of weeks.
But all of that is now in the rearview mirror. With just about everyone returning on defense and seven back on offense, the Hokies are well fortified to make a run at the Coastal crown this fall. On top of everything, the 2019 schedule is very friendly.
Here’s a look at what Virginia Tech has coming up this season.
Virginia Tech Hokies 2019 Schedule
Byes: Week 4, Week 9
Week 1 — Aug. 31 at Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Mass.)
Boston College beat Virginia Tech at Lane Stadium last year in early November... then didn’t win again the rest of the year. The Eagles need more efficiency from quarterback Anthony Brown and new playmakers to emerge on defense. But the good news is that star running back AJ Dillon is back.
Week 2 — Sept. 7 vs. Old Dominion (Blacksburg, Va.)
The Hokies will have payback on their minds when the Monarchs come to town in week two. In one of the bigger upsets of the year, an ODU team that finished 4-8 knocked off the then-undefeated (2-0) Hokies, marking the start of a 2-6 stretch for Tech.
Week 3 — Sept. 14 vs. Furman (Blacksburg, Va.)
In 2015, the Paladins started a run of four games against ACC foes in five years with a trip to Tech. That game ended in a 41-3 Hokie blowout and though Furman brings back leading rusher Devin Wynn from last year’s 6-4 squad, this one won’t be close either.
Week 5 — Sept. 27 vs. Duke (Blacksburg, Va.)
When David Cutcliffe’s team comes in, a new quarterback will be leading the Blue Devils. But the Hokies got a little look at Quentin Harris last year, as the then-junior came in for Daniel Jones late in Tech’s 31-14 win.
Week 6 — Oct. 5 at Miami (Miami Gardens, Fla.)
After four weeks at home — three games and a week off — the Hokies head down to south Florida to battle the Hurricanes in what could be the most important game of the year in the Coastal Division. New Miami head coach Manny Diaz brings back all of his talented linebackers and hopes that either N’Kosi Perry or Tate Martell can solve Miami's quarterback problems.
Week 7 — Oct. 12 vs. Rhode Island (Blacksburg, Va.)
The Rams are the second FCS team on the 2019 schedule. After years of dreadful results, URI notched their first winning season since 2001 last fall.
Week 8 — Oct. 19 vs. North Carolina (Blacksburg, Va.)
During Mack Brown’s first go-round at North Carolina, Virginia Tech was a member of the Big East. So while this is Brown’s fourth battle with the Hokies, it will be his first time coaching a game at Lane Stadium. He has faced Tech twice in bowl games and once played host while at Tulane.
Week 10 — Nov. 2 at Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Ind.)
This will be Virginia Tech’s second trip to Notre Dame Stadium in four years and the second year in a row the Hokies have faced the Irish. Last year, playoff-bound Notre Dame poured it on the Hokies in the second half and cruised to a 22-point win in Lane Stadium.
Week 11 — Nov. 9 vs. Wake Forest (Blacksburg, Va.)
In 2019, the Demon Deacons will be looking for their fourth straight bowl appearance for the first time in school history. Head coach Dave Clawson should have nice balance offensively with Sam Hartman throwing and Cade Carney running.
Week 12 — Nov. 16 at Georgia Tech (Atlanta)
Hokies defensive coordinator Bud Foster will no longer have to worry about the Georgia Tech option attack. Considering that new Yellow Jackets head coach Geoff Collins is inheriting players recruited for Paul Johnson’s system, it may take some time for the Ramblin' Wreck's new-look offense to click.
Week 13 — Nov. 23 vs. Pittsburgh (Blacksburg, Va.)
Despite finishing the season at 7-7, the Pittsburgh Panthers were the Coastal champs in 2018. They will defend their title without 1,000-yard backs Qadree Ollison and Darrin Hall as well as top pass catcher Rafael Araujo-Lopes and leading tackler Oluwaseun Idowu.
Week 14 — Nov. 30 at Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.)
Bronco Mendenhall has the Cavaliers trending in the right direction and in some ways, this could be the most difficult game on Tech’s ACC schedule. Bryce Perkins performed well in his first year as the Virginia quarterback and the defense brings back a nice core. But we all know the story: UVA hasn’t beaten Virginia Tech since 2003.
— Written by Jon Kinne, who has been part of the Athlon Contributor Network for three years, covering the ACC and Notre Dame. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.