There will be no easing into the 2018 schedule for the Virginia Tech Hokies. On Labor Day evening, Justin Fuente’s team will ride into Tallahassee, Florida, to face off against Florida State.
But this is nothing new to Virginia Tech. Last year the Hokies played in a stand-alone game against West Virginiaon the Sunday before the holiday, in 2015 they went to Ohio State on Labor Day, and in '13 Tech opened with top-ranked Alabama.
There is added importance considering this will be a conference game. But there will be seven more ACC tilts after week one as well as a first-ever visit to Lane Stadium by one of the great brands in college football.
Here is what Virginia Tech will face in 2018.
Virginia Tech Hokies 2018 Schedule
Bye: Week 8
Week 1 – Sept. 3 at Florida State (Tallahassee, Fla.)
It was a rough 2017 for the Seminoles, starting with the season opener against Alabama in which they lost quarterback Deondre Francois for the season. He should be ready to go against Virginia Tech, assuming his recent citation for marijuana possession is not deemed a suspendable offense by new head coach Willie Taggart.
Week 2 – Sept. 8 vs. William & Mary (Blacksburg, Va.)
The Tribe were woeful last year, finishing 2-9 and 0-8 in the CAA. This is the perfect soft landing type of game for the Hokies coming off a short week.
Week 3 – Sept. 15 vs. East Carolina (Blacksburg, Va.)
Another game against a team that struggled in 2017. The Pirates are actually coming off consecutive 3-9 seasons in Scottie Montgomery’s first two years as head coach. Last year the Hokies beat ECU 64-17 and in 2016 they drilled East Carolina by the score of 54-17.
Week 4 – Sept. 22 at Old Dominion (Norfolk, Va.)
After qualifying for a bowl game and winning 10 games in 2016, the Monarchs took a step back last year, going just 5-7. At the heart of the issue was quarterback play, as freshman Steven Williams threw just six touchdowns against 11 interceptions.
Week 5 – Sept. 29 at Duke (Durham, N.C.)
Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones needs to be more consistent, but he is a talent that can make life difficult for opposing defenses by throwing and running. The Duke defense is led by All-ACC linebacker Joe Giles-Harris, who had 125 tackles last fall.
Week 6 – Oct. 6 vs. Notre Dame (Blacksburg, Va.)
It will be a tough ticket when the Fighting Irish come to Lane Stadium for the first time. Notre Dame should be solid on defense, but they need improvement at quarterback from Brandon Wimbush or Ian Book.
Week 7 – Oct. 13 at North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
The Tar Heels have enough talent to bounce back from their dreadful 3-9 2017. Similar to Old Dominion and Notre Dame, UNC needs a quarterback to step up, be it Chazz Surratt, Nathan Elliott or whoever takes snaps for Carolina.
Week 9 – Oct. 25 vs. Georgia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.)
Fuente has yet to beat the Jackets as coach of the Hokies, losing at home in 2016 and in Atlanta last fall. In 2017, Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall only completed two passes, but they both went for touchdowns, including the 80-yard game-winner to Ricky Jeune with 6:30 remaining.
Week 10 – Nov. 3 vs. Boston College (Blacksburg, Va.)
A week after dealing with the Georgia Tech option, the Hokies will have to stop a totally different type of running game. Bruising back A.J. Dillon ran for more than 1,500 yards during his freshman season on The Heights.
Week 11 – Nov. 10 at Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
The Panthers will call on Kenny Pickett to lead the charge after the freshman quarterback guided the team to an upset win over Miami to close out 2017. Pitt loses Jordan Whitehead and Avonte Maddox from a secondary that was weak against the pass in each of the past two seasons.
Week 12 – Nov. 17 vs. Miami (Blacksburg, Va.)
The big game in Miami last year did not go well for the Hokies. A rivalry may be brewing as the two programs look to be developing into the class of the Coastal Division.
Week 13 – Nov. 23 vs. Virginia (Blacksburg, Va.)
Everyone associated with this in-state feud knows that Virginia Tech has beaten the guys from Charlottesville 14 straight times. The Cavaliers lose a substantial amount from the team that lost a 10-0 slugfest at home to the Hokies last year.
— Written by Jon Kinne, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a college football fanatic. Kinne has been writing about recruiting for the Irish Sports Daily for 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @JonRKinne.