For fans who weren’t excited about having to wait seven years for the next installment of the Virginia Tech-West Virginia football rivalry, you won’t have to remain patient quite that long anymore.
Both schools and FedEx Field in Landover, Md., announced Tuesday that Tech and West Virginia will meet Sept. 2, 2017, at FedEx Field to open the ’17 season. It will be the 52nd meeting of the schools, and the first since 2005. Tech, which was No. 3 in the nation when it played at West Virginia on Oct. 1, 2005, defeated the Mountaineers 34-17 in that last meeting.
“It is an exciting matchup for both schools’ fans to look forward to,” Hokies athletic director Whit Babcock said in a statement released by Tech’s athletic department. “I appreciate the work of (Tech) coach (Frank) Beamer and associate AD John Ballein in arranging this extremely strong non-conference matchup. Not only will the game renew a passionate rivalry, it will also be played at a site that is centered in a major alumni base for both schools.”
Adding the game for the ’17 season took some schedule maneuvering on the Hokies’ part. Tech moved its game against Delaware from Sept. 2, 2017, to Sept. 9 that season to accommodate the addition of the West Virginia game.
Last year, Tech and West Virginia announced a two-game series beginning Sept. 18, 2021, in Morgantown, W.Va. The schools will also play Sept. 24, 2022, in Blacksburg. Tech has won six of the last eight meetings, including two in a row.
West Virginia holds a 28-22-1 advantage in the rivalry, which began in 1912. In neutral-site games, West Virginia has won five of six meetings.
The ’17 season-opener will be the first neutral-site meeting of the teams since 1962, when West Virginia defeated Tech 14-0 in Richmond. It’ll be Tech’s fourth game in FedEx Field, where the Hokies have gone 0-3 (losing 24-13 to No. 1 Southern California in the 2004 season-opener, 33-30 to No. 3 Boise State in the 2010 season-opener and 27-24 to Cincinnati on Sept. 29, 2012).
West Virginia has played once in FedEx Field, winning 42-12 on Sept. 15, 2012 against James Madison. West Virginia is also slated to play Sept. 24, 2016, against Brigham Young in FedEx Field.
“West Virginia University had a great experience at FedEx Field in 2012, and we are looking forward to playing there again against Virginia Tech,” West Virginia AD Oliver Luck said in the statement released by Tech. “Not only do our players enjoy playing in NFL stadiums, West Virginia has a lot of alumni living in the Washington, D.C. metro area, and playing at a great venue like FedEx Field gives our fans a road game that is in close proximity. West Virginia and Virginia Tech have had a great historical rivalry over the years, and it’s great that the two schools can renew the series, starting in Washington, D.C., in 2017, and then two games in 2021 and 2022.”
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