After a nail biter against Georgia Tech, and slow malaise of a game against Austin Peay, it's time for the Hokies to hit the road. Virginia Tech has the longest road game winning streak in the nation (13 consecutive true road wins), and hopefully the Hokie faithful will travel to watch them extend it.
Virginia Tech has a reputation of having of a great traveling fan base. Traveling well elevates the standing of the program, especially with bowl game officials, and the first three road games of the season are very convenient destinations.
|Opponent||Series Record||Last Game||Distance from Blacksburg||Distance from DC Area||Cheapest ticket on Stubhub|
|Pittsburgh||7-4||Pitt win, 28-31||6 hrs||4.5 hrs||$22|
|Cincinatti||5-4||VT win, 20-7||5 hrs||-||$30|
|North Carolina||18-10-6||VT win, 24-21||3.5 hrs||5 hrs||$64|
Pitt is an old foe from the Big East that definitely has the ire of many alums. VT leads the series 7-4, but Pitt's won the last three. The last meeting happened my freshman year in 2003 and was especially hurtful—that loss that sent Tech ranked fifth nationally into a tragic, soul-crushing spiral. Hopefully Tech comes out fired up to avenge the last team to win less than 10 games.
I think there's a great chance for VT alums to show up in force at Pitt. Since Georgia Tech was on a work/school night, and the first Saturday game was a snoozer against Austin Peay, this would be a great opportunity for NOVA alums to see the team in person for the first time this season. The game is approximately a 4.5 hour drive from the DC area, and a 5.5 hour drive from Blacksburg. Pitt has a hard time filling Heinz field. There are over 1,000 tickets available on Stubhub, as low as $22. This is a measuring stick game for Tech, the expectation is a convincing win.
Pitt has had extra time to prepare, and after two embarrassing losses they are extremely hungry for their first win. VT is currently a 10.5 point favorite, and hopefully the offense can get going against a Pitt defense that has been pedestrian at best. The Hokies should shake off last week's slow start, and deliver a performance similar to what Cincinnati did to Pitt last Thursday.
On the surface, Cincinnati doesn't provide the most exciting match-up. However, there is history both with the opponent, and venue. Memories of playing Cincinnati should bring up good feelings of the 2009 Orange Bowl, VT's only BCS win. Playing at FedEx Field hasn't been as pleasant; the Hokies have never won there (losses to USC and Boise State). A win in the house Dan Snyder built would be great for all the local alumni.
For all intents and purposes, this should be a home game for Tech. Hokie fans provided a sell out crowd of 91,665 in 2004 against USC, and 86,587 against Boise State in 2010. For those in Northern Virginia, I highly recommend traveling via a party bus to FedEx to avoid traffic. As an alum living in NOVA, it would be great to have a yearly match-up in the area, and packed stands would certainly help.
Cincinnati is coming off a good 10-3 season in 2011, and the Bearcats started 2012 by beating Pitt by 24. They have an extra week to prepare for VT, and it will be just their third game of the season. VT will be playing its fifth game.
NCAA violations have stirred up some well deserved anger for UNC. On the field, VT is 7-1 against the Heels in the last decade. However, the lone loss on a Thursday night in Lane Stadium was painful. It will be a whiteout in Chapell Hill. UNC fans will wear special commemorative white shirts, and the team will unveil new white helmets. A promiscuous bride shouldn't wear white, and neither should UNC after they whored out their academic integrity. It's the duty of VT fans to have Kenan Memorial highlighted in maroon.
UNC is the closest road trip from Blacksburg, so it's a great opportunity for Virginia Tech students to see a game away from Lane. There are over 1,000 tickets on Stubhub, as well as the UNC ticket site. This is a manageable trip for Richmond and 757 Hokies too. It's a shorter drive to Chapel Hill than Blacksburg.
North Carolina is talented, and even after they lost against Wake Forest they shouldn't be taken lightly. UNC has 8 starters returning on offense and features a new spread offense which has given Foster's defense problems in the past. They're a Coastal Division opponent, so it's a big game. UNC has a big road trip at Louisville this weekend which will give an indication of their potential.
Half Way Mark
By the time the leaves start turning orange and maroon, the season will be halfway through and we should know what this team is capable of. Hopefully the Hokies hold onto the distinction of having the longest road game winning streak in the nation when they travel to Clemson.