MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The WVU-Virginia Tech football series, a casualty of conference realignment in 2005, will be renewed with a home-and-home series in 2021-2022.
West Virginia athletics director Oliver Luck called the rivalry “great for college football” during Wednesday’s announcement. And though the first game in Morgantown is still eight years and two months away, Luck said “both schools will be counting down the days until the Hokies and the Mountaineers meet again.”
Virginia Tech left the Big East for the ACC after the 2003 season, forcing the last two games against WVU in 2004 and 2005 to be played as nonconference matchups. The renewal, though only a two-game commitment at this juncture, gives WVU the kind of regional nonleague opponent fans seek as a counter to the spate of faraway Big 12 games. It also can only help WVU maintain a recruiting foothold in talent-rich Virginia.
Though episodes of fan behavior turned nasty as the series concluded, both programs wanted a restart.
RENEWAL: WVU hosts Virginia Tech in 2021 and visits Blacksburg in 2022. HISTORY: WVU leads 28-22-1 overall, including 16-9 record at home, 5-1 in neutral-site games and 7-12-1 in Blacksburg.
“During my three years as athletic director at West Virginia University, I have heard from legions of Mountaineer fans, particularly those in the southern part of the state, who have expressed their strong sentiments to renew the football rivalry with Virginia Tech,” Luck said.
The 2021 game is scheduled for Milan Puskar Stadium on Sept. 18, with the 2022 return game in Blacksburg on Sept. 24.
West Virginia leads the series 28-22-1. The teams met every season from 1973 to 2005, with Virginia Tech winning the finale 34-17 in Morgantown.
“It’s two great universities that have had some great competition,” Hokies coach Frank Beamer told the Beckley Register Herald. “We’ve always had great respect for them, and I think they feel the same way about us. Where we’re located, it’s the right thing to do. We’ll take fans to Morgantown, and they’ll bring fans to Blacksburg.”
WVU’s nonconference schedule, rather paltry in 2012 and 2013, will include neutral-site games against Alabama (2014) and Brigham Young (2016). The Mountaineers are scheduled to begin a four-game series against East Carolina in 2015, but the annual game against Maryland hasn’t been renewed past 2017. The Terps’ shift to the Big Ten could put that series in doubt.