ROANOKE, Va. – Head coach Justin Fuente has guided the Hokies to a 27th consecutive bowl appearance as Virginia Tech (8-4) will face Kentucky (7-5) in the Belk Bowl at 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Dec. 31 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. The contest will mark the first meeting between the two schools since 1987. This year’s game will be Tech’s second trek to the Belk Bowl under head coach Justin Fuente.
The Hokies completed the largest second-half comeback in school history in the 2016 Belk Bowl. Trailing 24-0 to Arkansas at halftime of that contest, Tech rattled off 35 unanswered points for a 35-24 victory over the Razorbacks. Tech’s current bowl streak of 27 consecutive seasons is the nation’s longest active streak and is the third-longest streak in college football history behind Nebraska’s 35-year streak (1969-2002) and Michigan’s 33-year stretch of consecutive bowls (1975-2006). Tech’s current bowl streak began with a 45-20 win over Indiana in the 1993 Independence Bowl under head coach Frank Beamer.
Kentucky owns an 11-6-2 advantage over Virginia Tech in the 19 previous meetings in a series that dates back to 1926. The Wildcats won a 14-7 decision in Lexington in Frank Beamer’s initial season as Tech’s head coach in 1987. The Hokies most recent win against Kentucky came by virtue of a 17-15 decision at Lane Stadium in 1986.
“I’m proud of the way our team battled and competed to earn another bowl berth for Virginia Tech,” Fuente said. “We enjoyed a fabulous experience during our trip to the Belk Bowl in 2016 and we can’t wait to go back. I know our fans will be excited about traveling to support our team in Charlotte.”
“It’s our privilege to represent Virginia Tech and the Atlantic Coast Conference in the Belk Bowl,” Director of Athletics Whit Babcock said. “The Belk Bowl owns a well-deserved reputation for providing a first-class experience for participating teams and their student-athletes. I know Coach Fuente and our team are excited about competing against Kentucky at Bank of America Stadium. I believe our fans will be enthused about traveling to Charlotte for a New Year’s Eve game to support the Hokies and ring in 2020.”
(Courtesy of Virginia Tech Athletics)