‘Canes and Heels to offer toughest challenges for Hokies in 2021

Recent matchups with UNC and Miami have come down to the wire

Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente addresses the media at the 2021 ACC Kickoff in Charlotte, North Carolina (WSLS)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Some of the toughest tests for the Hokies have come against North Carolina and Miami the past few seasons. They’re two teams that offer lots of speed and big playmakers that don’t shy away from the spotlight.

“Miami is … every game is big-time games on Saturday’s and as a kid, you dream about playing the big games,” said Miami quarterback D’Eriq King. “Playing the Clemson’s, the Alabama’s, Virginia Tech and all the big-time teams.”

Houston transfer D’Eriq King was the eye of the storm for the Hurricanes a season ago, has passed for over 2500 yards and was the team’s leading rusher with over 700 yards.

As for the Tar Heels, it’s been all about speed and versatility starting with signal-caller Sam Howell. But the defense — which allowed nearly 30 points per game — is working to improve and bring the noise starting in the opener at Virginia Tech.

“The ACC has a lot of offensive firepower so we know as a defense we have to bring it every single week,” said Tar Heels linebacker Tomon Fox. “There’s no week we take any team lightly because of the weapons each team has.”

Speaking on the season opener in Blacksburg, North Carolina head coach Mack Brown said, “Virginia Tech, it’s an unbelievable place to play. It’s a fun place to play. They’ve got a really good football team. So it will be a great challenge. It will be a fun way to start the season.”

“It’s usually hotly contested, usually pretty well-played football game that brings out the competitive juices in us all,” said Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente.

This will be the 4th consecutive year Virginia Tech will open with an ACC opponent. The September 3 kickoff with UNC will be in front of a packed Lane Stadium in Blacksburg.

About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.