Last year, the Virginia Tech Hokies suffered a close loss on the road at the Penn State Nittany Lions in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. This ACC-Big 10 Challenge game provided the Hokies with a good early season test on a non-conference schedule that was quite weak outside of a game against Northern Iowa in Cancun.
The Hokies expect to make a lot of progress in Buzz Williams’s second season in Blacksburg largely due to some quality additions including transfers Seth Allen and Zach LeDay along with commits Chris Clarke, Kerry Blackshear, Justin Robinson, and Johnny Hamilton.
During the 2015-2016 season, the ACC-Big 10 Challenge will be a very good early-season test for the Hokies along with the chance for a former Hokie to make a quick return to Blacksburg.
The Virginia Tech Hokies will face the Northwestern Wildcats in the 2015 ACC-Big 10 Challenge at Cassell Coliseum on December 1st.
One of the biggest storylines surrounding this matchup is that Joey van Zegeren will be making his return to Cassell Coliseum. Van Zegeren had an up-and-down career in Blacksburg with not a great ending after being suspended indefinitely before deciding to transfer for his final season.
It will be interesting to see what the fan reaction will be for van Zegeren along with how the Dutch big man will play in his return to Blacksburg. Van Zegeren’s motivation is likely to be an x-factor in this game that could make this matchup more challenging for the Hokies.
This matchup also pits two rising programs against each other with Buzz Williams and Chris Collins still in the midst of rebuilds at their respective schools. However, Collins has been at Northwestern for an extra year, and will be looking to see his Wildcats finish above .500 next season. Williams will also set the expectations high for the Hokies with this game being a great opportunity to get a quality early-season victory.
Many fans will be happy to see the Hokies hosting at least one quality opponent after a weak home non-conference schedule last season. It also seems likely that the Hokies will face West Virginia in Blacksburg next fall, but at least the Hokies have this guarantee of a quality home game during the non-conference season.
The ACC-Big 10 Challenge will be back in Blacksburg in 2015, providing Virginia Tech fans with a quality home game against Northwestern that also involves the return of a former Hokie, Joey van Zegeren.