Virginia Tech has a replacement for East Carolina in the 2019 football schedule. The Hokies will host FCS program Rhode Island on Oct. 12, the athletic department announced on Monday afternoon.
The administration announced last month that the Hokies would add a new opponent to their schedule to replace the game at East Carolina in 2019 while all future road games against East Carolina would be canceled as well.
The game against Rhode Island will be the second meeting between the two programs. Virginia Tech won the first game by a score of 34-7 on Oct. 11, 1980 in Blacksburg.
Rhode Island, a member of the FCS Colonial Athletic Association, finished the 2018 season with a record of 6-5. They played FBS opponent Connecticut, losing to the Huskies 56-49. The Rams picked up wins over big FCS programs Delaware and William and Mary during the season.
With the addition of the Rams to the 2019 schedule, Tech will have seven home games for the second-straight season, although this year’s schedule will not be as enticing to fans as the 2018 schedule.
Tech’s nonconference home schedule will consist of Furman, Old Dominion and Rhode Island, two of which are FCS programs. The ACC home games will be against Duke, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest.
In the schedule graphic that Virginia Tech released with the announcement of the Rhode Island game, the matchup against Furman was scheduled for Sept. 14th while an ACC logo was in the place of the Week 1 opponent.
The Athletic's Andy Bitter confirmed with a Virginia Tech spokesman that the Furman game has been moved, which frees up Week 1 for a potential season-opening ACC matchup. This would be a good move for Virginia Tech and the ACC, as the new ACC Network will launch this August.
The first conference football game scheduled to be on the ACC Network is Clemson vs. Georgia Tech on Aug. 29, but a matchup featuring Virginia Tech and another ACC opponent could follow on the 31st.
As Bitter also notes, the 2021 game against Richmond has been moved to a later date in the season, allowing a conference game to be played in Week 1 of that season.