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Commonwealth Cup gets prime-time kickoff slot on ABC

Commonwealth Cup gets prime-time kickoff slot on ABC

MG VT UVa 112919

MATT GENTRY | The Roanoke Times

Virginia Tech’s Tré Turner (right) catches a pass from quarterback Hendon Hooker past the defense of Virginia cornerback Nick Grant.

Virginia’s 2020 season opener against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg has earned a prime-time television slot, the ACC announced Friday.

The Hokies will host the Cavaliers at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 in a game that will be televised nationally on ABC.

ACC officials announced previously that the game would receive either the 3:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. time slot. Miami and Louisville will play at 3:30 p.m., with the Commonwealth Cup earning the night kickoff time.

Brennan Armstrong will start his first game for the Cavaliers at quarterback in the rivalry contest. Hendon Hooker, who started against UVa last season, is expected to start the game for Virginia Tech.

The two teams played a back-and-forth contest last season, with Virginia winning 39-30 in Charlottesville. The victory, which was spearheaded by 475 yards of total offense from Bryce Perkins, marked UVa’s first win in the series since 2003.

Virginia last won in Blacksburg in 1998, when the Wahoos erased a 22-point halftime deficit to defeat the Hokies 36-32. Ahmad Hawkins scored the game-winning touchdown on a 47-yard reception with just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Bronco Mendenhall’s team won’t have to deal with a sold-out Lane Stadium this fall due to precautions related to COVID-19. Virginia guidelines only allow a maximum of 1,000 fans per contest.

Even without the same home-field advantage, the Hokies pose a stiff test. They have multiple quarterbacks with experience and several talented players on the defensive side of the football.

UVa will need its A-game to pick up a prime-time win in arguably the most intriguing game of the Sept. 19 weekend.

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