National CFB writer: Virginia Tech football could 'make or break' Rutgers 2024 season

Virginia Tech's non-conference home game against Rutgers in September is a game that is ranked as one of the Top 10 toughest Big Ten conference road games for their top teams.
Rutgers v Penn State
Rutgers v Penn State / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

For the second consecutive season, the Virginia Tech football team will begin their season with their four non-conference games before beginning ACC play. This season, the Hokies will open at SEC foe Vanderbilt Labor Day Weekend, before hosting Marshall and traveling to Old Dominion.

Those are winnable games, but if there's one thing we know about college sports, there is no sure thing when it comes to results on the field. The Hokies final non-conference game will be played at Lane Stadium on Sept. 21 when Rutgers comes to town and this has the early makings of a rather big test for both schools and could hold some big ramifications come early December.

Rutgers at Virginia Tech could be a make-or-break game for Rutgers & both schools in September

Rutgers, which beat Virginia Tech, 35-16, last September at home, is entering the first year of the new Big Ten with it expanding to 18 schools. The Scarlet Knights have a schedule that sets them up well to contend within the conference and be a dark horse with some college football writers in terms of being a playoff team. Carter Bahns of 247Sports thinks that the matchup this season between Rutgers and Virginia Tech is one of the Big Ten's top non-conference matchups.

"Rutgers boasts one of the most favorable schedule draws in the Power Four as it misses each of the projected top four teams in the Big Ten. That could lead Greg Schiano to the best year of his second tenure with the program. Among the few potential slip-ups on the slate, though, comes in non-conference play with a trip to Blacksburg, where the Scarlet Knights meet a Virginia Tech team on the rise. Rutgers enjoys an early-season bye week leading up to the matchup, so it will have ample time to prepare for Kyron Drones and the Hokies."

Carter Bahns, 247Sports

Yes, this is a big game for Rutgers, but it's just as big for Virginia Tech as it is six days before they kick off conference play at Miami before a flight to California to play at first-year ACC member Stanford. There will be a lot on the line in this game for the Hokies as it's a chance to get some revenge for last season's loss, the first start as a Hokie for Kyron Drones, and add what could be very well a signature win on their resume come early December.

One advantage that Rutgers has going into the contest, is they are coming off of a bye and will have an extra week to focus and prepare for a Virginia Tech offense that brings back nearly their entire production and a defense that got some retainment along with key transfers along the defensive line. This is an early-season game to look forward to.