CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Arkansas and Virginia Tech will meet for the first time in the Dec. 29 Belk Bowl.
The Razorbacks (7-5, 3-5 SEC) and Hokies (9-4, 6-2 ACC) each enter the Belk Bowl having lost their most recent games. Arkansas suffered an embarrassing 28-24 loss at Missouri — a team that finished 4-8 — in the regular-season finale, while Virginia Tech lost 42-35 to Clemson in the ACC championship game.
The Hokies wrap up their first season under coach Justin Fuente, who replaced the legendary Frank Beamer. Arkansas is finishing up the fourth season of the Bret Bielema era.
Arkansas vs. Virginia Tech: Belk Bowl game time, details
- Time: 5:30 p.m. ET kickoff
- Date: Thursday, Dec. 29
- Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
- Weather: Sunny, high of 60 degrees
- The line: Virginia Tech is a 7-point favorite
What TV channel is the Belk Bowl between Arkansas and Virginia Tech on?
It will be televised nationally on ESPN.
How can I watch the Belk Bowl between Arkansas and Virginia Tech online?
It can be watched online via WatchESPN.
How can I listen to the Belk Bowl between Arkansas and Virginia Tech on the radio?
Who is calling the Belk Bowl for ESPN?
Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham, Jerry Punch
Arkansas vs. Virginia Tech keys to the Belk Bowl
1. Quarterback play
Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen displayed incredible toughness this season and proved clutch at times, but he isn’t immune to mistakes. He threw at least 1 interception in six of the Hogs’ last seven games. If Allen avoids mistakes and is efficient, Arkansas has a great chance at pulling the upset. Virginia Tech dual-threat signal caller Jerod Evans is the exact kind of quarterback Arkansas’ defense struggled with this season.
2. RWIII and Devwah Whaley
Arkansas running backs Rawleigh Williams III and Devwah Whaley became quite the tandem, and everyone knows that Bielema’s offenses operate best with at least two backs capable of carrying the load. In fact, the Hogs’ offensive production fell apart in the Missouri loss after Whaley left with a bruised knee. Whaley, a freshman, will play against Virginia Tech. Also, look out for sixth-year senior Kody Walker, who is expected to return to action. He could resume his role as a goal-line and short-yardage threat.
3. A 3-4 revolution?
Arkansas is expected to experiment in this game with 3-4 defensive sets, giving everyone a preview of what next year’s defense will look like. It will be interesting to see how that system works against Evans and the Hokies. The Hogs are also getting linebacker Dre Greenlaw back from a broken foot.