With an announcement timed to promote the launch of the ACC Network in the fall, the league announced the schedule for the first three weeks of football games on the network. Wednesday marked the 100-day countdown to the network’s launch.
Virginia will play all three of its early season games on the ACC Network. The season opener at Pittsburgh on Saturday, Aug. 31 is set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. The home opener against William & Mary is slated for 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6 and the ACC home opener against Florida State is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14.
That means UVA fans now know the start times for all but one game through the team’s first bye weekend on Oct. 5. The Notre Dame road game on Saturday, Sept. 28 already had been announced as a 3:30 p.m. game on NBC. The conference’s television partners will make selections for the season’s remaining games on 12-day advance notice beginning with the ODU game on Saturday, Sept. 21 (Monday, Sept. 9); the ACC’s TV partners can use a 6-day option on a limited basis during the season.
With three evening kickoffs now known, it pushes the schedule into unique territory for recent seasons. Since the 2008 season, UVA has featured more than two evening kickoffs on its schedule just four times (2010, 2011, 2014, and 2018). This sets up the potential for three or more home games with evening kickoffs that would resemble the 2010 (Richmond, North Carolina, Eastern Michigan) and 2018 (Richmond/Miami/Pitt) schedules.
The last time Virginia’s first two home games were evening kickoffs? You have to go back a while for that. The Cavaliers’ first two home games for 2002 season came against Colorado State (7:30 p.m./Thursday, Aug. 22) and South Carolina (7:45 p.m./Saturday, Sept. 7).
In other words, there’s a lot more tailgate time for fans to start the season.