Virginia releases 2013 schedule, announces Boise St. deal

Cavaliers will host Broncos in 2015 before venturing to Boise in 2017


Another juggernaut is coming to Charlottesville. First, however, the Virginia football team will have to contend with an arduous 2013 schedule.

Just more than a month after revealing a home-and-home agreement with Pac-12 powerhouse Oregon, the Virginia athletics department announced Monday morning that it has scheduled two contests with Boise State beginning in 2015. Hours later, the Atlantic Coast Conference released the Cavaliers’ finalized football schedule for next fall.

The first game between Virginia and Boise State will occur Sept. 26, 2015 in Scott Stadium before Virginia travels to Boise Sept. 23, 2017.

“We’re excited to announce this series with a program that has been exceptional over the last decade,” said Jon Oliver, Virginia executive associate athletics director, in a statement. “They’ve done it with great coaching, solid recruiting and a fearless approach to competition. We are trying to do the same thing, and this will be an incredible challenge for us as we continue to build our program.”

Only a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision — formerly known as Division I-A — since 1996, Boise State has rapidly evolved into one of the country’s premier programs. Since the start of the 2002 season, the Broncos have compiled a 129-15 record for a nation-leading .896 winning percentage, with current coach Chris Petersen going 89-8 since taking the helm in 2006. Boise State has claimed seven bowl victories during that span, most famously vanquishing Oklahoma 43-42 in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, widely regarded as one of the greatest football games ever. The Broncos currently compete in the Mountain West conference and will remain there indefinitely after initially agreeing to join the Big East conference starting next season but later backing out of that arrangement.

Meanwhile, Virginia fans finally learned the order in which the Cavaliers must navigate a 2013 schedule highlighted by a program-record eight home games. The season’s most diabolical challenges may arrive in the first two weeks, when Virginia hosts Brigham Young and Oregon Aug. 31 and Sept. 7, respectively. As one of four independent programs in the country, BYU finished 8-5 in 2012 and has reached a bowl game each of the last 8 years. And yet the Cougars’ recent success pales in comparison to that of Oregon. The Ducks have reached BCS bowl games in each of the last four seasons and narrowly surrendered the 2011 BCS National Championship Game to Auburn.

After a bye, the Cavaliers will welcome Virginia Military Institute to Scott Stadium Sept. 21 before their first ever ACC matchup at conference newcomer Pittsburgh Sept. 28. Virginia closes its non-conference schedule the next week at home against Ball State.

A road clash against rival Maryland Oct. 12 will mark the final time the Cavaliers and Terrapins play as conference foes. Maryland will depart for the Big Ten for the 2014 season.

Home games against Duke, Georgia Tech and Clemson follow thereafter. Under coach Dabo Swinney, the Tigers have registered the best combined record in the ACC the past two seasons at 21-6.

Daunting trips to North Carolina Nov. 9 and Miami Nov. 23 lie on either side of the Cavaliers’ second bye week Nov. 16. The Cavaliers have not lost to Miami in head coach Mike London’s three years with the program.

Lastly, Virginia will vie for its first Commonwealth Cup since 2003 when Virginia Tech invades Scott Stadium Nov. 30.

Overall, the schedule features 10 teams who reached bowl eligibility in 2012, with Oregon finishing No. 2 and Clemson No. 11 in the season’s final AP poll. London said he relished the opportunity to steer his team through such a dangerous slate of foes.

“This is a very challenging schedule, but it is the type of schedule I want us to play each and every year,” London said. “We will have to be our best in every practice and every game.”

London hopes playing at Scott Stadium more times next season than they ever have before will thrust the Cavaliers into ACC contention.

“With eight home games, our fans can really make a difference,” London said. “We can’t do it without them.”

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