Arkansas and Virginia Tech are making their first-ever Belk Bowl appearances, and this is also the first-ever matchup against each other. The Razorbacks began the season 3-0, then lost every other game the rest of the way to finish at 7-5. That said, Arkansas played a loaded schedule, facing seven Top-25 teams. Virginia Tech will be Arkansas’ eighth ranked opponent, as the Hokies come in at No. 22. While the Razorbacks are making their third straight bowl appearance, this is 24 consecutive bids for the Hokies – the longest active streak recognized by the NCAA. Virginia Tech squared off against three teams ranked in the Top 25, going 9-4 overall.
Virginia Tech (9-4) vs. Arkansas (7-5)
Dec. 29, 2016
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
How to watch
Game time: 5:30 p.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN
Live stream: You can live stream the game here.
Players to watch
- Arkansas’ two leading ball carriers are both averaging 5.7 yards per carry this season, and both have sprung for 70-plus-yard touchdown runs. Rawleigh Williams III has received more than twice as many carries as Devwah Whaley, however, and he’s rung up a team-leading 12 touchdowns compared to three for the understudy.
- Jerod Evans has had a standout year for Virginia Tech at quarterback, and not only is he the team’s leading passer (3,309 yards, 63.5 completion percentage, 27:7 touchdown-to-interception ratio) but leading ground gainer as well (759 yards rushing, a team-leading 10 rushing touchdowns).
- The Hokies have outscored their foes by a combined 455-295 margin this season, while the Razorbacks have been outscored, 370-369.
- Virginia Tech is seeking its first 10-win season since 2011, which would make Justin Fuente the first head coach in school history to claim 10 wins in his debut campaign.
- Arkansas hasn’t faced an Atlantic Coast Conference foe since North Carolina in the 1995 CarQuest Bowl.
- The Hokies’ most recent game was the season’s biggest challenge – a 42-35 loss to No. 3 Clemson in the ACC Championship Game.
- Arkansas has lost five consecutive games when committing two or more turnovers.
- Virginia Tech wide receiver Isaiah Ford is the only ACC player to hold sole possession of his school’s career records for catches (204), receiving yards (2,911) and touchdown catches (24).
- The Razorbacks are 7-18 (.250) against ranked foes under head coach Bret Bielema and have never faced a ranked non-conference foe during his tenure.