All the long-expected opponents popped up on Maryland's 2009 football schedule when it was released Thursday.
One thing missing: a Thursday night game.
The Terrapins will play an all-Saturday slate for the first time since 1998, while Virginia Tech will have back-to-back Thursday dates for the third straight season.
The absence of a Thursday game might not be the worst thing for Maryland. The Terps are 1-7 on Thursdays since the start of the 2003 season and have dropped five in a row - including a 23-13 loss at Virginia Tech in November.
Maryland opens at California on Sept. 5. Virginia hosts William & Mary that day, while Virginia Tech meets Alabama at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
The Terps' nonconference schedule also includes home dates with James Madison, Middle Tennessee and Rutgers. Like two of the past three seasons, Maryland completes nonconference play before beginning its ACC schedule Oct. 3 against Clemson.
Because of how the calendar falls, there is only one bye week this season. Virginia is off Sept. 26; Maryland is idle Oct. 31. Virginia Tech doesn't play Oct. 24 heading into the first of back-to-back Thursday night games. The Hokies host North Carolina (Oct. 29) and visit East Carolina (Nov. 5) on Thursdays.
The Hokies are the only ACC team not to play a member of the Football Championship Subdivision. Duke, North Carolina and N.C. State all play two lower-division teams.
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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