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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA –The Atlantic Coast Conference released the 2012 football schedules for the league’s 12 schools today. Virginia’s slate features 12 regular-season games, including seven home contests and a Thursday night appearance on ESPN. Starting times for all contests and the home game designated for Homecomings will be announced at a later date.

“Our schedule will be a great test for our football team,” said Virginia coach Mike London. “I like the way the schedule lays out and the balance between home games and road games. Our fans played a key factor in our success a year ago and with this schedule, we’re going to need everyone behind us in even greater numbers at home and on the road.”

The Cavaliers will face eight teams that played in postseason bowl games in 2011 and two teams that finished in last season’s final Associated Press and USA Today football polls.

Virginia kicks off its campaign at home for the fifth-consecutive season when it plays host to Richmond on Sept. 1. The game will mark the 31st meeting between the Spiders and the Cavaliers. Danny Rocco, a former UVa assistant coach, takes over the head coaching reins of the Spiders. Rocco was on staff at UVa from 2001-05.

Penn State and Virginia renew a series that dates back to 1893 when the Nittany Lions come to Charlottesville on Sept. 8. It will be the first meeting between the teams since 2002. Penn State will be under the direction of first-year coach Bill O’Brien. Last year the Nittany Lions went 9-4 and played Houston in the TicketCity Bowl.

The Cavaliers open ACC play on Sept. 15 when they travel to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets went 8-5 in 2011 and played Utah in the Sun Bowl. Georgia Tech finished the 2011 campaign second in the nation with 316.5 yards rushing per game.

Virginia travels to Fort Worth, Texas on Sept. 22 to face TCU. The Horned Frogs will compete in the Big 12 Conference for the first time in 2012. It will be the third all-time meeting between the two programs, which is tied 1-1. TCU finished the 2011 season ranked No. 14 in the AP poll after going 11-2 and defeating Louisiana Tech in the Poinsettia Bowl.

Virginia’s only first-time opponent on the 2012 schedule comes to Charlottesville on Sept. 29 when the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs visit Scott Stadium. Louisiana Tech returns 14 starters off its 8-5 squad that played in the 2011 Poinsettia Bowl.

After two weeks facing non-conference opponents, UVa returns to ACC play in Durham against Duke. The Blue Devils, coming off a 3-9 finish in 2011, host the Cavaliers on Oct. 6.

The Cavaliers play their first ACC home contest on Oct. 13 when Maryland visits Scott Stadium. The Terrapins finished 2011 with a 2-10 record in head coach Randy Edsall’s first season in College Park.

Virginia hosts Wake Forest on Oct. 20 for the first meeting in the series since 2008. The Demon Deacons’ last trip to Scott Stadium was in 2007 when the Cavaliers were victorious over then-No. 21 Wake Forest, 17-16. Wake Forest finished 2011 with a 6-7 record and an appearance in the Music City Bowl.

Virginia’s bye week will fall on Oct. 27 this season.

The following weekend the Cavaliers head to Raleigh to face NC State on Nov. 3. It will be Virginia’s first trip to Carter-Finley Stadium since the 2007 campaign. The Wolfpack finished 2011 with an 8-5 record and a victory over Louisville in the Belk Bowl.

Virginia hosts the Miami Hurricanes on Nov. 10. Former UVa assistant coach Al Golden finished 6-6 in his first season as the head coach at Miami. While bowl-eligible, Miami elected to not participate in a bowl game in 2011.

The South’s oldest college football rivalry will continue on Nov. 15 when North Carolina comes to Charlottesville for the 117th game in the series. The Thursday night matchup will be televised in primetime on ESPN. It marks the first time UVa has played at home on a Thursday night since 2006. That game also featured a matchup between the Cavaliers and Tar Heels. This will be UVa’s 12th time playing on a Thursday night. North Carolina is coming off a 7-6 season in 2011 and an appearance in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl against Missouri.

The Cavaliers wrap up the 2012 regular season in Blacksburg on Nov. 24 when Virginia Tech hosts UVa for the annual Commonwealth Cup contest. The Hokies went 11-3 in 2011. Virginia Tech finished No. 21 in the AP poll after losing to Michigan in the Sugar Bowl.

UVa does not face ACC opponents Boston College, Clemson or Florida State in 2012.

Football season ticket holders from 2011 will receive renewal application information in mid-March. The season ticket order and seating priority deadline will be April 30. New buyers may also order starting in mid-March and should order by the April 30 deadline to maximize seating priority.

Season tickets for 2012 will be priced at $285 in the lower level and upper level sideline priority areas (orange on the linked seating map) and include a Virginia Athletics Foundation annual giving requirement. Segments of the orange priority area have been converted to per seat priority for 2012 (orange with blue stripes) to enable fans to have a lower donation option in sideline seating sections. The donation requirement in these areas is $50 per seat in addition to the $285 per ticket cost.

Lower level end zone seating (green) will be priced at $285 and does not include a donation requirement. Season tickets located in upper end zone seating areas will be $190, $160, and $140 (blue, yellow, and pink, respectively). UVA faculty and staff will continue to receive a 20 percent discount for up to four season tickets. Young alumni sections 525 and 526 will be priced at $112. Each ticket price represents an average increase of $2 per ticket per game across all pricing categories from the 2011 season ticket prices.

Virginia will open its spring football practice sessions March 19. The Cavaliers will host open practices in Northern Virginia on Saturday, March 24, at Christopher Newport University on Friday, March 30, and in Richmond on Saturday, April 7. Additional information, including locations and practice times will be announced in the near future. The annual Orange-Blue Spring Football Scrimmage will take place at Scott Stadium on Saturday, April 14. Admission to all open spring practices is free.

2012 Football Virginia Schedule

Sept. 15 at Georgia Tech
Sept. 22 at TCU
Oct. 6 at Duke
Nov. 3 at NC State
Nov. 10 MIAMI
Nov. 24 at Virginia Tech

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