For football programs like Virginia Tech's that are constantly bowl eligible, ranked in the top 25 and have winning season after winning season, there are high expectations to do well each Fall.
So when they have a year like this -- a losing record and a chance of not making a bowl game, the critics are going to speak out. That is something coach Frank Beamer and the team responded to this week.
"I don't think anyone likes to be criticized. I don't relish that,” Beamer said. “I can honestly tell you that I don't read the papers and I don't listen to the media during football season. What I do is look at our football team, look at our situation. I don't try to find blame. I try to find reasons why we weren't successful. Correct those things there and then hopefully be successful the next time so that's how I operate."
And as for the players, the consensus seems to be the same -- tune it out and stay focused on playing your game.
"I just stay away from it as much as possible,” quarterback Logan Thomas said. “Obviously you can't stay away from it all the way. You got the media guys. You got people around the city. People are always saying something but they're not in the program. They can cheer. They can clap. They can boo all they want but they don't really see what's going on inside."
"I don't try to get into what people are saying and what's going on outside the program,” Virginia Tech running back JC Coleman said. “I try to keep everything inside the program and what's going on mainly in here."
But maybe having past success has people expecting double-digit wins and a bowl appearance-- something Coach Beamer says isn't a guarantee-- or easy to do for that matter.
"Every year you start out and it's a different team. Different chemistry,” Beamer said. “Your schedule's different. How people, how they played before you and all those things kind of enter in to it. All those 10-win seasons we had in a row, that was hard getting there. Yeah, we'd like to get back there, but this thing is not an easy business."
But regardless of what negative things might be said, the Hokies know the Virginia Tech faithful stand behind them.
"The fans get there behind us 110%,” Virginia Tech wide Dyrell Roberts said. “I feel like whether win, lose, or draw. Some fans take it harder than others but at the end of the day it comes with the game. They know that we're out here giving it our all. At least we hope they know because really we're not trying to lose. It just happens but at the end of the day, I love Tech fans and I think they love us too."
And they're going to love them a lot more if they can get a win Thursday night.