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Hokies finally get to kick things off Saturday against NC State

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 8:33 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -Virginia Tech will be shorthanded this week for the season opener with NC State in Blacksburg. Coach Justin Fuente said as much this week, thanks to COVID and contact tracing. But the guys who are healthy enough to play, are chomping at the bit to get back on the field after several fits and starts to the season and fall camp.

“We’re all just ready to play,” said wideout Tre Turner. Linebacker Dax Hollifield took it a step further. " Finally, the wait is over. It’s been a long time coming."

Every season opener has its long list of unknowns but the situation has been clearly complicated by virus and the ever changing availability of players on the roster. There’s plenty of anticipation and excitement but also a level of anxiety.

“There’s always apprehension based on how many guys you’ve got coming back or guys that have real game experience,” said Head Coach Justin Fuente. “I’ll feel really good about a large portion of our football team and what they can do. It’s just getting them all together at the same time has been a little bit of an issue. So ultimately, I don’t know if I’ve been this close to a game and felt as uneasy about who we would actually have in the game as I do feel right now. And I think that’s probably the biggest part of not knowing how it’s going to look."

The game will mark the debut of new Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton, as well as a return to Blacksburg for longtime Tech defensive line coach Charley Wiles, who was let go following last season. Wiles is in his first year in the same role on the NC State staff.

Dax Hollifield: Finally, the wait is over. It’s been a long time coming.

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