BLACKSBURG, Va. -- This place never gets old. I've been here enough times now that my car could drive itself down 81-South, but coming into campus and seeing Lane Stadium loom large among the hills is a true "Welcome to College Football" sign. This place is like a fortress, and if Clemson isn't ready to start fast, the Tigers might not get started at all. Night games here are truly something special, and not even a biting cold and whipping wind could keep Virginia Tech fans from packing this place.
In typical Blacksburg fashion, there's a wind advisory until 10 p.m., it's about 45 degrees, and it's only the first day of October. Clemson's players are on the field right now in long-sleeve shirts and gloves, running around and trying to get warm. The smoke coming out of the tent for the giant turkey legs looks inviting, and the tailgates have been in full swing for hours.
This is Frank Beamer's 300th game as coach of the Hokies and it's a big one. We'll soon find out the answers to two very important questions:
1. Is Virginia Tech ready to beat ranked competition?
2. Can Clemson continue its success on the road in arguably the ACC's toughest road venue?
You could easily make an argument for either team to win this game. Clemson so far has the better resume. It's up to the Hokies to prove they've got the better team.