The Chick-fil-A Bowl had barely disappeared into the rearview mirror, and already Virginia Tech cornerback Rashad Carmichael was hearing from friends and family about the 2010 matchup with Boise State.
For Carmichael, a native of Clinton, Md., not far from FedEx Field, where the Hokies will take on the Broncos on Labor Day, it will be the closest thing he'll experience to a true home game. Despite having to replace six starters on defense this spring, Carmichael said facing Boise State's offense is an opportunity the Hokies should embrace.
“I feel you couldn’t ask for a better opportunity, you couldn’t ask for a better day," he said. "This is what you ask for your whole life. When you’re younger, you wanted to go to college and play on the big stage and play in those games. I just tell them, this is what you asked for when you where younger and signed your letter of intent; this is what you asked for.
"We’ve got to be ready for it. It’s very exciting. That’s what I’m telling the guys. They have a great offense. They have a lot of guys returning. I have been watching them for a couple of years because they play a lot on Friday nights and we’ll be in hotels. I like their offense, I like those guys. I just say it’s a great opportunity. Opportunity plus great preparation equals success.”
Boise State returns 21 of 22 starters, and the Hokies will face a Heisman Trophy contender in quarterback Kellen Moore, who threw for 3,536 yards with 39 touchdowns and only three interceptions last season. The game was originally scheduled for Oct. 2, which would have given the Hokies' young defense more time to prepare.
Defensive coordinator Bud Foster said it doesn't really matter to him when the game is played because "we've got to prepare the same way."
"I know this: We’ll be ready to go, we’ll play hard and we’ll see," Foster said. "We’re excited about playing Boise. They’re excited about playing us because they’ve got everybody back. But I think that’s what hopefully has been good about our program. We’ve been consistently good for a number of years, and we’ve done it by having to replace people. We’re not always good just because we have a lot of people coming back. ... We’re just going to have to do it again."