There’s a buzz in Blacksburg around the Virginia Tech football team after the Hokies scored a pair of big ACC wins, and it’s palpable in practice.
As the team prepares for its second straight home game, some questions still remain unresolved, but many aspects of the team are coming together amidst some exciting scheduling news.
Athletic director Jim Weaver has been promising a big non-conference game on the schedule recently.
Now Hokie fans know what it is.
ESPN's Joe Schad and CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman broke the big news last night that the Hokies will face off against the Tennessee Volunteers at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. in 2016.
The racetrack is about equidistant between the two schools, and with a capacity of 160,000 seats, the game is expected to draw a huge crowd.
“It’d be crazy," said defensive coordinator Bud Foster. "It’d be like playing at Lane Stadium, only double."
The program plans to officially announce the contest in its Monday press conference.
When Antone Exum was cleared to play last week, everyone assumed he’d step on the field against North Carolina.
But the star cornerback decided he wasn’t quite ready to return late in the week.
“I didn’t make the decision until late Thursday night,” Exum said. “It was something that I just discussed with the people that are in my corner, just coaches and my family, stuff like that. Coach Gray as well, they were all part of making the decision.”
While doctors might’ve declared him physically ready to play, Exum felt as if he might have been rushing into things.
“I thought I was making a decision that was probably based on just the excitement of being cleared and kind of rushing things and running into things, so it took me a little to get over that and I think I made the smart decision,” Exum said.
The secondary didn’t play up to its stellar standards on Saturday, allowing 277 yards through the air, but the group insists Exum can take all the time he needs.
“It’s not like a distraction or anything,” said rover Kyshoen Jarrett. “It’s just a personal decision for him, and you’ve got to be strong mentally as much as possible coming off an injury like that, so he’s got to make a decision that benefits him in his future.”
Despite the extra week off, the cornerback is still unsure whether or not he’ll suit up this weekend.
“I’ll (decide) probably on Thursday again, just to see how I look today on film and see how tomorrow goes, and we’ll see,” Exum said.
If the prognosis is unfavorable once more, then Exum will have the benefit of a bye week to recover further.
“If I’m not ready this week, then I think that bye week might be ample time for me to get back,” Exum said. “That’ll definitely be time for me to sharpen to perfection those things that I’m lacking.”