Hokies face tough challenge in opener

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer likened his team’s 2010 season opener against Boise State to past openers against USC and Alabama.

During an interview with Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman, Beamer said the history of a team doesn’t matter when they’re ranked in the top five.

“It’s really the same team,” Beamer told the paper. “You’re playing a top-five team starting out. … Regardless of what the history of the program (at Boise State) has been, the reality is it’s the same as playing Alabama, it’s the same as playing Southern Cal. They’ve got a lot of experience back, they’ve got a great quarterback who knows exactly what he’s doing.”

The Labor Day opener is one of the most anticipated games on the 2010 schedule because it could put the winner on the road to a possible national championship appearance. For Virginia Tech, it’s a chance to start the season off on the right foot. The Hokies have lost their last two season openers (a 34-24 loss to Alabama in 2009 and a 27-22 decision to East Carolina in 2008). Their only other season opening loss this decade was to USC, 24-13, in 2004, the only other top school its opened against.

Both Boise State and Virginia Tech are expected to start the season ranked in the top 10.

“If you can beat a program of that caliber starting out, I think it adds confidence,” Beamer told the Statesman. “… It would be a major win for either one of us.”