BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — It’s finally game week as the Hokies get set for the season opener on Friday night against No. 10 North Carolina.

“Everybody is pretty excited. Looking forward to Friday night. Finished up our mock weekend. It went well. I gave our guys a little bit of a break to get their legs back. And then back on the field today as we turn our attention to Friday night,” head coach Justin Fuente said. “Looking forward to being back in Lane Stadium and opening up at home against a really good opponent.”

If there’s one thing Virginia Tech is looking forward to the most, it’s the return of fans at Lane Stadium. The school announced Monday that a sold out crowd is expected for the opener against the Tar Heels.

Last year during the pandemic, there were minimal fans in attendance, limited to friends and family of the players and coaches alongside cardboard cutouts in the seats. Players talked about having to find their own “juice” and energy but now the Hokies will have a capacity crowd to draw from. And they’re hoping to produce a true home field advantage that hasn’t been seen in years.

“The key would be to harness it I think. We kinda started talking about that,” Fuente said. “You do have to play this game with emotion and it does help you but you got to play with intelligence too. Emotions will be running high.”

Kickoff for Friday’s game is set for 6 p.m. on ACC Network.

Fuente said: “It will be exciting fun atmosphere. I can’t wait to be back in our stadium with a sold out crowd and it’ll be an emotional time. It’s just been a long time since we’ve all been together again.”