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Hello, Saturday

There is a special atmosphere in a college town when there is a big game. You can feel that here this weekend.

Blacksburg has been percolating with excitement since Thursday for the meeting between No. 13 Virginia Tech (1-1) and No. 19 Nebraska (2-0).

On Thursday, legendary former Hokie Bruce Smith, a Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end, was glad-handing passerby as he visited downtown. On Friday, a portion of College Avenue was blocked off for a nighttime tailgate, with a music, a beer garden and the Virginia Tech cheerleaders providing the entertainment. Metallica's "Enter Sandman" played seemingly on a loop at every local watering hole. And if that was not enough, students and fans provided their own soundtrack with chants of "Let's go ... Hokies."

The one thing that has stood out to me is the number of Nebraska fans. I have heard they travel well. I didn't expect they would travel this well. There are red shirts everywhere this weekend. Lincoln is a far hike, and Blacksburg isn't exactly the easiest place in the world to get to. But the Cornhuskers have been out in full force.

It has all made for a distinct environment here the weekend of a big game -- just the way it should be in college football.

By Mark Viera  |  September 19, 2009; 9:29 AM ET
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