There's so much riding on No. 19 Wake Forest's trip to Virginia Tech that each team will have major postseason hopes on the line in Blacksburg, Va.
Wake Forest is trying to stay within a game in the loss column of undefeated Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference's Atlantic Division while Virginia Tech controls its destiny in the Coastal Division.
"We've put ourselves in a position that we want to be in in November," Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson told reporters recently. "There are a lot of tough games ahead of us."
One of those figures to come Saturday at Lane Stadium.
Wake Forest (7-1, 3-1 ACC) has won seven or more games in four straight seasons for the first time in the program's history.
Meanwhile, Virginia Tech (5-3, 2-2) is riding a wave of belief, even after a one-point loss at Notre Dame.
"(Our guys) can feel the confidence rising," Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said. "The feeling of trust in each other, continuing to build."
Virginia Tech played last week without quarterback Hendon Hooker, who was injured in the team's Oct. 19 six-overtime victory against North Carolina. With the knee injury healed, he could be back in action.
"If he practices all week and does well, then Hendon will be the starter," Fuente said.
Virginia Tech is honoring longtime defensive coordinator Bud Foster at the game. He is retiring at season's end.
He'll have a tough task in dealing with the Demon Deacons, who have churned out some big numbers. Quarterback Jamie Newman leads the ACC with 337.7 yards per game of total offense. Receiver Sage Surratt is averaging 118.5 receiving yards per game and has a league-high nine touchdown catches.
"If you look at what they're doing, it's unique in terms of the tempo in which they operate in the backfield," Fuente said. "They're having huge success with it. ... It's not just the passing game. They can run the football as well."
Wake Forest is coming off perhaps its most impressive outing of the season, a 44-10 whipping of visiting North Carolina State. Newman returned after a one-game absence caused by a shoulder injury and looked to be back in a groove.
"We take everything as (trying to be) 1-0 every week," Newman said. "We get our confidence from the work we put in throughout the week in practice."
The Demon Deacons have gone above 400 yards in total offense in 10 consecutive games dating to last season.
Virginia Tech has the ACC's leading tackler in linebacker Rayshard Ashby, who has made 10.6 stops per game. But the Hokies will be without cornerback Jermaine Waller for the first half as he sits out a suspension stemming from a targeting call in the fourth quarter of the Notre Dame game.
"That's part of the job of a team, though, is the next guy has to step up and perform at a high level," Fuente said.
Wake Forest and Virginia Tech haven't met since 2014, when Wake Forest won 6-3 in double overtime at home. Neither team scored in regulation.
The Hokies won the other four ACC meetings between the teams. Virginia Tech leads the all-time series 24-12-1.
--Field Level Media