Hokies Receive Chick-fil-A Bowl Invitation; Will Play Georgia

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After
weeks of speculation, it’s official. The Virginia Tech Hokies are heading to
Atlanta, where they will face the Georgia Bulldogs in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The
game will be held in the Georgia Dome at 8 pm on Saturday, December 30, and will
be televised by ESPN.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl bid is Tech’s 14 consecutive bowl bid. 10 of those 14
bowl invitations have been to one of the top two bowl games tied in with the Big
East or ACC, including the Sugar (three times), Orange, Gator (five times), and
now Chick-fil-A. That’s about as solid a 14 year run as you’ll see.

A Virginia Tech-Georgia game is a very attractive matchup. The Hokies will
bring one of the best traveling fan bases in the nation, and the game will be
heavily attended by the local Bulldog fans as well. The Chick-fil-A Bowl is
expecting a sellout for the 10th consecutive year.

Virginia Tech and Georgia are similar teams, both playing their best football
at the end of the season. The Hokies are arguably the best team in the ACC right
now, winners of their last six games. The Tech defense has allowed just two
touchdowns during that six game stretch.

Georgia (8-4, 4-4 SEC) got off to a 5-0 start but struggled in the middle of
the season. They barely knocked off a bad Colorado team 14-13 and were later
bombed at home 51-33 by Tennessee. They lost at home to Vanderbilt on
Homecoming, and also lost to Florida and Kentucky. But they were very close to
finishing with a much better record. Georgia lost by two to Vanderbilt, by seven
to Florida, and by four to Kentucky.

The Bulldogs finished the season in style with two huge victories behind true
freshman quarterback Matthew Stafford. They knocked off Auburn 37-15 on the
road, and then returned home to beat rival Georgia Tech 15-12.

Virginia Tech’s first-ever bowl victory came in the Peach Bowl (which is
now the Chick-fil-A Bowl) back in 1986. The Hokies played NC State, and the game
came down to a Chris Kinzer 40-yard field goal. His kick was good, and Tech fans
swarmed the field in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in celebration of the 25-24
victory over the Wolfpack.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl has a rich tradition, and as far as non-BCS bowls go,
they don’t get much better. Over the past 10 seasons, the Chick-fil-A Bowl
ranks first in attendance among non-BCS bowls, with an average of 70,487 fans
per game. The crowd of 75,125 for the Clemson vs. Tennessee game in 2003
represents the largest crowd to ever see a game in the Georgia Dome.

The first-ever Peach Bowl was played in 1968 in Georgia Tech’s Grant Field.
In 1971, the game moved to Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, before moving to the
Georgia Dome in 1992. In 1996, Chick-fil-A became the title sponsor of the Peach
Bowl, and for the first time ever in 2006, the game is officially called the
Chick-fil-A Bowl.

The ACC and SEC have squared off in the bowl game for 14 consecutive seasons.
The ACC has won eight of the meetings and outscored their SEC rivals 278-269.
The ACC won the first four meetings from 1992-1995, and then the SEC won five
straight from 1996-2000. The ACC won four in a row again from 2001-2004 before
the SEC won again in 2005.

Here is a look at how the Hokies have fared in bowl games under Beamer:

Beamer
Bowl Era
Year Bowl Opponent Result Final VT
Record
1993
Independence

Indiana

45-20 W

9-3
1994
Gator

Tennessee

45-23 L

8-4
1995
Sugar

Texas

28-10 W

10-2
1996
Orange

Nebraska

41-21 L

10-2
1997
Gator

North Carolina

42-3 L

7-5
1998
Music City

Alabama

38-7 W

9-3
1999
Sugar

Florida State

46-29 L

11-1
2000
Gator

Clemson

41-20 W

11-1
2001
Gator

Florida State

30-17 L

8-4
2002
San Francisco

Air Force

20-13 W

10-4
2003
Insight

California

52-49 L

8-5
2004
Sugar

Auburn

16-13 L

10-3
2005
Gator

Louisville

35-24 W

11-2
2006
Chick-fil-A

Georgia

?

?

The Hokies have a chance for a couple of accomplishments in the Chick-fil-A
Bowl. First of all, they have a chance to win a bowl game in back-to-back
seasons for the first time in school history. Virginia Tech has won six bowl
games under Beamer, but never two in a row.

Second, if the Hokies beat Georgia, it would be the second time Tech has had
back-to-back 11-win seasons in school history. Michael Vick led Tech to 11-1
records in 1999 and 2000. The Hokies won 10 or more games in eight seasons
during the Beamer Bowl Era.

Lastly, if the Hokies beat Georgia, Sean Glennon will be the first
quarterback in Virginia Tech history that is not named “Vick” to lead his
team to an 11-win season. Michael Vick had two 11-win seasons in his two years
as a starter, and Marcus Vick guided the Hokies to 11 wins last season. Glennon
has already joined the Vicks, Jim Druckenmiller and Bryan Randall as
quarterbacks to lead Tech to 10 wins.

TechSideline.com’s Links
Page
has been updated with Chick-fil-A Bowl links and Georgia Bulldog links. (See the “Football Opponent Web Sites” section.)

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