List of Virginia Tech Hokies bowl games

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The Virginia Tech Hokies football team, since its creation in 1892, has played 27 post-season bowl games in 14 different stadiums across seven states. This includes five Bowl Championship Series (BCS) game appearances and one appearance in the BCS National Championship Game. As of the completion of the 2013 regular season schedule, the Hokies have been invited to a bowl game every year since 1993. This 21-year active streak of consecutive bowl appearances is the second longest such streak in the nation, second only to the Florida State Seminole’s 32 straight appearances and is the fifth longest all-time bowl appearance streak.[1][2][3][4]

Dozens of National Football League draft picks have played for Virginia Tech in bowl games, including two first-overall selections: Bruce Smith and Michael Vick. Smith participated in the 1984 Independence Bowl, while Vick quarterbacked the Hokies to their first national championship appearance during the 2000 Sugar Bowl, and followed that performance by leading the Hokies to the 2001 Gator Bowl, his final collegiate game. Following the game, Vick entered the 2001 NFL Draft and was selected by the Atlanta Falcons.[5]

Since 1987, Frank Beamer has led the Hokies football team as the head coach. Beamer has led the Hokies to 21 consecutive bowl games starting in 1993 and the Independence Bowl. As of the completion of the 2013 season, Beamer and the Hokies have gone 9–12 in consecutive bowl appearances since 1993. Beamer has earned national coach of the year honors several times from various organizations, and has the most wins of any active Division I college football coach.[6]

Virginia Tech's first post-season bowl game was in 1947, when the Hokies participated in the 1947 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas on New Year's Day against the Cincinnati Bearcats. The most recent Virginia Tech bowl game occurred December 31, 2013, when the Hokies played in the 2013 Sun Bowl. Tech lost that game to UCLA, bringing the school to an overall bowl record of 10 wins and 17 losses.[7][8]

Appearances per Bowl
Bowl Game Appearances
Gator Bowl 5
Chick-fil-A Bowl* 4
Orange Bowl 4
Sugar Bowl 4
Independence Bowl 2
Liberty Bowl 2
Sun Bowl 2
Music City Bowl 1
San Francisco Bowl 1
Insight Bowl 1
Russell Athletic Bowl 1

*Prior to the 2006 game, the Chick-fil-A Bowl
was known as the Peach Bowl.

Summary table[edit]

Key
# Number of bowl games
Attendance record
Former attendance record
W Win
L Loss
Individual bowl game attendance records are correct as of the end of the 2009 NCAA Division I FBS football season.[9]
# Season Bowl game Result Opponent Stadium Location Attendance
1 1946 1947 Sun Bowl L 18–6 Cincinnati Bearcats Kidd Field El Paso, TX 10,000
2 1966 1966 Liberty Bowl L 14–7 Miami Hurricanes Memphis Memorial Stadium Memphis, TN 39,101‡
3 1968 1968 Liberty Bowl L 34–17 Ole Miss Rebels Memphis Memorial Stadium Memphis, TN 46,206‡
4 1980 1981 Peach Bowl L 20–10 Miami Hurricanes Fulton County Stadium Atlanta, GA 45,384
5 1984 1984 Independence Bowl L 23–7 Air Force Falcons Independence Stadium Shreveport, LA 41,100
6 1986 1986 Peach Bowl W 25–24 North Carolina State Wolfpack Fulton County Stadium Atlanta, GA 53,668
7 1993 1993 Independence Bowl W 45–20 Indiana Hoosiers Independence Stadium Shreveport, LA 33,819
8 1994 1994 Gator Bowl L 45–23 Tennessee Volunteers Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Gainesville, FL 62,200
9 1995 1995 Sugar Bowl W 28–10 Texas Longhorns Louisiana Superdome New Orleans, LA 70,283
10 1996 1996 Orange Bowl L 41–21 Nebraska Cornhuskers Pro Player Stadium Miami Gardens, FL 51,212
11 1997 1998 Gator Bowl L 42–3 North Carolina Tar Heels Alltel Stadium Jacksonville, FL 54,116
12 1998 1998 Music City Bowl W 38–7 Alabama Crimson Tide Vanderbilt Stadium Nashville, TN 41,600‡
13 1999 2000 Sugar Bowl L 46–29 Florida State Seminoles Louisiana Superdome New Orleans, LA 79,280
14 2000 2001 Gator Bowl W 41–20 Clemson Tigers Alltel Stadium Jacksonville, FL 68,741
15 2001 2002 Gator Bowl L 30–17 Florida State Seminoles Alltel Stadium Jacksonville, FL 72,202
16 2002 2002 San Francisco Bowl W 20–13 Air Force Falcons Pacific Bell Park San Francisco, CA 25,966‡
17 2003 2003 Insight Bowl L 52–49 California Golden Bears Bank One Ballpark Phoenix, AZ 42,364
18 2004 2005 Sugar Bowl L 16–13 Auburn Tigers Louisiana Superdome New Orleans, LA 77,349
19 2005 2006 Gator Bowl W 35–24 Louisville Cardinals Alltel Stadium Jacksonville, FL 63,780
20 2006 2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl L 31–24 Georgia Bulldogs Georgia Dome Atlanta, GA 75,406
21 2007 2008 Orange Bowl L 24–21 Kansas Jayhawks Pro Player Stadium Miami Gardens, FL 74,111
22 2008 2009 Orange Bowl W 20–7 Cincinnati Bearcats Pro Player Stadium Miami Gardens, FL 57,821
23 2009 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl W 37–14 Tennessee Volunteers Georgia Dome Atlanta, GA 73,777
24 2010 2011 Orange Bowl L 40-12 Stanford Cardinal Sun Life Stadium Miami Gardens, FL 65,453
25 2011 2012 Sugar Bowl L 23-20 Michigan Wolverines Mercedes-Benz Superdome New Orleans, Louisiana 64,512
26 2012 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl W 13–10 Rutgers Scarlet Knights Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium Orlando, Florida 48,127
26 2013 2013 Hyundai Sun Bowl L 42-12 UCLA Bruins Sun Bowl Stadium El Paso, Texas 47,912

Game capsules[edit]

1947 Sun Bowl[edit]

Main article: 1947 Sun Bowl
1947 Sun Bowl
Date January 1, 1947
Stadium Kidd Field
Location El Paso, Texas

The first bowl game in Virginia Tech history came at the conclusion of the 1946 college football season as the Hokies earned a bid to the 1947 Sun Bowl. The Hokies, led by coach James Kitts, finished the regular season with three losses, three wins, and three ties (3–3–3). The team also recorded Virginia Tech's first win over an Associated Press Top 25 team in school history,[10] the Washington and Lee University Generals, and the Hokies' traditional rivals, the Virginia Military Institute Keydets.[11] Despite those victories, Tech's bid to the Sun Bowl only came about because the bowl's first and second picks had declined the bid and because an influential Tech alumnus on the selection committee had suggested Virginia Tech.[12] Opposing the Hokies were the Cincinnati Bearcats, who had gone 8–2 during the regular season.[13]

The game kicked off on January 1, 1947 at Kidd Field in El Paso, Texas in freezing temperatures.[14] Defense dominated on both sides in the first half due to the weather and tough play. Neither team scored, but Virginia Tech had the best chance—driving to a first down inside the Cincinnati two-yard line in the first quarter. The Cincinnati defense held, however, and the game went into halftime scoreless.

In the second half, the favored Bearcats managed to find success on offense. Behind All-American Roger Stephens, the Bearcats tallied three touchdowns to Virginia Tech's one.[15] The Hokies managed to block all three Cincinnati extra point kicks, but without touchdowns of their own, the Hokies had no chance to win. Cincinnati emerged victorious as time ran out, 18–6.[16]

1966 Liberty Bowl[edit]

Main article: 1966 Liberty Bowl
1966 Liberty Bowl
Date December 10, 1966
Stadium Memphis Memorial Stadium
Location Memphis, Tennessee

Virginia Tech's second bowl game did not come until nearly 20 years after its first. On December 10, 1966, the Hokies faced off against the No. 9 Miami Hurricanes in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee. Tech came into the game having gone 8–1–1 during the regular season under head coach Jerry Claiborne,[17] while the Hurricanes boasted a 7–2–1 regular-season record, including wins over Southern California and Florida.[18] The Hokies were led by All-America safety Frank Loria, who caught three interceptions and returned three punts for touchdowns as a junior during the 1966 season.[19] On the opposite side of the ball, the Hurricanes were led by All-American Ted Hendricks.[20]

The game kicked off in frigid 36 °F (2 °C) weather,[20] and from the beginning, defense dominated. In the first half, Tech held Miami to just 16 yards of total offense,[21] and Miami set bowl game records for fewest rushing yards allowed and fewest first downs allowed.[22] The Hokies got the first big break of the game after blocking Miami's first punt of the game. Taking over at the Miami 21-yard line, it took Virginia Tech just five plays to march into the end zone for an early 7–0 lead.[21] Virginia Tech and Miami battled to a stalemate for the rest of the first half, and Tech went into halftime still clinging to a 7–0 lead.

In the second half, Tech's fortune turned. Late in the third quarter, the Virginia Tech defense stopped Miami's offense for yet another time, but instead of receiving the punt cleanly, the Hokies committed a roughing the kicker penalty that allowed Miami to retain possession of the ball with a first down. A few plays later, Miami scored its first touchdown of the game. In the fourth quarter Miami finally took the lead on a 10-play, 70-yard drive.[21] The Hokies were unable to answer the Hurricanes' score, and Miami won the 1966 Liberty Bowl, 14–7.[23]

1968 Liberty Bowl[edit]

Main article: 1968 Liberty Bowl
1968 Liberty Bowl
Date December 14, 1968
Stadium Memphis Memorial Stadium
Location Memphis, Tennessee

Two years after its previous trip to the Liberty Bowl, Virginia Tech was again asked to travel to Memphis, Tennessee to play in a post-season bowl game. This time, the opponent was Mississippi, which had amassed a 6–3–1 record during the regular season.[24] The Hokies came into the game with a 7–3 record that included a loss to Tech's previous Liberty Bowl opponent, Miami.[25]

The 1968 Liberty Bowl kicked off on January 14, 1968. As in the Hokies' previous Liberty Bowl appearance, Virginia Tech got off to a fast start. On the game's second play, Tech ran 58 yards for a touchdown, courtesy of a trick play. After Mississippi fumbled, Tech recovered and scored another quick touchdown. At the end of the first quarter, Tech added a field goal to the two touchdowns it had already earned, making the score 17–0 at the end of one quarter. From that point onward, however, almost nothing would go in Virginia Tech's favor. Tech attempted an onside kick following the field goal, but were unable to successfully recover the ball. With good field position following the kick, Mississippi quarterback Archie Manning orchestrated a 49-yard drive for the Rebels' first points of the game.[26]

Mississippi scored another touchdown before halftime, and the Hokies clung to a 17–14 lead at the beginning of the second half. That three-point lead quickly evaporated, however, as 21 seconds into the third quarter, Mississippi's Steve Hindman ran for 79 yards and a touchdown to give Mississippi a 21–17 lead.[27] Ole Miss added 13 more points before the game was over and earned the victory, 34–17.[28] The Virginia Tech offense was stymied by repeated turnovers. Tech fumbled the ball three times and Tech quarterback Humphries threw two interceptions.[26] Tech committed 120 yards in penalties and was held to just two passing yards for the entire game.[29]

1981 Peach Bowl[edit]

1981 Peach Bowl
Date January 2, 1981
Stadium Fulton County Stadium
Location Atlanta, Georgia

Following the 1980 college football season, Virginia Tech was awarded a bid to the 1981 Peach Bowl as a reward for finishing 8–3 during the regular season.[30] Facing Virginia Tech was a familiar post-season opponent—Miami—whom the Hokies had played in the 1966 Liberty Bowl. No. 20 Miami finished the regular season with an 8–3 record.[31]

The 1981 Peach Bowl kicked off on January 2, 1981 at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Unlike the 1966 Liberty Bowl, in which Virginia Tech scored first, it was Miami who dominated the game's early going. The Hurricanes scored a touchdown on the first drive of the game and tacked on another touchdown early in the second quarter. Tech was held scoreless in the early going, thanks to two Miami interceptions at the goal line as Virginia Tech was threatening to score. Late in the second quarter, Tech was finally able to get on the scoreboard with a field goal, but at halftime, the Miami Hurricanes led 14–3.[32]

After halftime, the Hokies threatened Miami for the first time all game. Virginia Tech mounted an 80-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown, cutting Miami's lead to 14–10. But the Hurricanes' defense clamped down on any further offensive attempts by Virginia Tech and denied the Hokies more points. Miami added two field goals: one in the third quarter and one in the fourth quarter that finally put the game out of reach for Virginia Tech.[32] Miami earned the win, 20–10. Miami's win was its first bowl victory since the 1966 Liberty Bowl, which also featured a Hurricanes victory over Virginia Tech.[33]

1984 Independence Bowl[edit]

1984 Independence Bowl
Date December 15, 1984
Stadium Independence Stadium
Location Shreveport, Louisiana

The Virginia Tech Hokies earned a bid to the 1984 Independence Bowl following an 8–3 record during the 1984-1985 football season.[34] Facing the Hokies were the Falcons of the United States Air Force Academy, who had gone 7–4 during the regular season, including a 5–3 record in the Western Athletic Conference.[35]

The 1984 Independence Bowl kicked off on December 15, 1984 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Weather at kickoff was a comfortable 74 °F (23 °C) and the wind was from the southwest at 14 miles per hour (23 km/h)–18 miles per hour (29 km/h). An estimated 41,100 people came out to watch the Falcons take on the Hokies.[36] Air Force scored first with a 35-yard field goal, but the Hokies struck back with a touchdown off of a 10-play, 72-yard drive, putting Virginia Tech ahead 7–3. That score would remain until halfway through the second quarter, when Virginia Tech fumbled the ball at its own three-yard line. Air Force recovered the ball and scored a touchdown on the next play, regaining a 10–7 lead.[37]

At halftime, Air Force still led by 10–7. Following the half, Virginia Tech's defense began to break down under Air Force's rushing offense. The Hokies and Air Force battled defensively throughout the third quarter, but in the fourth quarter, Air Force's offense broke free for 13 unanswered points.[37] Tech's offense was stifled by two Air Force interceptions and two lost fumbles, allowing Air Force to earn the easy victory, 23–7.[38]

1986 Peach Bowl[edit]

Main article: 1986 Peach Bowl
1986 Peach Bowl
Date December 31, 1986
Stadium Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium
Location Atlanta, Georgia

Virginia Tech's first bowl win in school history came in a dramatic 25–24 win over the No. 18 North Carolina State Wolfpack in the 1986 Peach Bowl. Tech came into the game with a 9–1–1 record that included an unusual forfeit win over Temple. The Owls, who had played the game with an ineligible player, won the game on the field, but later forfeited the victory to Virginia Tech.[39] Facing the Hokies in the 1986 Peach Bowl were the 18th-ranked Wolfpack from North Carolina State University. N.C. State was led by head coach Dick Sheridan and had a regular-season record of 8–2–1 that included five wins over Atlantic Coast Conference teams.[40]

The 1986 Peach Bowl kicked off on December 31, 1986 at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia,[41] five years minus one day since Virginia Tech had last played in Atlanta for the 1981 Peach Bowl. Virginia Tech scored first, but NC State's Bulluck blocked a Tech punt in the Tech end zone and recovered it for a tying touchdown. Virginia Tech kicked a field goal at the end of the quarter to take a 10–7 lead, but NC State fought back, scoring 14 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 21–10 lead by halftime.[42]

In the third quarter, the game turned into a defensive battle. Neither side scored until late in the third quarter, when Tech took advantage of a State fumble to score the first touchdown of the second half. Tech failed to convert a two-point conversion, but NC State fumbled again on the ensuing possession, and Tech was able to drive for another touchdown. Leading 22–21, Tech attempted another two-point conversion, which also failed.[42]

NC State, needing to score, drove down the field and kicked a go-ahead 33-yard field goal with 7:12 remaining in the game. After a failed possession, Tech was forced to punt the ball away, allowing NC State to run down the clock. The Virginia Tech defense eventually forced a stop, giving the Tech offense one final chance to win the game. With 1:53 on the clock and beginning from their own 20-yard line, the Hokies drove 57 yards to the NC State 23-yard line. There, kicker Chris Kinzer successfully kicked a 40-yard field goal as time expired to give Virginia Tech a 25-24 win.[42]

1993 Independence Bowl[edit]

1993 Independence Bowl
Date December 31, 1993
Stadium Independence Stadium
Location Shreveport, Louisiana

The No. 22 Virginia Tech Hokies came into the 1993 Independence Bowl with an 8–3 regular-season record that included wins over Pittsburgh and Virginia.[43] The bowl appearance was the first for head coach Frank Beamer, who had turned the team around after a 2–8–1 season the previous year.[44] Facing the Hokies were the No. 21 Indiana Hoosiers, who were playing in their first bowl game since the 1991 Copper Bowl.[45]

The 1993 Independence Bowl kicked off on December 31, 1993 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Indiana jumped out to an early lead courtesy of a 75-yard pass from quarterback John Paci. Virginia Tech equalized the score before the first quarter ran out, then took a 14–7 lead with a second-quarter touchdown run by fullback Joe Swarm. Indiana climbed back with two field goals that cut Tech's lead to 14–13. With Indiana in possession of the ball and time running down, it appeared that Indiana would have at least one more attempt on offense before halftime. Before the Indiana drive could get moving, John Paci fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Virginia Tech and returned 20 yards for a touchdown. On Virginia Tech's post-touchdown kickoff, Indiana returned the ball deep into Virginia Tech territory, setting up a potential field goal by kicker Bill Manolopoulos. During the kick, Virginia Tech defender Jeff Holland broke through the Indiana offensive line and blocked the field goal attempt.[46] Tech's Antonio Banks scooped up the ball and ran 80 yards for another touchdown—Virginia Tech's second in less than 40 seconds.[47]

The two touchdowns gave Virginia Tech a 28–13 halftime lead, and Indiana never seriously challenged the Hokies afterward. Both teams failed to score in the third quarter, but Virginia Tech added 17 points in the fourth quarter to make the game a blowout. Indiana managed a touchdown toward the end of the game, but the end result had already been decided. Virginia Tech won the 1993 Independence Bowl, 45–20.[46]

1994 Gator Bowl[edit]

Main article: 1994 Gator Bowl
1994 Gator Bowl
Date December 30, 1994
Stadium Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Location Gainesville, Florida

The 1994 Gator Bowl saw 17th-ranked Virginia Tech face off against regional rival Tennessee at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the campus of the University of Florida. Tech came into the game with an 8–3 regular-season record that included a record of 5–2 in Big East Conference competition.[48] The Tennessee Volunteers came entered the game with a regular-season record of 7–4 under head coach Phillip Fulmer that included a 5–3 record in Southeastern Conference competition.[49]

The game kicked off On December 30, 1994 in Gainesville, Florida. From the start, Tennessee's high-scoring offense dominated. The Volunteers scored two touchdowns in the first quarter and three in the second, while Virginia Tech was able to muster a lone touchdown and field goal in the second quarter. At halftime, Tennessee had a commanding 35–10 lead.[50]

The Hokies struggled back in the third quarter, scoring six unanswered points to close the score to 35–16. In the fourth quarter, however, Tennessee answered Virginia Tech's effort with 10 points, putting the game out of reach for the Hokies, who managed only a single touchdown in the fourth quarter.[50] The Hokies fumbled the ball five times—losing it once—and threw two interceptions, allowing Tennessee to cruise to an easy victory, 45–23. Tennessee running back James Stewart was named the game's most valuable player.[51]

1995 Sugar Bowl[edit]

1995 Sugar Bowl
Date December 31, 1995
Stadium Louisiana Superdome
Location New Orleans, Louisiana

In 1995, Virginia Tech received its first bid to a Bowl Coalition game. The Bowl Coalition, predecessor to the modern Bowl Championship Series, was intended to match up the two best teams in the Sugar, Orange, Fiesta, and Rose Bowls, with the two highest-ranked teams playing in a National Championship Game. Following the 1995-1996 college football season, Virginia Tech was selected to play in the 1995 Sugar Bowl as a result of this coalition. The No. 13 Hokies, who finished 9–2 during the regular season and were named Big East Conference champions,[52] played against the No. 9 University of Texas, who finished 10–1–1 during the regular season en route to becoming Southwest Conference champions.[53]

The 1995 Sugar Bowl kicked off on December 31, 1995 in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Defense dominated in the first quarter as neither team scored during the game's first four possessions. Late in the quarter, however, Texas' offense, led by quarterback James Brown, put together an eight-play, 72-yard drive that ended with a four-yard touchdown pass. At the end of the first quarter, Texas led 7–0.[54] Early in the second quarter, Texas added another three points with a 52-yard field goal that came off of an interception. But the Hokies began to fight back. Brian Still returned a Texas punt 60 yards for Tech's first points of the game, and at halftime, the Longhorns' lead was cut to just three points.[55]

In the second half, Virginia Tech's defense kicked into high gear. Cornell Brown, the Hokies' All-American defensive end, was a key player as Tech sacked the Texas quarterback five times and caught three pass interceptions. On offense, wide receiver Brian Still added two passing touchdowns to his punt return touchdown, and the Hokies scored 21 unanswered points in the second half.[55] Tech won the game, 28–10. The win was the third bowl victory in school history, and was by far the highest-profile win for the school at the time.[56]

1996 Orange Bowl[edit]

1996 Orange Bowl[57]
Date December 31, 1996
Stadium Pro Player Stadium
Location Miami Gardens, Florida

A year after earning a bid to its first Bowl Coalition game, Tech again earned the honor of participating in an upper-tier bowl game. Under the newly renamed Bowl Alliance, Virginia Tech was selected to play in the 1996 Orange Bowl. The No. 10 Hokies finished 10–1 in the regular season, en route to their second consecutive Big East Conference championship.[58] Facing the Hokies were the No. 6 Nebraska Cornhuskers, who had finished 10–2 during the 1996-1997 season, including a loss to Texas in the Big 12 Conference championship game.[59]

The 1996 Orange Bowl kicked off on December 31, 1996, exactly one year after the Hokies' previous bowl game. Instead of New Orleans, however, the Hokies were playing in stormy Miami, Florida at Pro Player Stadium. Neither team scored until late in the first quarter when Tech quarterback Jim Druckenmiller put Virginia Tech on the board with a 19-yard touchdown pass. The Hokies' 7–0 lead at the end of the first quarter didn't last long, however. Nebraska scored a field goal early in the second quarter and tacked on a touchdown to take a 10–7 lead halfway through the second quarter. Then Nebraska got its biggest play of the game as Tech's Druckenmiller fumbled the ball. A Nebraska player scooped up the ball, returning it 31 yards for a touchdown. Tech was able to score a touchdown before halftime, but Nebraska still held a 17–14 lead as the second half began.[60]

Nebraska widened its lead with a 33-yard touchdown run six minutes into the second half, but Tech answered right back with a 33-yard touchdown pass on its subsequent possession. The score cut Nebraska's lead to 24–21. Unfortunately for the Hokies, that score was the closest they would get to a lead as Nebraska's offense began to wear down the Tech defense.[60] Nebraska scored another touchdown in the fourth quarter, then racked up 10 points in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. Nebraska won, 41–21.[61]

1998 Gator Bowl[edit]

Main article: 1998 Gator Bowl
1998 Gator Bowl
Date January 1, 1998
Stadium Alltel Stadium
Location Jacksonville, FL

Following the 1997 college football season, Virginia Tech was selected to play in the 1998 Gator Bowl as a reward for a 7–4 regular season.[62] Facing the unranked Hokies were the No. 7-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels. The Heels had gone 10–1 during the regular season and were ranked seventh in the Associated Press poll heading into the game. North Carolina was playing under new head coach Carl Torbush for the first time. Torbush had taken over for former head coach Mack Brown on December 8 after Brown announced that he was departing to take the position of head coach at Texas.[63]

The game kicked off on January 1, 1998 at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. From the opening kickoff, North Carolina dominated every aspect of the game. In the first quarter, the Tar Heels scored 16 points, matching the total number of first-quarter points they had scored in every game of the regular season combined.[63] North Carolina added six points in the second and third quarters before Tech scored its first points of the game—a 40-yard field goal by kicker Shayne Graham. North Carolina set records for largest bowl game margin of victory, most points scored in a bowl game, and most touchdown passes in a bowl game.[63]

The eventual 42–3 loss was Virginia Tech's largest bowl loss in school history.[64]

1998 Music City Bowl[edit]

Main article: 1998 Music City Bowl
1998 Music City Bowl
Date December 29, 1998
Stadium Vanderbilt Stadium
Location Nashville, Tennessee

Virginia Tech's 8–3 record during the 1998 college football regular season was good enough to earn it a bid to the inaugural Music City Bowl game.[65] Facing the Hokies were the Alabama Crimson Tide, who had gone 7–4 during the regular season.[66]

The 1998 Music City Bowl kicked off on December 29, 1998 in Nashville, Tennessee. The weather at kickoff was "horrid," as rain and sleet mixed in freezing temperatures.[67] The game's early going was marked by defense as both teams struggled against the inclement weather. Virginia Tech scored first off of a 43-yard touchdown scramble by quarterback Al Clark. Clark's touchdown provided the game's only points until the second quarter, when Alabama evened the score at 7–7 with a five-yard touchdown pass. The Hokies struck back with a field goal before halftime and took a tenuous 10–7 lead into the second half.[68]

In that half, the Tech offense finally got rolling. The Hokies scored 14 points in both the third and fourth quarters, ending the game on an uncontested 28–0 run. Alabama's offense was stifled throughout by effective pressure from Tech defensive end Corey Moore, and Tech was able to turn several fumbles and interceptions by the Crimson Tide into points on the scoreboard. The final 38–7 Virginia Tech victory was the biggest win in Virginia Tech bowl game history.[68]

2000 Sugar Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2000 Sugar Bowl
2000 Sugar Bowl
Date January 4, 2000
Stadium Louisiana Superdome
Location New Orleans, Louisiana

In their first trip to a bowl sponsored by the newly formed Bowl Championship Series—which had replaced the Bowl Alliance—the No. 2 Hokies returned to New Orleans to face Bobby Bowden's No. 1 1999 Florida State Seminoles football team for the national championship. The Seminoles had narrowly lost the 1999 BCS National Championship Game to the Tennessee Volunteers and were looking to polish off an undefeated season by beating Virginia Tech.

The Hokies' offense starred redshirt freshman quarterback Michael Vick, who finished the season as the third-place runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.[69] Vick's Hokies, who had been favored in every game that year, entered the game as 5.5-point underdogs.[70]

The game kicked off on January 4, 2000 in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Florida State jumped out to a quick 28–7 lead in the first two quarters of play, but the Hokies closed the lead to a 28–14 margin by halftime with a 3-yard run from Vick. In the second half, Tech made its biggest run of the game as Kicker Shayne Graham kicked a field goal and tailback Andre Kendrick added two rushing touchdowns to give the Hokies their first and only lead—29–28—with just over three minutes left in the third quarter.[71] But in the end, the Hokies could not contain Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke, who threw two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and 329 yards in the game. The Seminoles defeated Virginia Tech 46–29.[72]

2001 Gator Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2001 Gator Bowl
2001 Gator Bowl
Date January 1, 2001
Stadium Alltel Stadium
Location Jacksonville, Florida

After the Hokies' participation in the 2000 BCS National Championship Game, the Virginia Tech entered the 2000-2001 college football season with high expectations. Until late in the season, those hopes were borne out, and it appeared as if the Hokies would return to the national championship game. After a late-season loss to No. 3-ranked Miami, however, Tech was knocked out of contention for the national title. Following the conclusion of its 10–1 season, No. 6 Tech was selected to participate in the Gator Bowl.[73] Facing the Hokies were the No. 16 Clemson Tigers, who had finished 9–2 during the regular season.[74]

The 2001 Gator Bowl kicked off on January 1, 2001 at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida.[75] Early on, Virginia Tech took advantage of Clemson mistakes to build a first-quarter lead. On the game's first possession, the Tech defense forced a Clemson punt. Clemson mishandled the kick, and Tech was able to recover the ball at the Clemson 23-yard line. One play later, Tech was on the board with a touchdown pass from quarterback Michael Vick. By the end of the first quarter, Tech had taken a 14–0 lead. Clemson was able to close the gap to 14–10 in the second quarter, but Tech added another touchdown before halftime to take a 21–10 lead into the second half.[76]

In that half, Tech pulled steadily away from the Tigers. Virginia Tech scored 13 points in the third quarter and seven in the fourth quarter, and Clemson never seriously challenged the Hokies, who went on to record a 41–20 victory.[77] The game was the final collegiate contest for Tech quarterback Michael Vick, who would go on to be selected as the first overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft.[76]

2002 Gator Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2002 Gator Bowl
2002 Gator Bowl
Date January 1, 2002
Stadium Alltel Stadium
Location Jacksonville, Florida

No. 15 Virginia Tech was selected to play in the 2002 Gator Bowl with an 8–3 regular-season record despite having just played in Jacksonville at the end of the previous year.[78] The selection of Virginia Tech over the Syracuse Orangemen (now just the "Orange") despite losing head-to-head and Syracuse having better conference and overall records was controversial.[79] No. 24 Florida State, who had failed to win at least a share of the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the first time since joining the league in 1992, and who had played in all three BCS National Championship games held to that point, was selected as the opponent.

The 2002 Gator Bowl kicked off on January 1, 2002 at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida, exactly one year since the Hokies had last played in the game. The game's early going seemed promising for the defense-minded Hokies. In the first quarter, Tech held Florida State scoreless despite only managing a single field goal on offense. In the third quarter, however, Florida State began to find gaps in the Hokie defense and scored 10 points. At halftime, Florida State held a 10–3 lead.[80]

In the third quarter, Tech struck back. The Hokies scored 14 points in the quarter, while Florida State managed just a field goal. The Hokies' All-American tailback Lee Suggs had suffered a season-ending injury in the first game of the season, but freshman Kevin Jones had carried the offense for the season, and continued to perform well in the post-season Gator Bowl game. With a 5-yard run from Jones and a 55-yard pass from Grant Noel to André Davis, Tech took a 17–13 lead going into the fourth quarter. But the lead quickly evaporated on a 77-yard catch and run from Chris Rix to Javon Walker.[80]

Florida State added ten more points after the long touchdown pass, and the Seminoles went on to win the game, 30–17.[81]

2002 San Francisco Bowl[edit]

2002 San Francisco Bowl
Date December 31, 2002
Stadium Pacific Bell Park
Location San Francisco, California

No. 21 Virginia Tech was selected for the inaugural edition of the San Francisco Bowl after an 9–4 record during the 2002 college football season.[82] Facing the Hokies were the Air Force Academy Falcons, who received their bid following an 8–4 regular season.[83]

The 2002 San Francisco Bowl kicked off on December 31, 2002 at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, California. The weather was clear and unseasonably warm for San Francisco in late December, but the field was soggy after several days of rain.[84] In the first seven minutes of the game, Air Force scored 10 consecutive points to take an early 10–0 lead. The Tech defense eventually clamped down on the Falcons' offense, however, and only allowed three points for the remainder of the game. The Virginia Tech offense slowly climbed back from the initial 10-point deficit, scoring a touchdown in the first quarter and a field goal in the second. By halftime, the Hokies had equalized the score at 10–10.[85]

In the second half, defense continued to dominate as Tech built a lead. The Hokies scored the only points of a third quarter as running back Lee Suggs ran into the end zone from one yard out, allowing Tech to take a 17–10 lead into the fourth quarter. The Falcons didn't give up easily, however. Air Force kicker Joey Ashcroft cut into the Tech lead with a 21-yard field goal. Tech matched the score later in the quarter to restore the one-touchdown lead. As time ran down, Air Force had one final chance to tie the game and send it into overtime. Beginning at its own 18-yard line with 4:11 left to play, the Falcons drove deep into Tech territory. With seven seconds remaining, Air Force quarterback Chance Harridge tried to scramble into the end zone, but was stopped before the goal line by Tech cornerback Ronyell Whitaker. The defensive stop preserved the 20–13 Hokie victory, and Tech quarterback Bryan Randall was named the game's most valuable player.[85]

2003 Insight Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2003 Insight Bowl
2003 Insight Bowl
Date December 26, 2003
Stadium Bank One Ballpark
Location Phoenix, Arizona

During the latter half of the 2003 college football season, Virginia Tech struggled. Following an 8–4 regular season, that saw the Hokies lose four of its last six regular-season games, Tech accepted a bid to the 2003 Insight Bowl.[86] Facing the Hokies were the California Golden Bears, who had gone 7–6 during the regular season, tying for third place in the Pacific-10 Conference.[87]

The 2003 Insight Bowl kicked off on December 26, 2003 at Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, Arizona. From the beginning, it was a quick-paced, high-scoring game. In the first quarter, Virginia Tech jumped out to a 21–7 lead courtesy of the Tech passing game, which saw quarterback Bryan Randall eventually throw four touchdowns. In the second quarter, California partially recovered from its 14-point first-quarter deficit by scoring two touchdowns. Tech, meanwhile, scored another, and took a 28–21 lead into halftime.[88]

The offensive onslaught continued in the second half, though it was California that took the advantage at first. Bolstered by an improved defensive effort that held the Hokies scoreless throughout the third quarter, California, behind quarterback Aaron Rodgers, scored 21 unanswered points to take a 42–28 lead into the fourth quarter. But in that quarter, the Hokies clawed back into competition. Tech scored a touchdown to begin the quarter, but Cal answered right back with one of its own, making the score 49–35. The Hokies then evened the score at 49–49 after an 80-yard drive that took less than two minutes and a punt return by DeAngelo Hall for a touchdown.[88] With time running out, Cal still had a chance to drive for a game-winning score. The post-score Tech kickoff went out of bounds, giving the Bears possession at their 35-yard line. Cal needed just seven plays to march 47 yards to set up the game-winning field goal. As time expired, kicker Tyler Frederickson kicked a 35-yard field goal try to give California the 52–49 win.[89]

2005 Sugar Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2005 Sugar Bowl
VT logo.svg
vs.
AuburnTigers.svg
2005 Sugar Bowl
Date January 3, 2005
Stadium Louisiana Superdome
Location New Orleans, Louisiana

A decade after Virginia Tech's selection the 1995 Sugar Bowl and five years after its appearance in a Sugar Bowl game that served as the national championship game, Tech was again selected to play in New Orleans' annual Sugar Bowl game. The No. 9 Hokies finished the regular season 10–2 and won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship their first year in the conference, winning an automatic bid to the game.[90] Facing the Hokies were the No. 3 Auburn Tigers, who had gone 12–0 during the regular season.[91] Normally, Auburn's undefeated season would have been justification for a spot in the 2005 BCS National Championship Game, but because two other teams had also gone undefeated during the regular season, Auburn, as the No. 3 team in the country, was left out of the National Championship game.[92]

The 2005 Sugar Bowl kicked off at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 3, 2005. The game's early going was marked by defense and field goals. Virginia Tech didn't score in the first half, and Auburn managed just three field goals, including one taken inside the Virginia Tech red zone after Auburn failed to score a touchdown from the Tech one-yard line. Tech also had a chance to score a touchdown from inside their opponent's one-yard line, but like Auburn, failed to do so. The Hokies elected to try for a touchdown rather than a field goal on fourth down, but were stopped. At halftime, Auburn had a 9–0 lead.[93]

In the second half, both teams had more offensive success. Auburn scored the game's first touchdown four and a half minutes into the third quarter, widening the Tigers' lead to 16–0. Virginia Tech fought back, driving inside the Auburn 10-yard line before settling for a field goal attempt. Kicker Brandon Pace missed the 23-yard field goal try, leaving the score at 16–0. Tech would have other chances, however. With less than seven minutes remaining in the game, Tech scored its first points of the game after a six-play, 78-yard drive. A 29-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bryan Randall made the score 16–6 after a missed two-point conversion. As time ran down, Tech closed the gap even further. With just over two minutes remaining in the game, Randall connected on an 80-yard pass to wide receiver Josh Morgan for a touchdown. With the score now at 16–13 and time running out, Tech elected to attempt an onside kick in hopes of having a chance for a game-winning offensive drive. Auburn recovered the kick, however, and ran out the clock.[93]

Auburn won the game, 16–13, and Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell was named the game's most valuable player.[94]

2006 Gator Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2006 Gator Bowl
VT logo.svg
vs.
2006 Gator Bowl
Date January 2, 2006
Stadium Alltel Stadium
Location Jacksonville, Florida

Virginia Tech was selected as a participant in the 2006 Gator Bowl following a 10–2 regular season that included wins over 15th-ranked Georgia Tech and traditional rivals Virginia.[95] A loss to Florida State in the inaugural ACC Championship Game had given Tech a bid to the Gator Bowl instead of the more prestigious Bowl Championship Series-run Orange Bowl game. Facing the 12th-ranked Hokies were the 15th-ranked Louisville Cardinals, who had gone 9–2 during their first season in the Big East Conference.[96] Louisville had won its last five games before the Gator Bowl and had participated in the Liberty Bowl during the previous season.[97]

The 2006 Gator Bowl was played on January 2, 2006 at 12:30 p.m. EST in Jacksonville, Florida.[98] Louisville led for much of the game, beginning with an 11-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter by quarterback Hunter Cantwell. Tech was only able to answer with a field goal while Louisville was able to add another touchdown before the end of the quarter.[99] In the second quarter, Virginia Tech fought back and narrowed Louisville's lead to a single touchdown. At halftime, the score was 17–10 in Louisville's favor.[100]

In the second half, Virginia Tech's offense began to have success. Tech earned the only points of the third quarter—a 28-yard field goal from kicker Brandon Pace—to narrow Louisville's lead to 17–13.[101] In the fourth quarter, however, the game fully turned in the Hokies' favor. Though Louisville scored a touchdown early in the quarter, the Hokies' scored 22 unanswered points in the final 13 minutes of the game to take a 35–24 lead and earn the win.[102]

The Hokie win was marred by excessive penalties and unsportsmanlike conduct that resulted in the ejection of one player.[103] Following the game, Virginia Tech quarterback Marcus Vick was released from the team as a result of several incidents of misconduct, including a stomp on Louisville defender Elvis Dumervil's leg during the game.[104]

2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl[edit]

UGA logo.svg
vs.
VT logo.svg
Main article: 2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl
2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl
Date December 30, 2006
Stadium Georgia Dome
Location Atlanta, Georgia

No. 14 Virginia Tech was invited to the 2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl after a 10–2 record during the regular season, being pitted against the Georgia Bulldogs, a tough Southeastern Conference team that finished 8–4 during the regular season.[105] Thanks to their better record, various casinos and betting organizations favored Virginia Tech by 2.5–3 points when setting their point spread.[106][107]

The Hokies lived up to their favored status in the first half, running up a 21-3 lead before halftime,[108] thanks in part to a well-executed pass by wide receiver Eddie Royal on a trick play. Royal also performed well during punt and kick returns, putting Virginia Tech in good field position throughout the half.

During the second half, however, things began to fall apart for Virginia Tech. Hokie quarterback Sean Glennon threw three interceptions and fumbled the ball once, giving Georgia excellent field position and many chances to score. Tech clung to a 21–13 lead at the end of the third quarter,[109] but halfway through the fourth quarter, Georgia took a 31–21 lead over Virginia Tech.[110] The Hokies closed the gap to 31–24 with a late field goal, but Georgia's defense held and the Bulldogs clinched the victory.[110]

2008 Orange Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2008 Orange Bowl
2008 Orange Bowl
Date January 3, 2008
Stadium Dolphin Stadium
Location Miami Gardens, Florida

No. 5 Virginia Tech entered the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) 2008 Orange Bowl following a successful 11–2 season that culminated with a 30–16 win over Boston College in the 2007 ACC Championship Game.[111] The game, which was played on January 3, 2008, also featured the No. 8 Kansas Jayhawks, who had finished 11–1 during the regular season and had been selected via an at-large bid to play in the Orange Bowl.[112] Various betting organizations favored Virginia Tech to win the game by 3½ points.[113]

From the beginning of the game, the Hokies struggled on offense and were held scoreless until well into the second quarter.[114] Kansas, however, was able to get on the board several times, jumping to a 17–0 lead before Virginia Tech scored its first points. Kansas's broke the game open in the first quarter after All-American cornerback Aqib Talib intercepted a pass by backup Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor and returned the ball 60 yards for the game's opening points.[115]

Early in the second half, Virginia Tech regained much of the game's momentum after wide receiver Justin Harper returned a Kansas punt 84 yards for a touchdown, pulling the Hokies within three points. Tech stopped Kansas's offense on the subsequent possession and drove down the field, seemingly for the tying score.[116] Kansas defender Joe Mortensen rushed through the Virginia Tech line and blocked the kick, denying the Hokies three points and preserving a 17–14 Kansas lead.[117] The two teams traded touchdowns during the fourth quarter, but Virginia Tech was unable to get the go-ahead score it needed. Kansas earned the victory, 24–21, in one of the highest-rated bowl games of the 2007–2008 bowl season.[118]

2009 Orange Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2009 Orange Bowl
2009 Orange Bowl
Date January 1, 2009
Stadium Dolphin Stadium
Location Miami Gardens, Florida
Distant figures rush onto a darkened football field carrying orange flags. In the foreground are the heads of spectators.
The Virginia Tech Hokies football team takes the field before the start of the 2009 Orange Bowl.

No. 19 Virginia Tech earned a bid to the 2009 Orange Bowl via an automatic bid, courtesy of a 30–12 victory against Boston College in the 2008 ACC Championship Game that saw the Hokies named champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference.[119] The game was played on January 1, 2009, and also featured the No. 12 Cincinnati Bearcats, champions of the Big East Conference.[120] Pregame media coverage of the game focused on the fact that the 2009 Orange Bowl was Cincinnati's first Bowl Championship Series game in school history,[121] and despite their bowl-game inexperience, the Bearcats were favored to win by two and a half points on the eve of the game.[122]

Cincinnati gained a 7–0 lead in the first quarter,[123] but Virginia Tech scored 10 unanswered points to take a 10–7 lead into halftime.[124] In the second half, Virginia Tech extended its lead as its defense kept the Bearcats scoreless. A Tech field goal in the third quarter was followed by a touchdown in the fourth quarter, and the game ended with Virginia Tech on top, 20–7.[125]

In recognition of his performance during the game, Virginia Tech running back Darren Evans was named the game's most valuable player. Evans set a Virginia Tech bowl-game record for carries, and tied the Tech record for rushing yards. Evans finished the season with 1,265 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns–both marks were Virginia Tech records for a freshman.[126]

2009 Chick-Fil-A Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl
2010 Chick-Fil-A Bowl
Date December 31, 2009
Stadium Georgia Dome
Location Atlanta, Georgia

The Virginia Tech Hokies (10-3), led by redshirt freshman running back Ryan Williams and Junior Quarterback Tyrod Taylor, met in Atlanta with the Tennessee Volunteers (7-6) at the Georgia Dome to end their season right where it had begun against Alabama, who would win the National Championship a week later. Williams, who had only moved to number 1 on the depth charts when Darren Evans was injured in the offseason, was looking for 109 yards rushing to pass Kevin Jones’ school-record of 1,647 set in 2003.

In the first quarter, Rashad Carmichael intercepted a pass by Jonathan Crompton leading to a Williams third-down run from the 1 to give the Hokies a 7-0 lead. Williams scored again, this time from the 3, to push the lead to 14-0 in the second quarter. Tennessee then took the momentum. Montario Hardesty ran through 301-pound defensive tackle Cordarrow Thompson’s tackle for a 4-yard run to cap an 80-yard drive. Janzen Jackson’s interception set up Crompton’s 2-yard touchdown pass to Moore with 18 seconds remaining in the first half. Instead of running out the clock, Taylor threw from his 33 to Jarrett Boykin, who was stopped inside the Volunteers’ 5 as the clock apparently expired. Tennessee players left the field but were summoned back and reluctantly returned as a video review showed that Boykin’s knee hit the ground with 2 seconds remaining. Matt Waldron kicked a 21-yard field goal as the first half ran out to give Virginia Tech a 17-14 halftime lead.

Tyrod Taylor scored in the third quarter with 8:32 remaining from the 1 for a 24-14 lead one play after Williams broke Jones record with the seventh carry of the drive. Waldron added a 46-yarder—the longest of his career—to push the lead to 27-14 early in the fourth quarter. Tennessee had a chance to get back into the game, but wide-open Denarius Moore dropped a deep pass from Crompton on the Volunteers’ next drive. Williams sat out the fourth quarter after an apparent left ankle injury. Virginia Tech fans cheered when Williams left the trainer’s table and ran on the sideline, but Beamer gave the fourth-quarter carries to Josh Oglesby and David Wilson. Wilson had a 3-yard touchdown run with 5:14 remaining extending the lead to 34-14. Crompton fumbled when sacked by Nekos Brown late in the fourth quarter which John Graves recovered at the Tennessee 13 to set up Matt Waldron’s third field goal, a 22-yarder putting the game out of reach with 2:38 remaining. As the clock expired, Virginia Tech players dumped a cooler of water on coach Frank Beamer as the Virginia Tech fans in the sellout crowd of 73,777 cheered.

Ryan Williams capped a brilliant first season with a record-setting game, running for two touchdowns and 117 yards to become Virginia Tech’s single-season rushing leader with 1,655 yards. Williams had long runs of 21 and 32 yards in the drive before setting the record on a 6-yard run to the 3. Williams also set Atlantic Coast Conference records with 21 rushing touchdowns and 22 total touchdowns this season breaking North Carolina’s Don McCauley ACC marks of 19 rushing touchdowns and 21 total in 1970. Tennessee’s star running back, Montario Hardesty, could not keep up with Williams as the Volunteers’ senior had 18 carries for 39 yards and a touchdown. The Hokies outrushed Tennessee 229-5. Taylor completed 10 of 17 passes for 201 yards with an interception. Crompton completed 15 of 26 passes for 235 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

The Hokies, who won the Orange Bowl the previous season, have back-to-back bowl wins for the first time in school history and continued the streak of 10-win seasons to six. The only team with a longer active streak is Texas with nine.

2011 Orange Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2011 Orange Bowl
2011 Orange Bowl
Date January 3, 2011
Stadium Sun Life Stadium
Location Miami Gardens, Florida

Virginia Tech was selected to participate in the 2011 Orange Bowl after an 11-2 regular season that culminated with a 44-33 win in the 2010 ACC Championship Game, clinching the Atlantic Coast Conference championship and an automatic BCS bid. Stanford was picked as the other half of the matchup following an 11-1 campaign that included the school's best-ever regular-season record. That performance earned the Cardinal a No. 4 ranking in the BCS Poll and the automatic bid to a BCS game that accompanies that status. In the weeks before the game, media attention focused on both teams' turnarounds from historical difficulties and the performance of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.

The game kicked off at 8:39 p.m. in warm weather, and Stanford scored first, a touchdown, with its third offensive possession. Virginia Tech briefly took the lead with a defensive score and a touchdown of its own, but Stanford restored a 13-12 advantage before halftime. In the second half, Stanford pulled away from Virginia Tech as it scored 13 points in the third quarter and 14 in the fourth while holding the Hokies scoreless.

In recognition of his performance during the game, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was named the game's most valuable player. He set a Stanford bowl-game record for touchdowns, and threw three of those scores to tight end Coby Fleener, who set a Stanford and Orange Bowl record with 173 receiving yards. Both teams made coaching changes after the game, as Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh left the team to coach the National Football League's San Francisco 49ers and Virginia Tech replaced several assistant coaches.

2012 Sugar Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2012 Sugar Bowl
2012 Sugar Bowl
Date January 3, 2012
Stadium Mercedes-Benz Superdome
Location New Orleans, Louisiana

The 2012 Sugar Bowl Game (known via sponsorship as the Allstate Sugar Bowl) was the 78th edition of the annual postseason college football bowl game known as the Sugar Bowl. It featured the Michigan Wolverines and the Virginia Tech Hokies on Tuesday, January 3, 2012, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The game was the final contest of the 2011 football season for both teams and was the third game of the 2011–2012 Bowl Championship Series (BCS). The game ended with 23–20 Michigan victory in overtime. Michigan represented the Big Ten Conference (Big Ten) as the at-large team from the conference, while Virginia Tech represented the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) as its at-large team. The game was televised in the United States on ESPN and an estimated 9.6 million viewers watched the broadcast live. This was the first Sugar Bowl since 2000, as well as only the sixth since World War II and the tenth overall, not to feature a Southeastern Conference (SEC) team.

Michigan was offered a berth after it finished the season with a 10–2 record—its highest win total since the 2006 season—that ended with a 40–34 win against arch-rival Ohio State. Virginia Tech was offered a berth after it finished its season 11–2, which culminated in a 38–10 loss in the 2011 ACC Championship Game to Clemson. Media attention focused on the quality of the bowl selection, as both teams were criticized for not having strong schedules. Attention also focused on how Virginia Tech's defense would contain Michigan QB Denard Robinson.

The game kicked off at 8:32 pm Eastern Standard Time, and Virginia Tech scored first, converting the its first possession into on a field goal. Virginia Tech added another field goal in the second quarter, but Michigan scored a touchdown in the final minute to take a 7–6 lead, and then recovered a Virginia Tech fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Michigan kicked a field goal as time expired in the first half to take a 10–6 lead. Michigan converted its first possession of the second half into a touchdown to take a 17–6 lead, but Virginia Tech added a field goal to narrow the lead to 17–9. In the fourth quarter, Virginia Tech scored a touchdown to narrow Michigan's lead to two points, and then converted a two-point conversion to tie the game. Michigan responded with a field goal, but Virginia Tech tied the game with a field goal with two seconds remaining. In overtime, Virginia Tech appeared to score the go-ahead touchdown, but the call on the field was overturned upon video review. On the next play, Virginia Tech missed a crucial field goal. Michigan converted its field goal opportunity to win the game 23–20 in overtime.

In recognition of his performance, Michigan's Junior Hemingway was named the game's most valuable player.

2012 Russell Athletic Bowl[edit]

2012 Russell Athletic Bowl
Date December 28, 2012
Stadium Citrus Bowl
Location Orlando, Florida

The 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl, The 23rd edition of the Russell Athletic Bowl, was held on December 28, 2012 at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida with a 5:30 p.m. EST kickoff and aired on ESPN. It featured the Virginia Tech Hokies against the Big East Conference co-champion Rutgers Scarlet Knights, and was the final game of the 2012 NCAA Division I FBS football season for both teams. The Scarlet Knights accepted their invitation after achieving a 9-3 record in the regular season, while the Hokies accepted theirs after achieving a 6-6 record.[127] Virginia Tech beat Rutgers 13-10 in overtime.

2013 Sun Bowl[edit]

Main article: 2013 Sun Bowl
2013 Sun Bowl
Date December 31, 2013
Stadium Sun Bowl Stadium
Location El Paso, Texas

The 80th edition of the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas was the 21st consecutive bowl appearance for Virginia Tech and Coach Beamer. The 2013 Sun Bowl featured the Hokies against the UCLA Bruins on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 and marked the first meeting between the two teams. The Hokies made their first appearance at Sun Bowl Stadium and their second Sun Bowl (the first being the 1947 Sun Bowl, the first bowl game of Virginia Tech's 27-bowl game history.)[128] Virginia Tech lost the game to UCLA, 42-12.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

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  2. ^ Orange Bowl Media Guide Virginia Tech Sports Information, December 2007, Blacksburg, Virginia. Page 4. Accessed February 7, 2008.
  3. ^ "2013 Virginia Tech Football Media Guide". Virginia Tech Athletics Communications. p. 144. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Wood, Norm (8 December 2013). "Virginia Tech heads west to Sun Bowl vs. UCLA". The Daily Press. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  5. ^ San Diego opted to pass on the No. 1 selection, agreeing to a trade with Atlanta Falcons for their No. 5 selection. The Falcons took Virginia Tech QB Michael Vick to begin the 246-player draft. "Atlanta selects QB Vick No. 1 overall". cnnsi.com (CNN). Retrieved 2007-05-04. 
  6. ^ Frank Beamer Virginia Tech Athletics department, Hokiesports.com. Accessed February 26, 2008.
  7. ^ Team Records - Best Winning Percentage College Football Data Warehouse, Accessed May 8, 2013.
  8. ^ Team Records - Most Bowl Appearances College Football Data Warehouse, Accessed December 7, 2010.
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  32. ^ a b 1981 Peach Bowl Accessed February 21, 2008.
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  40. ^ 2007 NC State football media guide NC State Athletics Department, Gopack.com. Page 190. Accessed February 22, 2008.
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