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Virginia Tech heading to Camping World Bowl in Orlando to play Oklahoma State

December 03,2017 21:16

The key there was Notre Dame finishing 14th, which put it out of the New Year's Six consideration. Under its agreement with the ACC, the Fighting Irish then joins the league's bowl lineup. The Citrus Bowl quickly snapped up Notre Dame to play LSU. That ...


BLACKSBURG ​—​​ When the bowl selection dust finally settled Sunday, the Hokies ended up with a date in Orlando.
No. 22 Virginia Tech will play in the Camping World Bowl on Dec. 28 at 5:15 p.m. against the high-flying offense of No. 19 Oklahoma State.
It’s a matchup dripping with interesting storylines. It’ll feature the nation’s No. 1 passing offense against Bud Foster’s historically strong defense.
The Cowboys throw for 392.3 yards per game and feature All-American candidates in quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington. Bud Foster’s Virginia Tech defense ranks 21st nationally in passing defense (187.2 ypg) and 14th in passer efficiency defense.
It’s also an interesting coaching matchup. Justin Fuente's an Oklahoma native who grew up in Tulsa, having played his final high school game at Oklahoma State’s Lewis Field, which has since been renamed Boone Pickens Stadium.
Cowboys coach Mike Gundy is well-known in college football circles for not only his passing offense but also his mullet and infamous “I’m a man! I’m 40!” press conference 10 years ago.
It’ll be the teams’ first meeting since 1972. The Cowboys won a 1971 matchup in Stillwater, Oklahoma, 24-16, with Virginia Tech returning the favor with a 34-32 win in Blacksburg the following season.
The Hokies have played in this bowl game before, back when it had a different name, though most Tech fans have likely blocked that from their memory. Virginia Tech beat Rutgers 13-10 in overtime in the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl, a game in which neither team reached 200 yards of offense. Adding a strange pall over the festivities, Hokies coach Frank Beamer overhauled his offensive coaching staff in the weeks after.
This will be the 25th straight season the Hokies will be heading to a bowl game, the second longest streak nationally to Florida State’s 36 straight years.
The fog started to lift on the Hokies bowl destination at 12:30 p.m. when the final College Football Playoff rankings were released. After Clemson, Oklahoma and Georgia went 1-2-3, Alabama edged out Ohio State for the fourth spot, ending the most heated debate in the brief history of the playoff.
But what was more important from Virginia Tech’s perspective is that Wisconsin came in at No. 6. By being the highest-ranked non-champion from the Big Ten or SEC, the Badgers earned a spot in the Orange Bowl to play Miami. Under the selection rules, when that happens it opens up a spot for the ACC in the Citrus Bowl, which gets top pick of ACC teams after the New Year’s Six is decided.
Those New Year’s Six matchups came a couple hours later. The key there was Notre Dame finishing 14th, which put it out of the New Year’s Six consideration. Under its agreement with the ACC, the Fighting Irish then joins the league’s bowl lineup. The Citrus Bowl quickly snapped up Notre Dame to play LSU.
That left the Camping World Bowl to choose between Virginia Tech (9-3), Louisville (8-4) and N.C. State (8-4). The Cardinals played in an Orlando bowl last year when it faced LSU in the Citrus, leaving the Hokies, with the highest ranking and the best record, as the clear choice.

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