Final bowl preparations complete for Tech
Chick-fil-A Bowl Nuggets
December 29, 2006

ATLANTA - Virginia Tech's next-to-last day in Atlanta started with some friendly banter at a mid-morning joint press conference with Tech's Frank Beamer and Georgia's Mark Richt in front of a throng of local and regional media members.

Both coaches gave an opening statement about their week in Atlanta and their thoughts about the upcoming Chick-fil-A Bowl. At the end of his opening statement, Richt said he hoped the week ended with a Bulldog win.

"Hopefully, we'll win by one point," he said.

Then after a slight pause, he added this.

"Hopefully, we'll score a point," he said, and that brought a burst of laughter from those in attendance.

As expected, both coaches talking glowingly of the other's program. Beamer received an interesting question, being asked whom does Georgia remind him of this season.

"Ourselves," he replied. "Obviously, we didn't play ourselves this season, but that's who they remind me of. We're very similar. We have strong defenses, we were breaking in new quarterbacks, we're a little short on the offensive line, and we're both pretty good in the kicking game. They look like ourselves. They play tough and get after it."

A win over the Bulldogs on Saturday night at the Georgia Dome would mean so much for this Tech program. The Hokies would notch their 11th win, a feat only accomplished by three other Tech teams, It also could vault the Hokies into the top 10 for the third consecutive season - something only Southern California has a chance at saying, depending on how the Trojans fare in their bowl game.

A win also would set the stage for next season. But Beamer isn't too worried about that.

"I think obviously if you win a bowl over a ranked team from the SEC, then people start talking about how many you've got coming back for next year," he said. "But I'm concerned with this year and this year's team and this year's seniors. To finish this thing off with a win would be a great accomplishment for this team. I'll worry about next year, next year."

The game also provides Tech with an opportunity to represent the ACC in a positive fashion. The league took hits this season because of a poor record against teams from other BCS conferences, but Florida State got the postseason started on a good note for the league with a win over UCLA in the Emerald Bowl two nights ago.

"The more times we beat teams like this, the better it is," Beamer said. "As a league, we need to do it over the long haul. That's why the SEC is great. The teams in that league have done it over the long haul."

The players spent the morning on their own before attending a "Chalk Talk Luncheon" with the Georgia players at the Marriott Marquis. Afterward, the team and coaches went to the Georgia Dome for a final walk-through that lasted a little over an hour.

Now the waiting game begins for the players and coaches. Tech's players aren't allowed out of the hotel on Friday night, with curfew set at 11 p.m. On Saturday, the players attend a few position meetings and then remain in their rooms until it's time to leave for the game.

"It takes so long," linebacker Xavier Adibi said of the wait. "At one point, we had, like, four night games in a row and it would just drive you crazy waiting for the game. You're sitting in the hotel, watching TV or sleeping and just trying to get your mind right. It's tough. Sometimes, you just can't wait to get on that field and hit somebody."

"I'm like Xavier," quarterback Sean Glennon said. "I get real antsy during the day. I'm not sure what to do with my free time. But at the same time, I like playing on the big stage at night. So I think it's worth the wait."

Kickoff for the game is slated at 8:07 p.m. at the Georgia Dome. The game will be televised by ESPN.