Hokies to face Kansas in FedEx Orange Bowl
Two teams to battle on Jan. 3, 2008
December 2, 2007
BLACKSBURG - The No. 3 Virginia Tech Hokies (11-2), the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) champions, and No. 8 Kansas Jayhawks (11-1) will meet in the 74th Annual FedEx Orange Bowl to be played Jan. 3, 2008 at Dolphin Stadium. The match-up features a classic showdown between the nation's second ranked scoring defense in the Hokies (allowing 15.5 points per game) against the nation's second ranked scoring offense in Kansas (scoring 44.3 points per game). The game will be televised live at 8 p.m., on the FOX Network, as well as on ESPN Radio. "We are honored to be coming to the Orange Bowl to represent the ACC," head coach Frank Beamer said. "And we are honored to be playing Kansas, a team that is having a great year. We'll try to uphold our end of the deal to have a great Orange Bowl. This has the makings of a great game and we look forward to it." Led by the nation's third winningest active coach, Beamer, the Coastal Division champion Virginia Tech won the conference title with a 30-16 win over Atlantic Division champion Boston College in the third annual Dr. Pepper ACC Football Championship at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on Dec. 1. It was the Hokies' second conference title in the ACC to go along with three in the Big East. This will mark their second FedEx Orange Bowl appearance, as they played in the Dec. 31, 1996 game against Nebraska - the first held in what is now called Dolphin Stadium. Three Hokie defenders were named to the all-ACC first team, and senior LB Xavier Adibi and junior CB Brandon Flowers have been named All-Americans. In his 21st season at the helm, Beamer has 209 wins, behind only Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno. This is the 15th consecutive bowl appearance for his team, including four BCS games. This senior class is the most successful in school history, posting a 42-10 mark. Virginia Tech is one of only two teams (USC) to produce 10 or more wins each of the past four seasons. Mark Mangino brings his Jayhawks to South Florida for their first BCS bowl appearance. Mangino, the Big 12 coach of the Year, is in his sixth year at KU, and has led his team to three bowls, the most of any KU coach. The Jayhawks produced the second largest turnaround in the country improving from a 6-6 mark a year ago to 11-1. They are one of only two one-loss teams in the country (Ohio State). This is Kansas' third appearance in the FedEx Orange Bowl (1948 and 1969). Four Jayhawks were named all-Big 12 first team. Defensive tackle James McClinton was named the league's Defensive Lineman of the Year and return man Marcus Herford was the league's Special Teams Player of the Year after leading the Big 12 and ranking eighth nationally in kickoff returns. The Jayhawks were sixth nationally in total offense gaining nearly 500 yards a game and second in scoring with more than 44 points per game. While this is the first meeting ever between these schools, it is the 21st meeting between the current Big 12 and current ACC members. The ACC leads the series 11-9. Nine of the 20 previous meetings have decided the national championship. Tickets for the bowl will go on sale early this week, according to the Virginia Tech Athletics Ticket Office. Visit Tech's Orange Bowl Web site at: http://www.hokiesports.com/football/2008bowl/ for more details.