The Virginia Tech football team (6-6, 4-4 ACC) will wrap up the 2012 season on Dec. 28 when it takes on Rutgers (9-3, 5-2 Big East) in the Russell Athletic Bowl, which is played in Orlando’s Citrus Bowl Stadium. Kickoff is set for 5:35 p.m. and the game will be televised on the ESPN. Joe Tessitore, Matt Millen and Maria Taylor will handle the announcing duties while Adam Amin, Tom Luginbill and Brett McMurphy will have the call on ESPN Radio.
• Virginia Tech and Rutgers University will be meeting for the 15th time in football when they meet in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
• The Hokies lead the series, which began in 1920, 11-3 but the two haven’t met since 2003 - Tech’s last season in the Big East.
• Rutgers won the first three games in the series, coming in 1920, 1953 and 1992, but the Hokies have won the last 11 games between the two. From 1992-2003, the two were members of the Big East Conference together with the Hokies winning 11 of 12 conference games.
• In 12 conference games, Tech averaged 46.7 points against the Scarlet Knights while, giving up an average of just 19.9 points per game.
• Thirteen players who started against Michigan last season in the Sugar Bowl are on this year’s roster with 10 of them projected to or who could start against Rutgers. Five players who started against Stanford two seasons ago in the Orange Bowl are still on the roster with four of them projected to or who could start against Rutgers. Only one player (Dyrell Roberts) who started against Tennessee three seasons ago in the Chick-fil-A Bowl is on this year’s roster.
• If either start, it will be the third bowl start for junior linebacker Jack Tyler and/or senior receiver Marcus Davis.
Miscellaneous Russell Athletic Bowl Notes
• Tech is 1-1 all-time in games played at the Citrus Bowl Stadium, losing to Florida State 33-20 in 1991 and beating UCF 44-21 in 2000 … Tech is 149-128-19 all-time in neutral site games … Tech is 10-12 all-time in games played in December and 18-14-1 in games played on a Friday … Tech is 18-33 all-time in football games played in the state of Florida … Tech has never played a football game on Dec. 28.
Twenty in a Row
• With its trip to a bowl this year, Virginia Tech is now one of only six programs in college football history to go to a bowl in at least 20 straight years, Nebraska (35), Michigan (33), Florida State (31; active), Alabama (25), Florida (22; active) and Tech (20; active).
Countdown to Kickoff
10…Virginia Tech will be making its 10th visit to the state of Florida for a bowl game (5 Gator Bowls; 4 Orange Bowls).
9…Nine defensive starters from Tech’s 2012 Sugar Bowl game are on the Hokies’ roster for the Russell Athletic Bowl.
8…The Hokies rank eighth nationally in third-down efficiency defense at 29.8 percent (54-181).
7…Tech averages 7.25 tackles for loss per game, which ranks 14th nationally among FBS teams.
6…Sophomore Kyshoen Jarrett is sixth nationally in punt returns with an average of 13.89 yards per return.
5…Quarterback Logan Thomas currently stands fifth all-time in passing yards at Tech with 5,903.
4…Frank Beamer is now one of just four coaches all-time to go to at least 20 consecutive bowls – the others are Bobby Bowden (28), Tom Osborne (25) and Bear Bryant (24).
3…The Hokies have led at the half of just three games this season.
2…Redshirt freshman Demitri Knowles’ 595 yards on kickoff returns is the second-highest season total for a Tech player since 1952, trailing only Billy Hardee’s 758 yards in 1973.
1…Virginia Tech will be making its first appearance in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
A few game notes in 140 characters or less
This will be the 15th meeting on the gridiron between @RFootball and @VT_Football, with the Hokies leading 11-3. #RUTGvsVT
Virginia Tech and Rutgers played 12 times as members of the Big East with the #Hokies winning the last 11 contests.
This will be the #Hokies’ 20th straight bowl but its first in the @RussellAthBowl.
Tight end Ryan Malleck is the lone player for @VT_Football who is from the state of New Jersey.
For updates on Virginia Tech football, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Football).