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Fans Invited to Tech's First Gator Bowl Practice

Dec. 12, 2006

ATLANTA–As Georgia Tech begins preparations for the 2007 Toyota Gator Bowl, Yellow Jacket fans are invited to watch Tech’s first bowl practice on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 12 noon at Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field.

Fans should enter Bobby Dodd Stadium at Gate 4 and sit in the lower West Stands. Please note that the Institute’s fall semester commencement ceremonies will be taking place Saturday morning at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, so traffic on campus could be heavy.

Making its 10th straight bowl appearance, Tech (9-4, 7-1 ACC), ranked 25th, takes on 12th-ranked West Virginia (10-2, 5-2 Big East) on New Year’s Day at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. and the game will be nationally televised on CBS.

The Yellow Jackets conclude fall semester final exams Friday and then begin their bowl preparations Saturday. The team will practice on campus through Dec. 22 before breaking for the Christmas holiday, and then reassemble in Jacksonville the afternoon of Dec. 26.

Georgia Tech, which owns the nation’s second-best bowl game winning percentage, will make its 10th straight bowl appearance by facing West Virginia in the Toyota Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, 2007. Tech is one of just six schools in the nation that will play in a bowl game for the 10th straight year. Florida State and Virginia Tech are the only other Atlantic Coast Conference schools in this elite group, which also includes Florida, Georgia and Michigan.

Georgia Tech will be making its seventh appearance in the Gator Bowl, making it the Yellow Jackets’ most frequent bowl destination. Tech is 3-3 in six previous Gator Bowls.

Most recently, Tech made back-to-back appearances in the Gator Bowl following the 1998 and 1999 seasons. In 1998, Tech defeated Notre Dame, 35-28, led by quarterback Joe Hamilton, who passed for 237 yards and three touchdowns and also caught a TD pass, and wide receiver Dez White, a Jacksonville native who caught two TD passes. The Jackets returned the following year but fell to Miami, 28-13.

Tech also made four Gator Bowl trips in a 10-year span from 1956-65. The Jackets defeated Pittsburgh, 21-14, in the 1956 Gator Bowl, fell to Arkansas, 14-7, in the 1960 game, lost to Penn State, 30-15 in the 1961 Gator Bowl and then defeated Texas Tech, 31-21, in the 1965 Gator Bowl.

Georgia Tech won both previous meetings with West Virginia, both of which came in bowl games. Tech defeated the Mountaineers, 35-30, in the 1997 Carquest Bowl to begin the Yellow Jackets’ current bowl streak. Quarterback Joe Hamilton was named MVP as he ran and passed for 356 yards and three touchdowns against a WVU squad that featured Marc Bulger at quarterback, Amos Zereoue at running back and Jerry Porter at wide receiver.

Tech also defeated West Virginia, 42-19, in the 1954 Sugar Bowl as Pepper Rodgers passed for 195 yards and three touchdowns while kicking one field goal and two extra points.

The only common opponent for Tech and West Virginia in 2006 was Maryland, fell to the Jackets, 27-23,and to the Mountaineers, 45-24.


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