Dec. 4, 2016
TaxSlayer Bowl media teleconference – Dec. 4
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech football has accepted an invitation to participate in the 72nd-annual TaxSlayer Bowl, where it will face Kentucky on Saturday, Dec. 31 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
“We are very excited to represent the ACC in the TaxSlayer Bowl,” Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson said. “Playing in such a terrific bowl with a long, storied history is a great reward for our student-athletes after winning five of the last six games to close the regular season. We have a lot of respect for Coach Stoops and Kentucky and look forward to a great trip to Jacksonville and a great game.”
The bowl game is Georgia Tech’s 44th all-time, 19th in the last 20 seasons and its eighth appearance in the TaxSlayer Bowl, which was formerly known as the Gator Bowl. Georgia Tech is 24-19 all-time in bowl games and 3-4 in its seven previous TaxSlayer/Gator Bowl appearances. The Yellow Jackets have not made a postseason appearance in Jacksonville since a 38-35 Gator Bowl loss to West Virginia following the 2006 season (Jan. 1, 2007).
The Jackets will face Kentucky for the 20th time overall but the first time since 1960. Georgia Tech owns an 11-7-1 advantage in the all-time series with UK. The teams have never met in the postseason.
“It is a great honor to be selected to participate in the TaxSlayer Bowl,” Georgia Tech director of athletics Todd Stansbury said. “In addition to its close proximity to Atlanta, north and central Florida is home to a large number of Georgia Tech alumni. We’re excited for the opportunity to bring our football team to Jacksonville for one of college football’s most outstanding bowl games.”
Georgia Tech (8-4, 4-4 ACC) has won three-straight and five of its last six games, including wins at ACC Coastal Division champion and 18th-ranked Virginia Tech (30-20 on Nov. 12) and archrival Georgia (28-27 on Nov. 26). The Yellow Jackets’ five-win improvement from last season’s 3-9 campaign is the second-largest turnaround among Power 5 conference teams in 2016 (behind only Colorado’s six-win improvement).
Kentucky (7-5, 4-4 SEC) closed the season with consecutive victories, including an impressive 41-38 win over No. 11 Louisville in its regular-season finale.
The Jackets and Wildcats have two common opponents this season – Vanderbilt and Georgia. Georgia Tech swept its SEC matchups this season, beating Vanderbilt, 38-7, on Sept. 17 to go along with the aforementioned win over Georgia. Kentucky also defeated Vanderbilt, 20-13, on Oct. 8 but lost to Georgia, 27-24, on Nov. 5.
Tickets and travel packages are on sale now. Yellow Jackets faithful planning to attend the game are urged to support Georgia Tech and ensure the opportunity to sit and travel with other Tech fans by purchasing tickets and travel packages at togetherweswarm.com/bowl.