Dec. 1, 2003
Earning its school-record seventh consecutive bowl berth, Georgia Tech (6-6, 4-4 ACC) has accepted an invitation to play in Humanitarian Bowl VII on Saturday, Jan. 3 at 12 noon ET in Boise, Idaho.
Officials from the Humanitarian Bowl extended the information via telephone to Tech head coach Chan Gailey and Director of Athletics Dave Braine Monday afternoon.
“We are honored and excited to have a national program like Georgia Tech as one of the participating institutions in this year’s game,” said Milford Terrell, Chairman of the Humanitarian Bowl. “They are a team to be reckoned with having beaten Maryland, North Carolina State and Auburn and playing BCS bowl bound Florida State to within one point. We look forward to another exciting contest at this year’s game.”
Tech’s opponent has not yet been determined but will be a member of the Western Athletic Conference.
Tickets for the Humanitarian Bowl, priced from $15 – $53.50, can be ordered through the Georgia Tech ticket office at 1.888.TECH.TIX.
“Georgia Tech is very happy to represent the Atlantic Coast Conference in the Humanitarian Bowl,” said Braine. “We’ve heard great things about Boise and the bowl, and we’re looking forward to going out there.”
Picked to finish eighth in the ACC in preseason polls, Tech exceeded expectations in 2003, highlighted by victories over bowl-bound teams Auburn, Maryland and NC State.
“We’re very excited about the opportunity to play in our seventh straight bowl game,” said Gailey, who is the first Tech head coach to lead the Jackets to bowl games in his first two seasons. “Extending that streak was very important to our football team and especially to our senior class.
“Obviously I’m biased, but I think the Humanitarian Bowl is getting an exciting young team. We have nine all-ACC players and true freshman quarterback who is the ACC Rookie of the Year. We have one of the top rushers and one of the top receivers in the league and a defense that has played very well.”
The Tech offense, directed by true freshman quarterback Reggie Ball, features the ACC’s leading receiver in senior Jonathan Smith, a second-team all-ACC selection, and second-leading rusher in first-team all-conference honoree P.J. Daniels as well as first-team all-ACC center Hugh Reilly.
Defensively, the Jackets boast the ACC’s leading tackler in linebacker Keyaron Fox, sacks leader in defensive end Eric Henderson and free safety James Butler, who is second in the league in interceptions. All three are first-team all-ACC honorees.
With its invitation to Humanitarian Bowl VII, Georgia Tech has earned a school-record seventh straight bowl berth. On their current streak, the Yellow Jackets have also played in the 1997 Carquest Bowl, the 1999 and 2000 Toyota Gator Bowls, the 2000 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the 2001 Seattle Bowl and the 2002 Silicon Valley Classic. Tech previously played in six straight bowl games from 1951-56 under legendary head coach Bobby Dodd.
Georgia Tech is one of just 13 schools in the nation that have played in a bowl game each of the last six years. Florida State is the only other Atlantic Coast Conference school in this elite group. The list also includes Florida, Georgia, Kansas State, Marshall, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Purdue, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Washington. All 13 schools have qualified for bowl games this season.
Tech enters the Humanitarian Bowl with the nation’s third best bowl winning percentage. The Jackets have a 20-11 record in bowl games for a winning percentage of .645 that trails Oklahoma (.653) and Penn State (.667) for the highest winning percentage among all teams with at least 15 bowl appearances. Tech ranks sixth all-time in bowl victories with 20 and 13th in appearances with 31.