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Jackets Go Bowling in Orlando

Nov. 30, 2004

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s eighth consecutive bowl game will be in Orlando, Fla., as the Yellow Jackets have accepted an invitation to play in the Champs Sports Bowl, Dec. 21 at 7:45 p.m. ET.

To purchase tickets for the Champs Sports Bowl, call 1.888.TECH.TIX or click here

The Champs Sports Bowl will be played in the 65,438-seat Citrus Bowl and will be nationally televised on ESPN. Tech’s opponent is still to be determined, but the bowl has a tie-in with the Big 12 Conference.

Dick Rivera, Florida Citrus Sports President, and Anthony Azama, Florida Citrus Sports Brand Manager, extended the official invitation Tuesday afternoon to Tech Director of Athletics Dave Braine, head coach Chan Gailey and senior captains James Butler, Nate Curry and Andy Tidwell-Neal. “We’re excited about having Georgia Tech in our bowl,” said Rivera. “We feel like the program is on the rise, and it has a great tradition of postseason play. We think Orlando is really excited about having Georgia Tech, and we know that you will be excited about coming to Orlando.”

The Yellow Jackets have a record of 6-5 overall, 4-4 in the ACC with all five losses coming at the hands of bowl-bound teams, including three defeats by teams currently in the Top 10.

“We’re excited about being in this bowl, and I think our fans will be excited, too,” said Gailey, who has led the Jackets to a bowl each of his three seasons at Tech. “We don’t care who we play; I know that’s up in the air right now, but it doesn’t matter.

“Obviously this helps in recruiting because we do a lot of recruiting in the state of Florida. We have a lot of players from this half of the country, so their families are able to get to this game easily. It’s great for our seniors. This is their last bowl game and they get a chance to play in front of their families. And it’s great for our fans, too.

“This is a positive for our program,” continued Gailey. “Every team in America started the season trying to be 11-0. Everybody started out wanting to be there, but everybody’s not. There’s a couple of teams that have been going to bowls for many, many years and they’re not going this year. But this crew fought and found a way to get in the bowl picture again, for the eighth year in a row. There’s a lot to be said for that.”

Georgia Tech will be one of just eight schools in the nation to play in a bowl game each of the last eight years. Florida State and Virginia Tech are the only other ACC schools in this elite group, which also includes Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Purdue and Tennessee. On their current streak, the Yellow Jackets have played in the 1997 Carquest Bowl, the 1999 and 2000 Toyota Gator Bowls, the 2000 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the 2001 Seattle Bowl, the 2002 Silicon Valley Classic and the 2004 Humanitarian Bowl. Tech’s longest previous streak was six straight bowl games from 1951-56 under legendary head coach Bobby Dodd.

Georgia Tech enters the game with the nation’s best winning percentage in bowl games, among teams with at least 20 bowl appearances. Tech’s record stands at 21-11 for a winning percentage of .656 in postseason play. The Jackets lead Penn State (23-12-2, .649) and Southern California (27-15, .643). Tech ranks sixth all-time in bowl victories with 21 and 13th in appearances with 32.

Although the Yellow Jackets will be making their first appearance in the Champs Sports Bowl, formerly the Tangerine Bowl, the bowl was previously located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and known as the Carquest Bowl, in which Tech defeated West Virginia, 35-30, in 1997. Georgia Tech’s bowl history also includes a rather memorable trip to Orlando as Tech defeated Nebraska, 45-21, in the 1991 Florida Citrus Bowl to clinch its 1990 undefeated season and national championship.

Tickets for the Champs Sports Bowl are priced at $45 and are now available on Georgia Tech’s athletics website, www.ramblinwreck.com or by calling the Georgia Tech Ticket Office at 1.888.TECH.TIX (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.).

Priority seating is available for Georgia Tech Alexander-Tharpe Fund contributors and football season ticket holders who place their orders by Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 9 p.m. Orders taken after the Dec. 8 priority deadline will be allocated on a first come first serve basis and will be available for pick up in Orlando.

For information on travel packages, Tech fans can contact the Georgia Tech Alumni Association at 404.894.2391 or visit the Alumni Association website at www.gtalumni.org. Bowl information is also available on the Champs Sports Bowl website at www.fcsports.com.

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