Dec. 3, 2006
“It’s an opportunity for these seniors to finish their careers by winning three out of four bowl games, and it’s a chance to win 10 games, which doesn’t happen a lot.”
Tech returns to the Gator Bowl for the seventh time, making it the Jackets’ most frequent bowl destination. The Rambling Wreck is 3-3 in six previous Gator Bowls, including back-to-back appearances to cap the 1998 and 1999 seasons. Tech defeated Notre Dame, 35-28, on Jan. 1, 1999 before falling to Miami, 28-13, on Jan. 1, 2000 in its last Gator Bowl appearance. The Jackets also played in the Jacksonville bowl in 1956 (defeated Pittsburgh, 21-14), 1960 (lost to Arkansas, 14-7), 1961 (lost to Penn State, 30-15) and 1965 (defeated Texas Tech, 31-21).
The Yellow Jackets are led by all-America wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who leads the ACC with 67 receptions for 1,016 yards, and tailback Tashard Choice, who has posted six straight 100 yard games and leads the league with 1,304 yards. The Tech defense, led by tackle Joe Anoai and linebackers Philip Wheeler and KaMichael Hall, ranks in the top 20 nationally in rushing defense, pass efficiency defense and total defense.
West Virginia features an explosive running attack that averages better than 300 yards per game on the ground, led by running back Steve Slaton and quarterback Pat White.
“One thing that our team does well is run,” said Gailey. “Against West Virginia, you’d better be able to match up with them, speed-wise, and I think our defense has a chance to do that.”
Tickets for the 2007 Gator Bowl are on sale now. Fans can place orders beginning tonight, online at www.ramblinwreck.com or via phone, beginning Monday morning at 8 a.m. by calling 1.888.TECH.TIX. Tickets are priced at $75 for club seats, $60 for lower VIP, and $50 for stadium.
“Playing a great West Virginia team in Jacksonville on New Year’s Day is a tremendous showcase for our football team and its fans,” said Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich. “I know our supporters understand that we need to send a message about the pride we all feel in Georgia Tech football, its history and tradition. The support we show at this game has a lot to do with our bowl relationships in the years to come.”