Dec. 3, 2003
Georgia Tech will face Tulsa, the second-place team in the Western Athletic Conference and one of the nation’s most improved squads, in the seventh annual Humanitarian Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 3 at 12 noon ET in Boise, Idaho.
Tulsa accepted a “conditional bid” to play in the Humanitarian Bowl; the “condition” is the Big 12 Conference securing two berths in Bowl Championship Series bowls.
Tickets for the Humanitarian Bowl, priced at $50 for premium reserved seating, can be ordered through the Georgia Tech ticket office at 1.888.TECH.TIX.
Tech (6-6, 4-4 ACC) has earned its school-record seventh straight bowl berth. The Golden Hurricane, under first-year head coach Steve Kragthorpe, have posted a record of 8-4, 6-2 WAC, after going 2-21 the last two seasons. “Tulsa is a very good football team that is playing very well right now, having won their last five games,” said Tech head coach Chan Gailey. “They are one of the great stories in college football this season with the turnaround that they have had.
“They are a very balanced offense, and they probably run the ball as well as any team we’ve faced this season.”
Scoring 32.5 points per game, Tulsa averages 212 yards rushing and 196 yards passing. Quarterback James Kilian completed 57 percent of his passes for 2,120 yards with 22 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Three Hurricane backs have rushed for over 500 yards, led by Eric Richardson with 798 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Tech offense, directed by true freshman quarterback Reggie Ball–the ACC Rookie of the Year–features the league’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. he 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.
Tech has played Tulsa twice before, and both meetings were in bowl games. In the 1944 Sugar Bowl, Tech capped an 8-3 season with a 20-18 victory over the Golden Hurricane, led by 199 yards rushing by all-SEC halfback Eddie Prokop. The following year, Tulsa returned the favor with a 26-12 victory over the Jackets in the 1945 Orange Bowl, despite 304 yards passing by Tech quarterback Frank Broyles.
Georgia Tech is heading west for a bowl game for the third straight year, following trips to the 2001 Seattle Bowl and the 2002 Silicon Valley Classic. On their current bowl streak, the Jackets have also played in the 1997 Carquest Bowl, the 1999 and 2000 Toyota Gator Bowls, and the 2000 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
The Jackets will be playing a member of the Western Athletic Conference for the second straight year, following last year’s 30-21 loss to Fresno State in the Silicon Valley Classic. Tech is 11-4-1 all-time against current WAC members, including Fresno State (0-1), Rice (2-0-1), SMU (8-2-1) and Tulsa (1-1).
Georgia Tech will be one of just 12 schools in the nation playing in a bowl for the seventh straight year. Florida State is the only other Atlantic Coast Conference school in this elite group. The list also includes Florida, Georgia, Kansas State, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Purdue, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Washington.
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.