Dec. 8, 2002
Earning a postseason bowl berth for the sixth consecutive year, Georgia Tech has accepted an invitation to play in the 2002 Silicon Valley Football Classic in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 31 at Spartan Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets’ (7-5 overall and 4-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) will face Western Athletic Conference foe Fresno State (8-5, 6-2 WAC) in the nationally-televised (ESPN2) contest, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m. EST.
“We’re very happy to receive a bowl invitation and we’re happy to be going to the Silicon Valley Football Classic,” said Tech head coach Chan Gailey. “Our players like the idea of going somewhere different. It’s exciting for them to go to a new place and see something different. We know that Fresno State will be a very good opponent, and we look forward to playing them.”
The Yellow Jackets will be playing in a bowl game for the sixth consecutive year, tying the school record set from 1951-56. On their current streak, the Jackets have also been invited to the 1997 Carquest Bowl, the 1999 and 2000 Toyota Gator Bowls, the 2000 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, and the 2001 Seattle Bowl, in which Tech defeated 11th-ranked Stanford, 24-14.
“Our players have said all along that the most important thing is that they continue Georgia Tech’s bowl streak,” said Gailey, who is just the second Tech head coach to lead the Yellow Jackets to a bowl game in his first season, joining Bill Fulcher, who took his 1972 Tech team to the Liberty Bowl.
“We’re delighted to be going to a sixth straight bowl, something that’s only been done at Georgia Tech once before, said Tech director of athletics Dave Braine.. “The Silicon Valley Football Classic is a very good situation for our program, and it’s a reward to our players for all their hard work this year. We look forward to a great matchup with Fresno State.”
Georgia Tech enters the game with a 20-10 record in bowl games, a winning percentage of .667 that is tied with Penn State (23-11-2) for the best mark in the nation. The Jackets also rank sixth in the nation in bowl victories and 13th in bowl appearances. The Silicon Valley Football Classic will be the 16th different bowl in which Tech has participated.
Georgia Tech and Fresno State will be meeting in football for the first time. Tech will make its first appearance in the state of California since a 1969 game at Southern California, which the Trojans won, 29-18. Tech’s only other bowl game in California was its 8-7 victory over California in the famous 1929 Rose Bowl.
“The players are really excited to be going to a new city,” said Georgia Tech’s all-ACC free safety and senior captain Jeremy Muyres. “A lot of guys have never been to California before, including myself, so we’re really looking forward to it.
“We know Fresno State is a very good football team, and it will be a big challenge. For the seniors, it’s our last go-around, so we want to make the best of it, and for the younger guys, it’s the start of next season.”
Tickets for the 2002 Silicon Valley Football Classic can be ordered through Georgia Tech beginning Monday by placing an order on-line at www.ramblinwreck.com or by calling the Tech ticket office at 1.888.TECH.TIX.