Vols To Chick-Fil-A Bowl - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Carrie Anderson

Vols To Chick-Fil-A Bowl

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Virginia Tech and Tennessee will meet

for only the eighth time in history when the two travel to the

Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31.

The teams' campuses are about 215 miles apart, but the Hokies

and Volunteers haven't met since the 1994 Gator Bowl, won by

Tennessee 45-23. Tennessee holds a 5-2 all-time advantage.

"This really is a dream matchup," Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A

Bowl president and CEO, said Sunday. "We feel like we've got one

of the most compelling matchups outside the BCS."

The teams feature two of the country's strongest defenses and

have offenses that average just under 400 yards per game.

No. 12 Virginia Tech (9-3) won four straight to finish the

season second in the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division -

one game behind ACC champion and ninth-ranked Georgia Tech.

"We feel fortunate to be going back to the Chick-fil-A Bowl,"

coach Frank Beamer said. "It is an extremely well-run bowl in

which we'll be facing a tradition-rich University of Tennessee

football team."

The Hokies defense ranks 14th in the nation by limiting

opponents to an average of 300 yards. Tailback Ryan Williams was

named ACC rookie of the year after rushing for 1,538 yards and 20

touchdowns.

The trip to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta marks Virginia Tech's

17th straight bowl appearance and fourth visit to the Chick-fil-A

Bowl. The Hokies are 1-2 in the game and last played there in 2006,

losing to Georgia.

Tennessee is returning to the postseason in Lane Kiffin's first

season as coach and after an unusual one-year hiatus. The Vols

(7-5) will make their 48th bowl appearance - which is tied for

third among NCAA schools.

It's their sixth in the Atlanta bowl game, and the Vols most

recently lost to Clemson in 2004.

Tennessee's defense ranks 16th in the country, limiting

opponents to an average 308.8 yards per game. The Vols finished

second in the Southeastern Conference East Division after winning

four of their last five games.

"We're really excited to be going to Atlanta for a great bowl

game, the Chick-fil-A Bowl," Kiffin said. "Not only is this a

great bowl game, but we have many players from the Atlanta area and

the state of Georgia."

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