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
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
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."