University accepts Sugar Bowl invitation
Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 16 - December 14, 1995
"There are going to be a lot of happy Hokies down on Bourbon Street," said a smiling Frank Beamer, after Sugar Bowl officials announced that Virginia Tech's Big East champion football team would face the University of Texas in New Orleans on December 31.
The Sugar Bowl appearance is the university's first in a major post-season bowl. Athletic Director Dave Braine congratulated the team, especially the seniors, for turning around a season that began with two losses.
"The Sugar Bowl is excited about the number of fans we will bring to New Orleans," Braine said. "It will be at least 25,000." The university has been allotted 15,000 tickets initially, and Sugar Bowl officials have promised to make more tickets available. (For additional ticket information, please see page 5.)
Tech President Paul Torgersen said, "We have a lot of alumni who are anxious to partake of this bowl. It's a great day for Virginia Tech athletics."
The Sugar Bowl, which will be played in the New Orleans Superdome, marks a third straight post-season appearance for the Hokies. Tech lost to Tennessee, 45-23, last season in a Gator Bowl contest that was moved to Gainesville's Florida Field. Tech started the current bowl streak in 1993 when it defeated Indiana of the Big Ten Conference, 45-20, in the Independence Bowl game at Shreveport, La.
Tech enjoyed an all-star season in 1995, with defensive end Cornell Brown sweeping the biggest honors. He made virtually every All-America team, including those picked by the Associated Press and the Football Writers' Association of America. He was chosen by Football News as a National Defensive Player of the Year.
The university posted a 6-1 Big East Conference record and captured its first championship in the league's fifth year of operation. Miami came back in late season to also finish 6-1, but the Hokies beat the Hurricanes early in the year in a head-to-head meeting.
Sugar Bowl past President Chuck Zatarain said of Tech's championship season, "No one deserves to be the Big East champions any more than Virginia Tech. What make Virginia Tech special to the Sugar Bowl is the team and the fans."
While the Big East title was a highlight of the season, so was the final dramatic game when Tech came from behind with 22 fourth-quarter points to beat arch-rival Virginia 36-29.
Virginia Tech also won the Lambert-Meadowlands Award. This marks the first time Tech ever has been selected the best team in the northeast.
The Sugar Bowl is scheduled to be broadcast on ABC, with the kickoff set for 7 p.m.