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Hokies lasso Longhorns in Sugar Bowl

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 18 - January 25, 1996

Virginia Tech's dramatic 28-10 victory over Texas in the nationally televised Sugar Bowl on New Year's Eve boosted the Hokies to a number 10 ranking-their highest ever-and moved the university into what the Roanoke Times called "the elite of college football programs." The Sugar Bowl victory was the 27th win for the Hokies in three years, as the team competed in its third bowl game in as many years.

After a slow start, the team came to life near the end of the second quarter, when senior Bryan Still, voted MVP for the game, returned a punt for a touchdown. From then on, the Hokies dominated the action.

Texas coach John Mackovic praised the Tech team. He said, "Their defense was every bit as good as anyone we've played this year. They had better overall team speed than anyone we've played. They're probably the best we played, period."

Frank Beamer said the victory was "the greatest win in Tech history, but maybe we have some more coming up." He added that "there's going to be a lot of press and pictures up on the wall after this, and there should be...let's enjoy this. But, hey, we're going to get right back to work. I think where we take this thing from here will answer a lot of questions."

NOTE: A victory celebration is being planned for half-time of an upcoming basketball game. The date and time will be announced in Spectrum. Please see page 7 for additional photos of the Sugar Bowl.

Beamer acknowledged the need for higher season-ticket sales. "Look at our program and compare it with the top five in season tickets, and ours is not even close," he said.

The university is still $1 million short of the $6 million needed to start construction on a football addition to the Jamerson Athletic Center. The 40,720-sq.-ft. facility, to be built adjacent to Jamerson, will include a conditioning and weight-lifting complex, a multi-purpose gymnasium, an area for sports medicine and training, lockers, an academic center, classrooms, and an auditorium.

Beamer says the win in New Orleans should "make us more attractive to a lot of kids." Recruiting is important for next year's team, which loses 11 starters. "We lose a couple real good ones, guys who have meant a lot to this program, and they're going to be hard to replace," Beamer said.

Departing seniors include linemen J.C. Price, Jim Baron, and Hank Colemen, linebacker George DelRicco, and free safety William Yarborough. Also graduating are wide receivers Bryan Still and Jermaine Holmes, guard Chris Malone, tackle Mike Bianchin, and backfield ball carrier Dwayne Thomas.