Hokies get Vols in Chick-fil-A
Story by Chris Graham
Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan has an interesting idea. Why not ask racing magnate Bruton Smith his thoughts about moving the Virginia Tech-Tennessee bowl matchup to Atlanta Motor Speedway to accommodate what would be expected to be intense interest among the two schools’ fan bases?
“Our fan base has wanted to play Tennessee for a long, long time,” said Virginia Tech athletics director Jim Weaver of the Dec. 31 bowl game between Tech (9-3, 6-2 ACC) and UT (7-5, 4-4 SEC).
The Hokies and Volunteers haven’t squared off on the gridiron since the 1994 Gator Bowl, when Peyton Manning led Tennessee to a 45-23 romp.
Smith in 2005 offered a reported $20 million to both schools to play a regular-season game at the 160,000-seat Bristol Motor Speedway, but the game never materialized.
“I know this is a matchup our fans will really look forward to,” Tech coach Frank Beamer said on a conference call Sunday evening. “I think it’s got the makings of a great bowl game, and we’ll try to do our best to uphold our end of the deal. We’re excited, we’ve got a football team that’s excited, and we look forward to the football game.”
Virginia Tech has won four straight games since losing 20-17 to North Carolina on Oct. 29. Tennessee has won four of its last five since losing 12-10 at new BCS #1 Alabama on Oct. 24.
Tech also lost to Alabama in 2009, in Week 1, by a 34-24 final in a game that the Hokies led 17-16 entering the fourth quarter.