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   TSLMail Special - December 4, 2004    
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Miami Game Notes, Sugar Bowl Info, Travel Package Info

After VT's landmark 16-10 win over Miami, the BCS top 3 of USC, Oklahoma, and Auburn all took care of business Saturday evening and Saturday night, setting up a Sugar Bowl clash between the Hokies and the powerful Auburn Tigers on January 3rd in New Orleans.

USC dispatched of UCLA 29-24 in a tight one, Oklahoma blew out Colorado 42-3 in the Big XII Championship Game, and Auburn fought off resilient Tennessee 38-28 in the SEC Championship Game.

Those outcomes all but guarantee that USC and Oklahoma will face off in the Orange Bowl for the BCS championship, and that undefeated Auburn will be selected for the Sugar Bowl and matched up against VT. The bids haven't been officially extended yet, but Sugar Bowl execs are telling the media that's what's going to happen.

The bowl selection show that finalizes everything will be shown Sunday evening at 5:00 on ABC.

With their 16-10 win over Miami Saturday, the 2004 Hokies took their place among the great teams of the 12-year Frank Beamer Bowl era of 1993-2004. Whether they go on to win the Sugar Bowl or not, this team has rightfully taken its place in Hokie football history and will be talked about fondly for years to come, right up there with the 1995, 1996, and 1999 Hokies, all of whom won their conference titles and went to BCS bowls.

Of all the memorable wins this team has notched this season -- the win over then-No. 6 WVU, the comeback over Georgia Tech, the blowout of Maryland, the wresting of the Commonwealth Cup back from Virginia -- this one is the most impressive.

Only twice before had the Hokies won in the Orange Bowl, and you can argue that those wins were the product of a great college quarterback (Jim Druckenmiller, 1996) and a Miami team weakened by probation (1998).

Once the Hurricanes recovered from probation, you started to wonder if the Hokies would ever win in Miami again. In 2000, a solid Virginia Tech team with a banged-up Michael Vick and Andre Davis got destroyed by the Canes 41-21, and in 2002, the Canes won in an offensive laugher over the Hokies, 56-45.

VT continued to be very competitive against Miami in Blacksburg, winning four out of five in Lane Stadium from 1995-2003, the only loss being a narrow 26-24 defeat in 2001 to a Canes team that went on to win the national championship. But wins in the Orange Bowl, which were tough enough for the Hokies to get in 1996 and 1998, started to look as rare as a tender kiss between Al and Peg Bundy.

No longer. The Hokies have now won a remarkable 7 out of 10 over the Canes, including 3 out of the last 5 in the Orange Bowl, proving once again that VT isn't intimidated by Miami and will play the Canes head to head anytime, anywhere. Of the teams who have played Miami every year for the last 10 years, no one has won more times than the Hokies. Like the Hokies, Florida State defeated Miami five straight times from 1995-1999, but since then, the Noles have lost six straight times to the Hurricanes.

Cane fans don't seem to appreciate the rivalry, though. The Orange Bowl was littered with empty seats, and attendance for Saturday's game was only 62,205, including a large contingent of Hokie fans.

Defensive Stats

At the time we posted our game recap Saturday, defensive stats were not available. They have been posted since then, so here are the Hokies' defensive stars from the game: Vince Hall led the Hokies with 8 tackles, with Mikal Baaqee adding 7. James Anderson, Jonathan Lewis, and Darryl Tapp each had a sack. Eric Green had his first interception of the season. Lewis and Tapp led with 1.5 tackles for loss, Anderson forced a fumble, and Noland Burchette recovered it.

Who led the Hokies in passes broken up? Jim Davis. The senior defensive tackle, with his two batted passes in a row in the last minute, took the lead in that category.

Sugar Bowl Travel Packages from Premiere Sports Travel has partnered with Premiere Sports Travel to offer you a Sugar Bowl package that includes air travel, 3 nights hotel stay on Bourbon Street, and a ticket to the game!

Here are the details:

  • Round trip air charter from Richmond to New Orleans.
  • 3 night accommodations at The Astor Crowne Plaza (see below for more information).
  • Check in Saturday January 1st and check out Tuesday January 4th.
  • Upper level end zone game ticket for the 2005 Nokia Sugar Bowl (deduct $175 per person to take out tickets).
  • Round-trip Airport Transfers.
  • Official Sugar Bowl Souvenir game program.
  • Premiere Sports Travel staff onsite to assist.

The Astor Crowne Plaza is the gateway hotel to New Orleans' world famous French Quarter. Located where Bourbon Street meets Canal Street, The Astor Crowne Plaza allows for quick access to both the excitement of Bourbon Street and nearby downtown attractions of Harrah's Casino, Aquarium Of The Americas, Riverwalk Shopping Center, Morial Convention Center, N.O. Sports Arena and the Superdome. You couldnít ask for a better location! Check out their web site at:

This travel package is the only travel package being promoted by, so if you want to stay in the same place as the hard core fans you mingle with every day on TSL, this is the trip for you. Itís the one Iím taking, and I hope youíll join us down in the Big Easy and cheer the Hokies on to victory.

To check out the details of the trip and to reserve your spot, click below. Rates start at an affordable $1,125 per person for quad occupancy to $1,665 per person for single occupancy. Travel in style with TSL and Premiere Sports Travel! 

Click here for information on Premiere Sports Travelís VT Sugar Bowl Package 

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