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College Football
Preview
Tulsa vs Virginia Tech
When: 5:45 PM ET, Saturday, December 26, 2015
Where: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana



CAMPING WORLD INDEPENDENCE BOWL STORYLINES

1. The storied career of coach Frank Beamer will come to an end when he leads Virginia Tech to its 22nd straight bowl appearance. Beamer, who made his first bowl appearance with the Hokies in the 1993 Independence Bowl, will guide them one last time when they face Tulsa in this year’s edition in Shreveport, LA. on Dec. 26. The legendary coach announced his impending retirement earlier in the season and will move on to a different position in the athletic department at the end of the campaign.

2. “I want to finish this thing in a good way, but we’ve got to go play well,” Beamer told reporters. “Tulsa can throw the football. Any time you can throw the football the way they do, you’re always dangerous. We’ve got to get ready for that.” The Golden Hurricane became bowl eligible by showing off that passing offense in a 45-34 win at Tulane in the regular-season finale. Dane Evans threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns in that triumph as Tulsa overcame a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2012.

3. The Golden Hurricane were set to deal with upheaval on the coaching staff as well, but offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert reportedly turned down a three-year contract to take the same position at Texas. Gilbert oversaw a unit that averaged 27.9 points and ranked 11th in FBS with an average of 329.8 passing yards. The Hokies ranked ninth nationally in passing defense, limiting opponents to an average of 173.8 yards.


TV:
5:45 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Virginia Tech -13.5

ABOUT TULSA (6-6): The Independence Bowl will mark the career finales for senior running back Zach Langer and wide receiver Keyarris Garrett, who combined for 24 touchdowns in the regular season. Garrett is second in FBS with 1,451 receiving yards and torched Tulane for 216 on 10 catches in the regular-season finale. The two seniors make things easier for junior quarterback Evans, who needs 42 passing yards to reach 4,000 on the season.

ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (6-6): Beamer made his reputation by being dominant on special teams, and kicker Joey Slye is ready to send his coach out on a winning note. “It’s another bowl game, and coach Beamer is taking it like another bowl game,” Slye told reporters. “That’s kind of trickling down to the rest of the players. We’ve got business to do, we’ve got business to handle, so let’s go out and handle business.” Beamer is set to be replaced by former Memphis coach Justin Fuente, whose team ripped Tulsa 66-42 in the regular season.



PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 27, Tulsa 24
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Tulsa 6-6 W1 35.9 38.6 3-3 3-3 1-2 0-0 3-5
Virginia Tech 6-6 W1 29.0 24.2 2-4 4-2 5-6 0-0 4-4
Last Meeting
Tulsa Virginia Tech
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Tulsa N/A
Virginia Tech N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Tulsa N/A
Virginia Tech N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Tulsa N/A
Virginia Tech N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Tulsa N/A
Virginia Tech N/A
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Tulsa D. Evans 63.0 3958 22 8
Virginia Tech M. Brewer 57.5 1359 12 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Tulsa D. Brewer 148 732 4.9 4
Virginia Tech T. McMillian 184 961 5.2 5
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Tulsa K. Garrett 88 1451 16.5 7
Virginia Tech I. Ford 63 937 14.9 10
Touchdowns Player TD
Tulsa Z. Langer 17
Virginia Tech I. Ford 10
Quickchart Matchup
Tulsa Tulsa Off vs  Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Def
Tulsa 502.8 yards
Virginia Tech 353.8 yards
Tulsa 3.8 yards/rush
Virginia Tech 4.5 yards/rush
Tulsa 8.8 yards/attempt
Virginia Tech 6.8 yards/attempt
Virginia Tech Virginia Tech Off vs  Tulsa Tulsa Def
Virginia Tech 367.4 yards
Tulsa 531.5 yards
Virginia Tech 3.6 yards/rush
Tulsa 5.2 yards/rush
Virginia Tech 7.3 yards/attempt
Tulsa 8.2 yards/attempt