Oklahoma State’s bowl opponent has many ties to Oklahoma.
The No. 17 ranked Cowboys (9-3) will play No. 22 Virginia Tech of Atlantic Coast Conference at 4:15 p.m. December 28 in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando Florida.
Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente, a native Tulsan who played at Union High School, began his college career at The University of Oklahoma. Virginia Tech offensive line coach Vance Vice played at Oklahoma State from 1985-89 and was a teammate of OSU coach Mike Gundy. Vice is a native of Bristow. Offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen is a native of Texhoma, Oklahoma and spent time at Oklahoma State as both a graduate assistant coach and a quality control coach.
“Vance and I were pretty good buddies in college and lived across the hall from each other in the dorms during the time that we were playing,” said Gundy. “We’ve been friends for a long time, but in this profession you don’t really stay in touch with a lot of people. Vance and I go way back. He was kind of a tough guy back in the day as one of those very physical tight ends in our offense. I’m looking forward to seeing those guys out there in a few weeks.”
“I know Hokie Nation will be anxious to join us in Orlando for the Camping World Bowl,” Fuente said. “Our entire team would like to send our seniors out on a winning note. The opportunity to win 10 games for a second consecutive season is a challenge our squad will embrace. This team has earned the right to play a quality opponent in head coach Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State.”
Tech’s current bowl streak of 25 consecutive seasons is the longest active streak recognized by the NCAA and is tied as the third-longest streak in college football history. This will mark the third ever meeting between Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys won a 24-16 decision in Stillwater in 1971, while the Hokies registered a 34-32 win in Blacksburg in 1972.
A win would give the Cowboys another 10-win season.
“I think every game is important and that gets brought up some,” said Gundy. “Do I think that it impacts the organization for next year? I don’t know. I know it’s important that we take pride in every game that we play and prepare the best we can. We want the team to go down and enjoy being with each other in that environment and then go play the best game we can for all parties involved. I’m thrilled that we have a great opponent in Virginia Tech. Obviously we want to go out and win every game. I’m looking forward to the game. Hopefully we can win and then say that we’ve accomplished a 10-win season again.”
Tech has won three consecutive bowl games and four of its past five. Tech’s current bowl streak began with a 45-20 win over Indiana in the 1993 Independence Bowl. Oklahoma State posted a pair of wins over a pair of teams that were ranked in the top five of the AP Top 25 at the time they played – 50-39 over No. 22 West Virginia and 49-42 over No. 24 Iowa State. The Cowboys ascended as high as No. 6 in the AP Top 25 this season.
Virgina Tech finished second in the ACC Coastal Division behind Miami. OSU was third in the Big 12 behind OU and TCU.
OSU and Virginia Tech beat West Virginia. Virginia Tech (9-3) won 31-24 while OSU beat WVU 50-39.
“We have 12 games,” Gundy said. “They played West Virginia in the first game and we played them midseason. I’m going to guess that there’s so much tape beyond those games that it’s irrelevant. Everybody makes their own game plans and we don’t really change much anyway. We’re going to run our same plays. We do what we do, and Virginia Tech is probably very similar to that. We use a lot of our bowl prep for improving our younger players to try and prepare for the next season as well as a bowl game.”