Gator Bowl Bound

The Gator Bowl officially extended an invitation to West Virginia University to be the Big East representative in the January 1, 2007 Toyota Gator Bowl to face ACC representative, Georgia Tech.

West Virginia, (10-2, 5-2) defeated Rutgers in triple overtime on Saturday with a thrilling 41-39 victory to finish their regular season ranked 12 and second in the Big East Conference.

Georgia Tech, the Coastal Division Champions of the ACC, will enter the game with a national ranking of 25 and a 9-4 overall season record after a 9-6 loss to Wake Forest in the ACC Football Championship game Saturday in Jacksonville.

Georgia Tech (9-4) and West Virginia (10-2) have played two times previously, with the Yellow Jackets holding a 2-0 advantage. The Mountaineers and Yellow Jackets last played in the 1997 Carquest Bowl.

West Virginia will be making their sixth trip to the Gator Bowl. Their last Gator Bowl appearance was in 2005 against Florida State. Georgia Tech will be making their 7th trip with their last appearance in the 2000 Gator Bowl Classic against Miami.

"West Virginia and Georgia Tech are among the greatest of football traditions in the nation. The Mountaineers and Yellow Jackets have had great seasons and we are looking forward to a truly exciting Bowl matchup between two ranked teams in Jacksonville," said Scott P. Keith, Gator Bowl Association Chairman.

"We're very excited about returning to the Gator Bowl," West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez said in a prepared statement. "Everything they do there is first class, and it is always a great experience for our team and for our great Mountaineer fans.

"Our coaching staff has a lot of respect for the Georgia Tech program and the success Tech has had this year in the ACC. It should be a great ball game."

Rodriguez did not hold his regular post-game conference call on Sunday.

West Virginia athletic director Ed Pastilong siad, "West Virginia has always enjoyed its association with the Gator Bowl and we look forward to another outstanding experience this year. Our team has had a record-setting season, and this match-up will give Mountaineer fans and the national audience one more chance to see our exciting team in action."

No ticket information has yeat been released, but could be made available later today.

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