Al Groh Reacts to Gator Bowl Bid

By: Marc Davis Email
By: Marc Davis Email

December 3, 2007

Cavalier head coach Al Groh spoke at a press conference today for the first time since last night's announcement that Virginia had accepted an invitation to the Gator Bowl. The Cavaliers will face Texas Tech in Jacksonville on New Years Day.

Groh and the team are excited to go the Jacksonville, and during the press conference today, the head coach voiced his excitement. He said that he had traveled with Chris Long and Tom Santi to the ACC Championship game this past weekend, and the three were excited at the possibility of going to Jacksonville for a bowl game.

The head coach also talked about Virginia's practice schedule for the next three weeks, as there are no NCAA limitations as to number of practices. According to Groh, the team will work on self improvement first, followed by working towards Texas Tech's game plan.

The Gator Bowl match up should be an interesting one, as it features two teams with very different styles. Virginia enters with a 9-3 record, and is coming off a 33-21 loss to Virginia Tech. The Cavaliers are used to close games, as they set an NCAA record with five wins of two points or less. Following a season opening loss to Wyoming, Virginia exploded for seven straight victories, something that Gator Bowl official Scott Keiph said originally caught the committee's eye.

Texas Tech, meanwhile, hails from the Big XII Conference, and finished up the regular season 8-4, 4-4 in conference play. The Red Raiders have one of the most impressive offenses in the nation, averaging 41.8 points per game, and 537.1 yards of total offense per contest, 475 of which come through the air. Texas Tech is unbeaten against non-conference opponents this season, and ended its season on a high note by knocking off then-third ranked Oklahoma, 34-27.

Quarterback Graham Harrell is quietly one of the most dominating signal callers in the country. Harrell completes 72.7 percent of his passes, and has thrown 45 touchdown passes this season, compared to only 14 interceptions. He averages an astounding 441.5 passing yards per game. His go-to receiver is Michael Crabtree, who has pulled down 21 of those TD passes, and gains 155 yards in receptions per contest.

We will have much more on this match up throughout the month leading up to the game. Information about purchasing tickets to the Gator Bowl is located on our web channel,

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