Dec. 5, 2010
The United States Air Force Academy will play the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the 2010 AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl on Monday, Dec. 27 at 4 p.m. on ESPN2 at Independence Stadium, it was announced on Sunday.
The AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl is beginning partnerships with the ACC and Mountain West Conference in an agreement that runs through 2013. This year's game marks the 35th anniversary of the Independence Bowl, the nation's 11th-oldest bowl game.
Air Force and Georgia Tech will meet for the fourth time with the Yellow Jackets winning all three previous matchups, but the teams have not met since 1979. Air Force is making its third appearance in the Independence Bowl while Georgia Tech will be making its debut in the Independence Bowl. The Falcons won back-to-back appearances in 1983 and 1984.
"We at AdvoCare are honored and excited to have both Air Force and Georgia Tech in this year's Independence Bowl," said AdvoCare President and CEO Richard Wright. "These two teams bring a long tradition of excellence and we believe these two teams will fill Independence Bowl stadium and also draw a large national following."
"We are thrilled to have Air Force and Georgia Tech play in the 2010 AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl this year as we begin a new partnership with the Mountain West Conference," said 2010 Bowl Chair Jim Hagan.
"We feel this matchup will excite our fans in Shreveport-Bossier City and throughout the region and we look forward to a great game on Dec. 27 at 4 p.m."
The Air Force Falcons finished their season with an 8-4 overall record and a 5-3 mark in Mountain West Conference play, good for a third-place tie in the conference with BYU and San Diego State. The Falcons become the first service academy team to play in the I-Bowl since Army in 1996.
The Falcons have posted at least eight wins and qualified for a bowl game the last four seasons. Air Force enters the 2010 AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl riding a three-game winning streak. Air Force claimed the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy with wins over Navy and Army this season, capturing the trophy for the 17th time.
"The Air Force Falcons are honored to get a chance to come back to the Shreveport-Bossier City and Barksdale Air Force Base community," said Head coach Troy Calhoun. "Our cadets, administration, coaches, and supporters are excited to soon head south to be a part of one of college football's treasures- the Independence Bowl," said Calhoun.
"We're proud and excited to be headed to the Independence Bowl to take on a great Georgia Tech team from the ACC, said Director of Athletics Dr. Hans J. Mueh. "This is a great opportunity for our school, coaches, players, and fans. Our football tam has had a great season and this is an outstanding way for them to close it out."
Georgia Tech (6-6, 4-4 ACC) finished in a tie for third place in the Coastal Division with N.C. State. Head coach Paul Johnson is in his third season at the helm and led his team to an ACC Championship, berth in the Orange Bowl, and an 11-3 record last season. Johnson is 26-13 overall and 8-10 in ACC play at Georgia Tech. He was 45-29 in six seasons at Navy before taking over at Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets are making their 14-straight bowl appearance, which ties for the fourth-longest active streak in the FBS and own a 22-15 all-time bowl record. Air Force is making its 21st appearance in a bowl game.
"We appreciate the invitation to play in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl and we are excited to have our team and fans in Shreveport for what is one of the more intriguing bowl match-ups," said Georgia Tech Athletic Director Dan Radakovich. "The AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl and the city of Shreveport have a great reputation for hosting this long-standing post-season event."
"Our football team should be excited about this opportunity to play against a very talented, well-coached team like the Air Force Academy," said Johnson. "It will certainly be a challenge for our football team, but it's also a chance to end the season on a positive note as we head into 2011. I know that our senior class would like to conclude their careers with a win in a bowl game."
Army and Navy will play in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces and San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl respectively, marking the first time in history that all three U.S. service academies will play in bowl games in the same season.
The Falcons have made three-straight appearances in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, facing Houston the last two years and playing California in 2007.
Air Force lost three of its four games by a total of only 10 points, two to ranked opponents. The Falcons fell 27-24 to No. 7 Oklahoma on the road and then lost 27-25 at San Diego State. Air Force also lost 28-23 at home to then-No. 8 Utah.
Calhoun, in his fourth year at the helm, is a semifinalist for the first annual Joseph V. Paterno Award for Coach of the Year. The three finalists for the award will be announced on Dec. 6. Calhoun has led the Falcons to a 33-18 overall mark and 21-11 record in conference play.