The Oklahoma State Cowboys are headed to Orlando, Florida to face Virginia Tech in the Camping World Bowl on Dec. 28.
The official announcement came Sunday afternoon via the Oklahoma State football Twitter account.
It is the first time the two programs have faced off since 1972, and will be the third time ever. The teams split the previous two games. The game will kickoff at 4:15 p.m. and air nationally on ESPN.
The bowl pits two of the best on opposite sides of the ball.
The 19th-ranked Cowboys have the nation’s best passing attack, and one of the most potent offenses, averaging 575.7 totals yards and 46.3 points per game – which ranks second and third among FBS teams, respectively.
No. 22 Virginia Tech, meanwhile, boasts the nation’s No. 4 scoring defense, allowing just 13.5 points per game, and has held opponents to 305.3 total yards per game this season, good for 12th among FBS programs. The Hokies' defense has posted three shutouts this year, the most by a Virginia Tech team since 2006.
“I noticed they are only giving up 13 points a game, so obviously we’ll have our hands full on offense,” Cowboy coach Mike Gundy said. “… I know they are in the top 20 in total defense, pass defense and top five in the country in scoring defense and third-down defense, so obviously they are doing well.”
Offensively, Virginia Tech is averaging 167 yards rushing with six different players with more than 200 yards on the season. Leading the way are running backs Travon McMillian with 439 yards on 104 carries and Deshawn McClease with 406 yards on 90 carries.
Quarterback Josh Jackson is third on the team in rushing with 274 yards on a team-high 108 attempts and leads the Hokies with four rushing touchdowns. In the passing game, he has completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 2,743 yards with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Both teams are vying for a 10-win season with the bowl.
If Oklahoma State were to manage the victory against Virginia Tech, it would be the first time in program history that OSU posted three straight 10-win seasons. If the Hokies were to top OSU, they would have back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 2010-11.
“Do I think it impacts the organization for next year? I don’t know,” Gundy said. “… We would all like to win each and every game. So we are looking forward to the game and hopefully we can win and say that we’ve accomplished a 10-win season again.”
Oklahoma State has never played in the Camping World Bowl but has one previous Orlando bowl appearance in the Citrus Bowl – a 49-21 win over BYU in 1976, known at the time as the Tangerine Bowl. Virginia Tech defeated Rutgers 13-10 in the only overtime game in the Camping World Bowl’s history in 2012.
“It’s a pretty good distance down there, but I think people will travel – I really do, they always have,” Gundy said. “It sets up at a good time where they can have Christmas at home, take off the next day, be (in Orlando) for a couple of days and enjoy the bowl game.
“I think the people will be really excited about being there, really excited about a location where there is a lot to do. That should really help our travel. And then I think that they’re excited about playing somebody like Virginia Tech, somebody that is new.”