Preview: Tulsa at Virginia Tech

When: 5:45 PM ET, Saturday, December 26, 2015
Where: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana


1. The storied career of coach Frank Beamer will come to an end when he leads Virginia Tech to its 22nd straight bowl appearance. Beamer, who made his first bowl appearance with the Hokies in the 1993 Independence Bowl, will guide them one last time when they face Tulsa in this year’s edition in Shreveport, LA. on Dec. 26. The legendary coach announced his impending retirement earlier in the season and will move on to a different position in the athletic department at the end of the campaign.

2. “I want to finish this thing in a good way, but we’ve got to go play well,” Beamer told reporters. “Tulsa can throw the football. Any time you can throw the football the way they do, you’re always dangerous. We’ve got to get ready for that.” The Golden Hurricane became bowl eligible by showing off that passing offense in a 45-34 win at Tulane in the regular-season finale. Dane Evans threw for 367 yards and three touchdowns in that triumph as Tulsa overcame a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2012.

3. The Golden Hurricane were set to deal with upheaval on the coaching staff as well, but offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert reportedly turned down a three-year contract to take the same position at Texas. Gilbert oversaw a unit that averaged 27.9 points and ranked 11th in FBS with an average of 329.8 passing yards. The Hokies ranked ninth nationally in passing defense, limiting opponents to an average of 173.8 yards.

5:45 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Virginia Tech -13.5

ABOUT TULSA (6-6): The Independence Bowl will mark the career finales for senior running back Zach Langer and wide receiver Keyarris Garrett, who combined for 24 touchdowns in the regular season. Garrett is second in FBS with 1,451 receiving yards and torched Tulane for 216 on 10 catches in the regular-season finale. The two seniors make things easier for junior quarterback Evans, who needs 42 passing yards to reach 4,000 on the season.

ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (6-6): Beamer made his reputation by being dominant on special teams, and kicker Joey Slye is ready to send his coach out on a winning note. “It’s another bowl game, and coach Beamer is taking it like another bowl game,” Slye told reporters. “That’s kind of trickling down to the rest of the players. We’ve got business to do, we’ve got business to handle, so let’s go out and handle business.” Beamer is set to be replaced by former Memphis coach Justin Fuente, whose team ripped Tulsa 66-42 in the regular season.

PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 27, Tulsa 24

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Tulsa 6-6 W1 35.9 38.6 3-3 3-3 1-2 0-0 3-5
Virginia Tech 6-6 W1 29.0 24.2 2-4 4-2 5-6 0-0 4-4

Last Meeting

Tulsa Virginia Tech
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No Previous Meeting.

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
TDs Player TD
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
TLSA D. Evans 63.0 3958 22 8
VT M. Brewer 57.5 1359 12 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
TLSA D. Brewer 148 732 4.9 4
VT T. McMillian 184 961 5.2 5
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
TLSA K. Garrett 88 1451 16.5 7
VT I. Ford 63 937 14.9 10
TDs Player TD
TLSA Z. Langer 17
VT I. Ford 10

Quickchart Matchup

Tulsa Off vs  Virginia Tech Def
502.8 yards
353.8 yards
3.8 yards/rush
4.5 yards/rush
8.8 yards/attempt
6.8 yards/attempt
Virginia Tech Off vs  Tulsa Def
367.4 yards
531.5 yards
3.6 yards/rush
5.2 yards/rush
7.3 yards/attempt
8.2 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Tulsa Overall Virginia Tech
6-6-0 W/L 6-6-0
6-5-1 ATS 6-6-0
7-5-0 O/U 5-7-0
35.9 Pts For 29.0
38.6 Pts Against 24.2
Tulsa A/H Virginia Tech
3-3 W/L 2-4
6-0-0 ATS 3-3-0
3-3-0 O/U 3-3-0
36.3 Pts For 29.5
36.2 Pts Against 25.0
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