The Tulsa Golden Hurricane are set to play the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2015 Camping World Independence Bowl, the 40th edition of Shreveport-Bossier City’s postseason football game.
The 2015 Camping World Independence Bowl is set for Saturday, December 26, with kickoff at 4:45 p.m. CT.
Tulsa (6-6, 3-5) is led by first-year head coach Philip Montgomery, who is leading the Golden Hurricane to a bowl for the first time since 2013. Montgomery most recently served as the offensive coordinator for Baylor.
Tulsa’s high-octane offense features a prolific passing attack, spearheaded by quarterback Dane Evans, who completed 63 percent of his passes for 3,958 yards and 22 touchdowns to just eight interceptions.
Evans favorite target is first-team all-American Athletic Conference wide receiver Keyarris Garrett, who caught 88 passes for 1,451 yards and seven touchdowns. Opposite Garrett is Josh Atkinson, who ended the regular season just shy of 1,000 yards, racking up 932 on 64 receptions.
On the ground Tulsa features a pair of 700-yard backs, including Zack Langer who gained 714 yards and 17 touchdowns, which is tied for ninth nationally. D’Angelo Brewer leads the Golden Hurricane with 732 yards rushing.
The Golden Hurricane is led on the defensive side by honorable-mention all-American Athletic Conference selections linebacker Trent Martin and safety Michael Mudoh. Mudoh lead Tulsa with 126 tackles, including 3.5 for loss, as well as an interception and five passes broken up. Martin compiled 96 tackles, including 14 for loss and two sacks.
Tulsa is making its third appearance in the Independence Bowl, and its first since facing Oregon in 1989. It also appeared in the inaugural Independence Bowl in 1976 against McNeese State. Tulsa has an 0-2 record in those games.
Virginia Tech (6-6, 3-5) is led by legendary coach Frank Beamer, in his 29th season with the Hokies.
The Hokies feature Michael Brewer at quarterback, who missed some time with injury, but finished the regular season with 1,359 yards passing and 12 touchdowns to six interceptions.
First-team all-ACC selection Isaiah Ford led the way in receptions with 63 for 937 yards and 10 touchdowns. Bucky Hodges, one of the nation’s top tight ends, caught 36 passes for 492 yards and six touchdowns.
Travon McMillian paced the Hokies on the ground, carrying 184 times for 961 yards and five touchdowns.
Defensively, Virginia Tech features a plethora of potential NFL talent, and ranks second in the ACC in passing yards allowed per game at 174 yards.
First-team all-ACC defensive tackle Luther Maddy collected 54 tackles, including 6.5 for loss and two sacks. Chuck Clark led the Hokies in tackles with 100 in the regular season.
The Hokies picked off ten passes during the season, led by Adonis Alexander with four.
Virginia Tech will also make its third Independence Bowl appearance, and its first since 1993, which was also Beamer’s first bowl appearance with the Hokies. Virginia Tech has made it to a bowl game in 23-straight seasons.
The Hokies fell to Air Force in the 1984 Independence Bowl, but recorded Beamer’s first bowl victory in 1993 against Indiana.
This is the first year since 2009 that both participating teams are making return trips to Shreveport.
— Stefan Nolet, Public and Media Relations Director, Camping World Independence Bowl