UPDATED: Tech draws USC in Sun Bowl

UPDATED, 11:26 p.m. – A day after a tough but encouraging loss to Florida State in the ACC Championship game, Georgia Tech learned Sunday it will play another formidable opponent in familiar surroundings for its bowl game.

The Yellow Jackets were booked Sunday for another week in El Paso, Texas, for the Dec. 31 Sun Bowl. Tech, which lost in overtime to Utah last year in the Sun Bowl, will play Southern California in a game to be broadcast on CBS.

In their 16th consecutive bowl – tied with Georgia for the fifth longest active streak in the country – the Jackets will try to stop their seven-game bowl losing streak.

“I think we had a great trip last time, all except for losing the game in overtime,” coach Paul Johnson said. “I know that USC will be a formidable opponent with a lot of tradition, and Coach (Lane) Kiffin is an outstanding coach with some outstanding players, so that’ll be a huge challenge.”

USC began the season No. 1 and started 6-1 but collapsed down the stretch with four losses in its final five games of the regular season to finish 7-5. The Trojans and Jackets have one similarity – their seasons resulted in job losses for their NFL veteran defensive coordinators. For Tech, it was Al Groh, fired after six games and 2 ½ seasons. Monte Kiffin, father of coach Lane Kiffin, has resigned and will coach his final game in El Paso.

It will be the third consecutive game that Tech plays a team stocked with NFL talent, following Georgia and Florida State. Pending the decisions of a few juniors, the Trojans could have as many as five players taken in the first two rounds of the draft. The most notable is quarterback Matt Barkley, whom Kiffin said he expected to play after suffering a shoulder injury in the Trojans’ Nov. 17 loss to UCLA.

“I’m sure they’ll be excited to have a chance to play a program like USC,” Johnson said of his players.

Having played the Sun last year, Tech officials offered to the ACC to waive the rule that protects the ACC title-game loser from falling no lower than the Sun, which has third pick of ACC teams after the BCS bowls.

“I don’t think that was ever part of the discussion,” said Sun Bowl executive director Bernie Olivas of working with the ACC to allow Tech to drop. “We knew what the contract said. We were going to abide by the contract.”

The Chick-fil-A Bowl, which has first pick of ACC teams after the BCS games, took Clemson after it was passed over by the BCS bowls. The Tigers will play LSU. The Russell Athletic Bowl selected Virginia Tech to play Rutgers, leaving Georgia Tech for the Sun. The final two matchups were Duke-Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl and N.C. State-Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl. FSU plays Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl.

It won’t be an easy trip for fans. On travel website kayak.com, the least expensive flight listed Sunday evening that departed Atlanta Dec. 29 and returning Jan. 1 was a nonstop Delta round trip for $472. For Dec. 30-Jan. 1, it was an American Airlines round trip with a layover in Dallas-Fort Worth for $584.

It’s a 1,400-mile drive from Atlanta, a drive made last year, among others, by the family of former team captain Steven Sylvester and the outgoing and incoming drivers of the Ramblin’ Wreck.

184 comments Add your comment

ECMom

December 2nd, 2012
9:13 pm

Time to redeem ourselves in Texas!!

ECMom

December 2nd, 2012
9:14 pm

Ooo, and I was first!

Buford T. Pusser

December 2nd, 2012
9:15 pm

GA Tech

December 2nd, 2012
9:17 pm

Ken, Which Bowl is South Carolina heading to?

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

December 2nd, 2012
9:17 pm

Prior to the 2nd half of last night’s game, I was hesitant about this team’s attendance at ANY bowl game. However, they showed me last night that they don’t give up, and that they are capable of competing against high-caliber opponents. I look forward to the game, and hope to be able to attend.

GT Lover

December 2nd, 2012
9:20 pm

This thing has got to turn around at some point or
Tech should give up the football program.

LifetimeJacket

December 2nd, 2012
9:21 pm

Please, let this be Paul Johnson’s last game as Tech head coach. Granted the team looked better against Florida State than Georgia, but a loss is still a loss. Enough is enough, it’s time to move on.

JC

December 2nd, 2012
9:22 pm

I hope thatt tickets will be available at a reasonable price.

Yurtle_the_Turtle

December 2nd, 2012
9:22 pm

I won’t attend. El Paso? on New Years’ Eve? Besides, I want to lose so that we have one more reason to fire Johnson and get rid of this stupid, High School offense. Perhaps a new coach will recruit some defensive players too.

White&Gold

December 2nd, 2012
9:23 pm

GT Lover, things are rough right now, but for God’s sake, they’re not that bad. You’re making it sound like we haven’t made a bowl game in the five seasons. Things have gotta turn around, but let’s not start screaming witch.

Buford T. Pusser

December 2nd, 2012
9:23 pm

OK. No first. Was at the ACCCG last night and I have to admit that Tech gave a good performance. However, like most Tech fans, I am tired of moral victories. Either beat USC or CPJ’s seat starts to become warm, maybe not hot, but we should expect better. Beating the slimebag CLK would be sweet.

Biff Pocoroba

December 2nd, 2012
9:23 pm

This team hasn’t shown up for a bowl game since “C”PJ has been here, so I don’t expect anything different this year. USC has a big defense and a month to prepare, so that spells disaster for Mr. Ego. If Vad doesn’t start and play the whole game, there is no reason to even go since Tech will only sell about 2000 tickets to watch a team with a losing record play so far away. The only reason to go is to get Vad some experience and get him ready for next year, so PJ will probably start Tevin and lose with Tevin since he is too stubborn to change.

JC

December 2nd, 2012
9:25 pm

Oopps never mind, thought Sun Bowl was in FL, Texas is too far.

LifetimeJacket

December 2nd, 2012
9:28 pm

Amen, Biff! What’s with PJ’s dedication to Tevin Washington. OK, give his a start on “Senior Day”, but to continue putting him out there to toss yet another interception, or take another big loss goes beyond reason. It’s not personal, it’s Division One football.

Highly Respected Southern Troll

December 2nd, 2012
9:30 pm

0-5 in bowls coming up. Fire PJ, please.

Paul in NH

December 2nd, 2012
9:35 pm

Matt Barkley Marqise Lee, Robert Woods and Silas Redd against the GT D? Uh oh.

SC Jacket

December 2nd, 2012
9:37 pm

I’m looking forward to this. Did anyone else see on GT website we were going to play USC during regular season and CPJ switched it for some other small school? It was under future opp. Sup to play 2013 /2014 HOME& HOME

gt4ever

December 2nd, 2012
9:38 pm

Complete embarrassment that we are even going to this bowl…. Does anybody at GT have any honor, or integrity…. Good Grief… What a JOKE!

BG

December 2nd, 2012
9:39 pm

Johnson needs to go. A new hire needs to be made ASAP.

different year same result

December 2nd, 2012
9:42 pm

Georgia (’10), Va .Tech (’12), Florida State (’12), Virginia (’11), how many times is Tevin Washington going to throw interceptions at the end of the game until moron, aks, CPJ, is going to see that he isnt the answer. Johnson’s blind loyality to him is amazing, well I hope it is worth it, because it will probably cost him his job. If we dont win the bowl game, Johnson has to go, if not, there will be no one there to watch this team next year.

Mark (another one)

December 2nd, 2012
9:42 pm

Monte is 72 and a proven commodity. It is doubtful his son fired him, and he may want to return to the NFL, which is his past. Many prefer the pro life.

Coach

December 2nd, 2012
9:42 pm

I would rather play a big time football power than some of those teams out there. I can of like going up against USC. We have a young team, folks. Look at the lineup. We are getting there…or we could scrap everything, start over, loose 3-4 years, play the same offense as everyone else, try to recruit for it, and then find that we can’t. Chan Gailey would still be here if he could have recruited a topline QB. Our offense allows us to recruit unique athletes that might not fit the cookie-cutter mold that everyone else wants. That is a plus. As for Tunuta, were you at the games?

Go Jackets!!!

spider

December 2nd, 2012
9:46 pm

well at least we dont have to play northern illinois

gt4ever

December 2nd, 2012
9:46 pm

@Coach….

Coach of what? Are you serious? Young team my arse. We have the worst talent that I have ever seen, and I have been watching GT football since I was old enough to watch football. I went to school there, my family went to school there… 3 generations went to school there, and I have never seen football this pitiful! Period.

Buzz Belle

December 2nd, 2012
9:48 pm

I’m with Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket – The second half last night was a defense I haven’t seen in…4-5 years. Would love to see what Tenuta would have done had he stayed at Tech. But Kelly seems to have done something for the second half. I was kind of iffy on going to a bowl but just think….what if our Jackets beat USC and Lane the kitten. Wow! That would be fun!

hind tit

December 2nd, 2012
9:50 pm

Why don’t you Tech guys get up a game of hid and seek out there in the desert and cpj be it and while he’s hiding his eyes and counting jump in the bus and leave him. Problem solved.

CPJ4ever

December 2nd, 2012
9:50 pm

BG…STFU. we need Johnson. But more importantly: I’m tired of my team being the second fiddle. This is Atlanta journal constitution. Last I checked we were in Atlanta. Yet I see UGA in bold letters about going to there bowl and us in small letters under it. This really makes me mad and makes me lose interest in this paper/ website. I bet in athens’ newspapers they dot Have “TECH IN SUN BOWL” blasted on the cover. Atlanta is a pathetic college city. Especially Hudson’s grille….which who sponsors us…yet…they all wear uga stuff on Saturdays. This city and state is a joke

Edge770

December 2nd, 2012
9:52 pm

I believe that the best thing Tech can do to show the coaching staff that their performance is unacceptable is to hold back bonuses from the Championship and Bowl games. Because really at the end of the day, we have NO business being in these games. The legality I am sure is questionable, but there has to be a measure of not acceptable performance.

I am hoping for a REAL AD that can take decisive and immediate steps to remediate the sad state of some of our teams in the program. All DRad knew how to do was inconvenience fans and gouge with poor products.

gt4ever

December 2nd, 2012
9:55 pm

If CPJ was a MAN he wouldn’t take any bonus…. He would say NO to a bowl… but hey, I am dreaming.. This coach has NO class or pride to do the right thing…

jabster

December 2nd, 2012
9:56 pm

On the ramblinwreck.com website, we still have Elon listed for ‘13 and Wofford for ‘14. Are we talking about adding Southern Cal or South Carolina next year? I know we have/had SC on the sked for, I believe, 2021 and 2022, in addition to home-and-homes against Bama, Ole Miss, and two H&Hs against Tulane in the next decade.

We also had a H&H with ‘Cuse scheduled which went by the wayside when they joined the ACC. Still no word on how the conference sked will play out with Pitt in the Coastal (are we playing them at home ow away next year?) and ‘Cuse in the Atlantic rotation (do we play BC, FSU, or ‘Cuse next year?)

tobacco road

December 2nd, 2012
10:00 pm

USC always refers to Southern Cal, not the Chickens.

PJ vs LK. Not exactly a dream matchup of coaches, is it?

Hal

December 2nd, 2012
10:01 pm

How could you not be excited about playing USC. What an unexpected thrill for our guys.

Wozzo the Wonder Dog

December 2nd, 2012
10:05 pm

Southern Cal players and fans have to face the reality that they have hit rock bottom – playing a 6-7 ACC team that lost to Middle TN State and only beat Presbyterian and other lowly ACC teams. I hope the Tech band is forced to go to El Paso otherwise there will only be a few hundred Tech fans in attendance, at best. I didn’t realize that Tech has lost 7 in a row in bowl games but I wonder if most Tech fans follow the football team enough to know that either. Good thing Tech was lucky enough to play teams like Syracuse and Tulsa back in 2004 or that would have 10 losses in a row.

GTNashville

December 2nd, 2012
10:06 pm

Please fire CPJ. This past embarrassing a long time ago.

Hairy Dawg

December 2nd, 2012
10:07 pm

Tech would’ve been stupid not to take a bowl game. It’s fun for the players, coaches, alumni, and fans. You also get a lot of extra practice time, which is never a bad thing.

CPJ4ever

December 2nd, 2012
10:10 pm

Wozzo…. clearly you are a dog fan. We cant help tech grads ( fewer than uga) move off and make money. Majority don’t even know what football is. I chose to be a tech fan when I was little because I wanted to be different. I didn’t want to be a bandwagon uga fan like everyone else.

rich

December 2nd, 2012
10:13 pm

and the bowl losing streak will continue – but CPJ will get his bowl game bonus

[...] for a bowl game despite after being granted a waiver by the NCAA. "Our players and …Tech draws USC in Sun BowlAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)USC will play Georgia Tech in Sun BowlLos Angeles TimesHassell [...]

Bananajacket

December 2nd, 2012
10:13 pm

Not a good match-up.

Elliott Brennon

December 2nd, 2012
10:21 pm

Not having attended either school, I have no stake in the outcome. At the same time, reflecting on recent Tech regular season and bowl performances, it is clear to me that the later in the season a Tech football team plays, the greater the likelihood that it will not only lose but also embarrass itself in the process. There is no reason to expect a different outcome this year.

bigdawg88

December 2nd, 2012
10:24 pm

CPJ4EVER, are you serious? You fall backwards into a game nobody wants to go to, and only get a bowl game through an NCAA exemption, and you’re saying you should have bigger headlines against a top 6 team that just lost to the best team in the country on the final play? Does your name stand for Cleopatra Jones, cause you are indeed queen of de nile!

Rico

December 2nd, 2012
10:30 pm

You people are hilarious. Playing UGA, FSU, and now USC will do nothing but improve the team for next year. All top teams…Tech is still young. Vad Lee does need to play more. But he is not a Sho in for next year. Still learning option. Justin Thomas might give him a challenge for next year. Which is a great thing forte program. Competition between teammates and teams they play is the key to developing this team. Go Jackets!

Rico

December 2nd, 2012
10:32 pm

Hey bigdawg88….go play with NIU.

RonD

December 2nd, 2012
10:34 pm

Too much to ask that the article tell us the game start time?

71TechEE

December 2nd, 2012
10:37 pm

@gt4ever “I have never seen football this pitiful! Period.”

Were you in a coma from 1992-94?

It seems to me like we need more help defensively than on offense. Of course, the head coach is responsible for that as well.

Currently, CPJ has the best winning percentage at Tech after Heisman and Dodd. (Not counting the one year or one game coaches)
http://www.nationalchamps.net/NCAA/database/georgiatech_database.htm

We have played in 2 ACC championship games in 5 years, winning one. Like most I am concerned about the direction of the program. I agree we need better athletes and or better coaching (both would be even better) to compete, especially on the defensive side of the ball. We need a defense that can win 17-14 games because we will not always score 24+ points. Losing the last 3 overtime games and to MTSU raises more concerns.

But “I have never seen football this pitiful! Period.” Man, you need to get a grip.

GT65

December 2nd, 2012
10:38 pm

47 years a GT fan like gt4ever..My popa took my dad to games as kid. My dad took me to games as kid. I took my kid to games..Now he takes his kids plus me to games. After all that I can’t get excited anymore over Coach Paul Johnson’s football team. Its going in wrong direction south. He has lost the fans. I still support the players and wish them luck in Sun Bowl but don’t have any faith in CPJ system.
Coach z thanks for what u said last night..I would have loved for u to have been my son.

greg

December 2nd, 2012
10:38 pm

Has gt ever played usc ken?

Ga Tech Old Timer

December 2nd, 2012
10:39 pm

Ga Tech HAS chance to win this game – IF _ the team plays the whole game against USC as they did the last half of the game against FSU. AND – if CPJ is smart enough to play Vad Lee at least half or more of the game and especially in obvious passing situations. If either of these things don’t happen – Tech will end the season at 6 – 8 with not much hope for the future under CPJ because he can’t lead, motivate or make fundamentally sound coaching decisions about his players or which plays to run in any given circumstance. That’s it – plain and simple. No need to play the what if games or talk about how next year will be better. No need to discuss we need better recruiting (how many past blogs have we read about UGA having a ton of talent but MR and their coaching staff couldn’t take advantage of what they had through quality coaching) until this year when they started playing better ball.
This Sun Bowl game is a look at our future under CPJ.

1 4 GT

December 2nd, 2012
10:49 pm

The starts at 12:00 Noon MST (local time). Tickets are already available on ramblingwreck.com: at least the info is available. I imagine you can get tickets beginning early tomorrow morning.

FCB

December 2nd, 2012
10:51 pm

I am a Tech fan, but it’s a damn shame that Middle Tenn St. doesn’t get into a bowl and Tech does.