For 44,000 football fans there was no better way to celebrate the turn of the century than on the gridiron. Georgia Tech returned, looking to repeat as Champions. The Miami Hurricanes were making their first Gator Bowl appearance in nearly half a century. The Canes certainly did not back down to the Gator Bowl veteran Yellow Jackets. Four different Hurricanes scored in the cause. Tech’s Joe Hamilton threw for 240 yards and ran for 49 with a touchdown but his team could only manage one touchdown. Miami won handedly, 28-13.
MVP: Nate Webster (LB, Miami), Joe Hamilton (QB, Georgia Tech)
Coaches: Butch Davis (Miami), George O’Leary (Georgia Tech)
Total Payout: $2,800,000
Chairman: Chester Stokes
All-Americans: Dan Dyke (P, Georgia Tech)
Miami-28 Georgia Tech-13
M-Jackson 8-yd run (Crosland Kick)— M-King 15-yd pass from Kelly (Crosland Kick)— GT-Hamilton 17-yd run (Manget Kick)— M-Portis 73-yd run (Crosland Kick)— GT-Manget 25-yd. FG— GT-Manget 36-yd. FG— M-Wayne 17-yd pass from Dorsey (Crosland Kick)
Rushing: GT-Gregory 16-64; Hamilton 22-49, 1 TD; Wilder 6-37. M-Portis 12-117, 1 TD; Jackson 21-107, 1 TD; Popovich 1-6.
Passing: GT-Hamilton 20-40-2, 245 yds M-Kelly 9-17-1, 127, 1 TD;Dorsey 7-15-0, 81, 1 TD.
Receiving: GT-White 8-100; Campbell 3-39; Clinkscale 3-37 M-Franks 3-72; Moss 3-53; Wayne 4-44
The 56th game fit in perfectly with the Gator Bowl’s high-scoring reputation. Clemson returned for their 8th Gator Bowl, and Virginia Tech for their 4th. The teams produced 744 yards of offense and 7 touchdowns, five from Virginia Tech. Hokies’ quarterback Michael Vick threw for 205 yards and a touchdown, adding another with his feet. Rod Gardner, Clemson wideout, caught the ball 7 times for 94 yards, but his effort was not enough. Virginia Tech left Jacksonville with a 41-20 triumph.
MVP: Michael Vick (QB, Virginia Tech), Rod Gardner (WR, Clemson )
Coaches: Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech), Tommy Bowden (Clemson )
Total Payout: $3,313,610
Chairman: Leerie Jenkins
All-Americans: Andre Davis (PR, Virginia Tech)
Clemson-20 Virginia Tech-41
VT-Ferguson 23-yd. pas from Vick (Warley Kick)— VT-Vick 6-yd. run (Warley Kick)— CU-Zachery 23- yd. pass from
Dantzler (Hunt Kick)— CU-Hunt 28-yd. FG— VT-Suggs 3-yd. run (Warley Kick)— VT-Suggs 1-yd. run (kick failed)— CU-Hunt 26-yd. FG— VT-Ferguson 5-yd. run (Warley Kick)— CU-Gardner 23-yd. pass from Simmons (Hunt Kick)— VT-Suggs 5-yd. run (Warley Kick)
Rushing: VT-Suggs 20-73, Kendrick 4-52, Ferguson 6-26, Ward 4-24, Vick 9-19, Burnell 1-6, Hawkins 2-6, Johnson 1-5. CU-Dantzler 18-81, Zachery 5-15, Rambert 4-7, Kelly 2-3, team 1-(-8), Simmons 5-(-10) .
Passing: VT-Vick 10-18-1-205. CU-Dantzler 15-32-1-180, Simmons 6-12-1-63.
Receiving: VT-A. Davis 2-70, Kendrick 2-55, Wynn 2-27, Ferguson 1-23, Hawkins 1-14, Wilford 1-9, Johnson 1-7. CU-R.Gardner 7-94, Watts 4-59, Zachery 2-25, Robinson 2-25, Kelly 3-22, Rambert 2-14, Youngblood 1-4.
For the fourth time in five years, the Gator Bowl was a matchup of Atlantic Coast Conference teams. Virginia Tech, looking to repeat as champions faced off with backyard team Florida State. The Noles defense shut out the Hokies in both the second and fourth quarters. They received major contributions from both Greg Jones and Javon Walker. Jones ran the ball 23 times for 120 yards. Walker caught 4 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Virginia Tech, who carried a 17-13 lead into the final quarter, got major contributions from Andre Davis who caught 5 passes for 153 yards. Grant Noel threw for 269 yards and a touchdown but suffered a 30-17 loss at the hands of the Noles.
MVP: Javon Walker (WR, Florida State), Andre Davis (WR, Virginia Tech)
Coaches: Bobby Bowden (Florida State), Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech)
Total Payout: $3,212,364
Chairman: Jim McCollum
Virginia Tech-17 Florida State-30
VT-Warley 36-yd. FG— FSU-Rix 1-yd. run (Beitia Kick)— FSU-Beitia
50-yd. FG— VT-Jones 5-yd. run (Warley Kick)— FSU-Beitia
47-yd. FG— VT-Davis 55-yd. pass from Noel (Warley Kick)— FSU-Walker 77-yd. pass from Rix (Beitia Kick)— FSU-Beitia 35-yd. FG— FSU-Walker 23-yd. pass from Rix (Beitia Kick)
|Virginia Tech||Florida State|
Rushing: VT-K. Jones 23-55, J. Furguson 3-13, Burnell 2-1, Noel12-(-26). FSU-G. Jones 23-120, Maddox 3-6, Gardner 1-(-3), Rix
Passing: VT-Noel 15-27-0-269, Randall 0-1-1-0, R. Johnson 0-1-0-0. FSU-Rix 12-25-1-326.
Receiving: VT-A. Davis 5-158, J. Ferguson 5-32, Slowinski 2-36,E. Johnson 2-21, Parham 1-22. FSU-J. Walker 4-195, Bell 3-43, C. Thorpe 2-48, T. Gardner 2-21, N. Maddox 1-29.
The 58th game featured two teams who were no stranger to the Gator Bowl. Both teams were eager to recover from Gator Bowl losses they suffered in their last attempts in Jacksonville. North Carolina used an electric 21 point second quarter to give them an upperhand. Philip Rivers threw for 228 yards and two touchdowns, and T.A. McLendon added two more on the ground. Notre Dame got solid production from Pat Dillingham who threw for 166, but they never managed to cross the plains and succumbed to NC State 28-6.
MVP: Philip Rivers (QB, NC State), Cedric Hilliard (NG, Notre Dame)
Coaches: Chuck Amato (NC State), Tyrone Willingham (Notre Dame)
Total Payout: $3,644,960
Chairman: Susan Hamilton
All-Americans: Shane Walton (CB/KR, Notre Dame), Terrence Holt (FS, NC State)
North Carolina State-28 Notre Dame-6
ND-Setta 23yd field goal— NCSU-McLendon 2 yd run (Kiker kick)— NCSU-McLendon 3 yd run (Kiker kick)— NCSU-RiversCotchery
9 yd pass (Kiker kick) ND-Setta 41 yd field goal—NCSU-Rivers-Berton 7 yd pass (Kiker kick)
|NC State||Notre Dame|
Rushing: ND-Ryan Grant 21-68, Rashon Powers- Neal 5-16, Mike McNair 4-8, Arnaz Battle 2-6, Carlyle Holiday 2-3, Pat Dillingham
4 (-15). NCSU-Philip Rivers 7-22, Josh Brown 7-18, T.A. McLendon 11-18, Sean Berton 1-4.
Passing: ND-Pat Dillinham 37-19-0-166, Carlyle Holiday 6-3-0-22, Joey Hildbold 1-1-0-12. NCSU-Philip Rivers 37-23-2-228, Bryan
Peterson 3-2-0-27, Team 1-0-0-0.
Receiving: ND-Arnaz Battle 10-84, Jared Clark 4-41, Omar Jenkins 3-42, Maurice Stovall 3-25, Gary Godsey 1-5, Ronnie Rodamer 1-5, Rhema McNight 1 (-2). NCSU-Jerricho Cotchery 10- 127, Sean Berton 5-40, T.A. McLendon 3-16, Dovonte Edwards 3-13, Bryan Peterson 2-16, Joseph Gray 1-24, Sterling Hicks 1-19.
Maryland had yet to lose in the Gator Bowl, but the Mountaineers were set on being the first to hand them a loss. Not long after kickoff, it was evident that that was not a feat that would be accomplished. Maryland jumped out to a 24-0 halftime lead assisted by a 76 yard punt return for a touchdown. West Virginia managed to break the plain once on a 15 yard run by Rasheed Marshall. Maryland ended the game with a 41-7 thumping.
MVP: Scott McBrien (QB, Maryland), Brian King (DB, West Virginia)
Coaches: Ralph Friedgren (Maryland), Rich Rodriguez (West Virginia)
Total Payout: $3,200,000
Chairman: Robert E. White
All-Americans: Randy Starks (DT, Maryland), C.J.Brooks (OG, Maryland)
Maryland-41 West Virginia-7
MD-Novak 26 yd Field Goal— MD-Williams 31 yd pass (Novak Kick)— MD-Suter 76 Yd Punt Return (Novak Kick)— MD-Williams 22 Yd pass (Novak Kick)— MD-McBrien 2 yd run (Novak Kick)— WVU-Marshall 15 yd run (Cooper Kick)— MD-Novak 24 yd Field Goal— MD-Walker 14 yd pass (Novak Kick)
|Time of Possession||38:59||21:01|
Rushing: WVU-Kay-Jay Harris 6-57 (-1); Quincy Wilson 12-49;R. Marshall 8-45 (-10); Charles Hales 2-12 (-4); Jason Colson 1-7. MD-B. Perry 20-70 (-3); JP Humber 4-29;J. Allen 11-39(-11); R. Parson 2-18;D. Melendez 1-8;J. Statham 1-3; JJ Walker 1-2; S. McBrien 8-9(-23)
Passing: WVU-R. Marshall 16-10-0-87;Charles Hales 2-1-0(-1). MD-Scott McBrien 33-21-0-381
Receiving: WVU-C. Henry 3-46; J. Pennington 2-19; Quincy Wilson 2(-5); M. Austin 1-16; D. Alston 1-6; M. Henderson 1-5; T. Garvin 1(-1) MD-S. Suter 4-84; J. Williams 4-65; D. Melendez 3-61; J.J. Walker 3-51; D. Fenner 2-36; B. Fiddler 2-23; J. Allen 1-28; V. Davis 1-28; L. Harrison 1-5.
Florida State and West Virginia met once again in Jacksonville. The Mountaineers had not been able to get the best of the Seminoles yet, and were looking to do so. The game was one that was back and forth for most of the four quarters. FSU was carried by Leon Washington who ran 195 yards and a score. Kay-Jay Harris combated that with 134 yards and a touchdown of his own, also scoring one on a catch. The Seminoles would not let Harris determine the result of the game, and the Noles pulled away 30-18 to remain perfect in the Gator Bowl.
MVP: Leon Washington (RB, FSU), Kay-Jay Harris (RB, West Virginia)
Coaches: Bobby Bowden (FSU), Rich Rodriguez (West Virginia)
Total Payout: $3,200,000
Chairman: Robert J. Smith
Florida State-30 West Virginia-18
FSU-Washington 69 yd Run (Beitia Kick)— FSU-Beitia 32 yd Field Goal— WVU-Harris 36 yd Pass (Cooper Kick-failed)— WVU-Harris 1 yd Run (Good Kick-failed)— FSU-Beitia 28 yd Field Goal — FSU-Beitia 28 yd Field Goal— WVU-Good 44 yd Field Goal— FSU-Thorpe 14 yd Pass (Bietia Kick) — WVU-Good 34 yd Field Goal— FSU-Coleman 1 yd Run (Bietia Kick)
|Florida State||West Virginia|
|Time of Possession||32:08||27:52|
Rushing: FSU-L. Washington 12-195; L. Booker 20-101; C. Davis 1-8; J. Coleman 2-2; C. Rix 5-12 WVU-K. Harris 25-134; R. Marshall 11-71; J. Colson 6-20; E. Jackson 2-6; C. Hales 1-5; P.
Passing: FSU-C. Rix 31-16-2-157. WVU-R. Marshall 23-11-1-131; C. Hales 7-2-1-60
Receiving: FSU-C. Thorpe 5-73; C. Davis 3-39; W. Reid 2-15; C. Stovall 2-9; D. Robinison 2-3; J. Coleman 1-9; M. Henshaw 1-9 WVU-K. Harris 4-50; C. Henry 3-61; E. Jackson 2-9; R. Bolden 1-49; C. Hales 1-9; J. Colson 1-7; M. Henderson 1-6
Louisville made their first ever Gator Bowl appearance in 2006 under coach Bobby Petrino. The teams combine for 733 yards to put on an offensive show. Louisville’s quarterback Hunter Cantwell threw for 216 yards and 3 scores. He was overshadowed by Cedric Humes who ran for 113 yards and a touchdown in their 35-24 victory over the Cards.
MVP: Hunter Cantwell (QB, Louisville), Cedric Humes (RB, Virginia Tech)
Coaches: Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech), Bobby Petrino (Louisville)
Total Payout: $3,200,000
Chairman: Mike Hartley
Louisville – 24 Virginia Tech – 35
|Time of Possession||23:39||36:21|
Rushing: LOU-M. Bush 16-94; K. Smith 3-32; H. Douglas 2-29; G. Stripling 3-13; H. Cantwell 5-(-34) VT-C. Humes 22-113; B. Ore 11-56; J. Harper 1-10; M. Vick 13-10
Passing: LOU-H. Cantwell 15-37-3-216 VT-M. Vick 11-21-0-203
Receiving: LOU-M. Urrutia 6-95; J. Tinch 3-55; M. Jones 3-22; G. Barnidge 1-29; M. Bush 1-8; H. Douglas 1-7 VT-J. King 3-27; D. Clowney 2-69; J. Harper 2-62; J. Hyman 2-44; E. Royal 2-1
For the third time in four years the Gator Bowl saw West Virginia as one of its participants. This time facing off with other frequent visitor Georgia Tech. The game produced 73 points which is tied, with the 2015 game, for the most all time between the two teams. Georgia Tech’s quarterback Taylor Bennett for 326 yards and three touchdowns, two of which were to Calvin Johnson, who caught for 186 yards. However, that duo was overpowered by Patrick White of West Virginia who ran for 145 yards and a score, and threw for 131 yards and two more scores. White carried the Mountaineers to a 38-35 win.
MVP: Patrick White (QB, West Virginia), Calvin Johnson (Wr, Georgia Tech)
Coaches: Chan Gailey (GT), Rich Rodriguez (West Virginia)
Total Payout: $4.5 million
Chairman: Scott P. Keith
All-Americans: Calvin Johnson (WR, Georgia Tech), Dan Mozes (C, WVU), Steve Slaton (TB, WVU)
Awards: Calvin Johnson (WR, GT) Fred Biletnikoff Award (Outstanding Receiver)
West Virginia- 38 Georgia Tech-35
|West Virginia||Georgia Tech|
|Time of Possession||31:03||28:57|
Rushing: WV-White 22-145, 1 TD; Collington 6-26; Reynaud 1-20; Slaton 3-11 GT-Choice 27-169, 2 TD; J Evans 2-10; Bennett 3-(-19)
Passing: WV-White 15-9-0, 131, 2 TD GT-Bennett 29-19-1, 326, 3 TD
Receiving: GT-C Johnson 9-186, 2 TD; Choice 3- 28; J Johnson 2-68, 1 TD; Grant 2-14; Cooper 1-21; Matthews 1-9 WV-Myles 6-54, 1 TD; Slaton 2-20; Gonzales 1-57, 1 TD
The Red Raiders made a return to Jacksonville after 31 years to face the east coast Virginia Cavaliers. Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree were a powerful duo. Harrell threw for 407 yards, a Gator Bowl record, and Crabtree caught for 101 of them. Harrell threw 3 touchdown passes, 1 to Crabtree. The duo was challenged by running back Mikell Simpson who ran for 170 yards and a record 96 yard touchdown. He also caught a touchdown. His efforts were not enough and the Red Raiders escaped with a 38-35 win.
MVP: Graham Harrell (QB, Texas Tech), Chris Long (DE, Virginia)
Coaches: Mike Leach (Texas Tech), Al Groh (Virginia)
Total Payout: $4.57 million
Chairman: Kelly Madden
All-Americans: Michael Crabtree (WR, TExas Tech)
Awards: Michael Crabtree (WR, Texas Tech) Fred Biletnikoff Award (Outstanding Wide Receiver)
Texas Tech – 31 Virginia – 28
|Time of Possession||29:43||30:17|
Rushing: TT-Kobey Lewis 8-33; Aaron Crawford 8-29; Graham Harrell 4-(-28) UV-Mikell Simpson, 20-170; Rashawn Jackson
14-52; Jameel Sewell 11-38; Branden Albert 1-2; Peter Lalich (1-(-23).
Passing: TT-Graham Harrell, 44-69-0-407 UV-Jameel Sewell
14-23-0-78; Peter Lalich, 3-5-0-18
Receiving: TT-Michael Crabtree 9-101; Eric Morris 9-77; Aaron Crawford 8-28; Danny Amendola 6-68; Edward Britton 5-48;
Grant Walker 2-44; Detron Lewis 2-19; Kobey Lewis 2-11; Kyle Leong 1-11 UV-Mikell Simpson 5-36; Tom Santi 3-16; Jonathan
Stupar 3-15; Dontrelle Inman 2-11; Staton Jobe 2-7; Maurice Covington 1-11; Rashawn Jackson 1-0
The Konica Minolta Gator Bowl welcomed new faces in 2009. The Nebraska Cornhuskers played in their first ever Jacksonville game against the veteran Clemson Tigers. Both teams started out slow and were not able to put any points on the board in the first quarter. Clemson’s defense struck first with a 28-yard fumble recovery. Cullen Harper threw 1 of his 2 touchdown passes and helped Clemson sit comfortably at half with a 14-3 lead. The second half was all Huskers. Joe Ganz found receivers twice for touchdowns and Alex Henery added 3 out of his 4 field goals to help Nebraska come away victorious, 26-21.
MVP: Joe Ganz (QB, Nebraska), DaQuan Bowers (DE, Nebraska)
Coaches: Bo Pelini (Nebraska), Dabo Swinney (Clemson)
Total Payout: $4.75 milion
Chairman: Brian Goin
Nebraska – 26 Clemson – 21
|Field Goal Attempts||4-4||1-0|
|Time of Possession||34:11||25:49|
Rushing: NU–Castille 18-125; Patrick Witt 1-4; Joe Ganz 7-1; Roy Helu 5 (-1) CU–James Davis 12-26; C.J/ Spiller 7-17; Jacoby Ford 1-3; Cullen Harper 6 (-42)
Passing: NU–Joe Ganz 36-19-1; CU– Cullen Harper 37-17-2-206
Receiving: NU– Todd Peterson 4-96; Marlon Lucky 4-13; Nate Swift 3-32; Mike McNeill 3-27; Menelik 2-35; Niles Paul 2-13;
Q. Castille 1-20; CU– Aaron Kelly 6-74; Jacoby Ford 5-112; C.J. Spiller 4-6; Nelson Faerber 1-8; Tyler Grisham 1-6.