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Bowl week preps for Virginia, Virginia Tech


IT’S ALWAYS SPECIAL WHEN A TEAM FROM THE COMMONWEALTH PLAYS IN THE POSTSEASON, BUT THE TWO BIGGEST SCHOOLS PLAYING ON THE SAME DAY?? IT’S OFFICIALLY BOWL WEEK FOR BOTH VIRGINA AND VIRGINIA TECH. WELCOME TO THE SPORTSWRAP. I’M NATHAN EPSTEIN, AND WE’LL START WITH THE WAHOOS. 6 AND 6 UVA WILL MEET 6 AND 6 NAVY FOR THE MILITARY BOWL. KICKOFF THE MILITARY BOWL AT 1 O’CLOCK IN ANNAPOLIS— AND THIS A MATCHUP WITH SOME HISTORY—ASIDE FROM THE FACT THAT GEORGE WELSH, THE WINNINGEST COACH IN UVA HISTORY LEFT NAVY TO TAKE THE JOB IN CHARLOTTESVILLE— THE CAVALIERS AND MIDSHIPPMEN HAVE MET 39 TIMES. NAVY LEADS THE ALL-TIME SERIES 27 WINS TO 11 LOSSES, BUT THE WAHOOS HAVE WON FIVE STRAIGHT AND THREE OF THE LAST FOUR IN ANNAPOLIS— THE BIG STORY MIGHT BE THE WEATHER, IT WILL BE DOWN RIGHT COLD—DON SLATER SAYS THE HIGH WILL BE 26 AT KICKOFF—THINK THAT BOTHERS VIRGINIA BEACH’S QUIN BLANDING? “WE KNOW WHAT THE WE KNOW WHAT THE OFFENSE IS GOING TO DO, WE KNOW WHAT THE DEFENSE IS GOING TO DO. WE JUST GOT TO GO OUT THERE AND PLAY OUR GAME.” BLANDING WILL BE PLAYING HIS FINAL COLLEGIATE GAME, AS WILL ANDREW BROWN OUT OF OSCAR SMITH HIGH SCHOOL IN CHESAPEAKE, ALONG WITH QUARTERBACK KIRK BENKURT— RIGHT AFTER THE CAVALIERS WRAP THINGS UP, THE HOKIES WILL MATCH THEIR LUNCHPAIL DEFENSE AGAINST OKLAHOMA STATE’S ELITE PASSING ATTACK—–IN THE MEANTIME, THE WEATHER’S A LITTLE DIFFERENT DOWN IN ORLANDO FLORIDA— SO THE HOKIES, RANKED 22ND IN THE NATION BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS—SOAKIN UP THE SUN IN DISNEY WORLD—-ALL PART OF THE BOWL EXPERIENCE– —THE HOKIES DEFENSE—ALWAYS ONE OF THE BEST UNITS IN THE NATION, WILL FACH OKLAHOMA STATE’S PASSING ATTACK, WHICH IS THE TOP PASSING ATTACK IN THE COUNTRY—PUTTING UP TO 400 YARDS PASING PER GAME, LED BY QUARTERBACK MASON RUDOLPH. HE’S RACKED UP UP EVEN MORE TOTAL YARDS THAN HEISMAN WINNER BAKER MAYFIELD—45 HUNDRED YARDS THROUGH THE AIR FOR RUDOLPH THIS SEASON LEADING THE CHARGE FOR THE HOKIE DEFENSE AT LINEBACKER—SENIOR, ANDREW MATUAPUAKA—OUT OF SALEM HIGH SCHOOL IN VIRGINIA BEACH, WHO WILL WEAR FRANK BEAMER’S NUMBER 25 AS THE SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK— “I CAN’T SAY ENOUGH GOOD THINGS ABOUT ANDREW, QUITE HONESTLY. MAYBE ONE OF THE BIGGEST COMPLIMENTS SOMEBODY CAN GIVE SOMEBODY ELSE IS TO SAY THAT THEY’VE OVER-ACHIEVED, THAT THEY’RE A BETTER PLAYER UNMATCHED. I CAN’T THINK OF ANYBODY MORE FITTING TO GET A CHANCE TO WEAR IT. LAST YEAR I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO GET IT AT LEAST ONE TIME. BUT I GUESS HAVING IT TWO TIMES THIS YEAR MAKES UP FOR LAST YEAR. SO, IT’S COOL.” TECH KICKS OFF AT 5:15.

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