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Football Accepts Chick-fil-A Bowl Bid; To Face Georgia Tech
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Published: December 08, 2008, 12:00 AM (CT)
Updated: October 29, 2009, 03:36 AM (CT)
by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports), LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE -- The LSU football team will cap its 2008 season with an appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl as the Tigers will travel to Atlanta to face 14th-ranked Georgia Tech in the Georgia Dome. The game, which is scheduled for New Year’s Eve, will be televised by ESPN and will kickoff at 6:30 p.m. CST.

LSU (7-5) will be playing in a school-record ninth straight bowl game, a streak that began with a victory over the Yellow Jackets in the 2000 Peach Bowl in Atlanta. The Tigers will be making their fifth appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl and are 4-0 all-time in their previous appearances.

For complete info about LSU's trip to Atlanta, visit LSUsports.net's 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl Central.

Get your tickets now on LSUsports.net.

Last year, the Tigers won the school’s third national title with a 38-24 win over top-ranked Ohio State in the BCS Championship Game in New Orleans. LSU will be the first reigning national champion to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

“We are excited to have this great opportunity to play one of the best teams in the country in Georgia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl,” LSU Director of Athletics Joe Alleva said upon accepting the invite from the bowl. I’m very familiar with them. They have an outstanding coach in Paul Johnson and he’s done a remarkable job there. This will be a great challenge for our team, one that I think Coach Miles and our players will be very excited to play and will give tremendous effort and represent the state of Louisiana to the fullest.

“In my conversation with Coach Miles before the bowl selection was done, he wanted to play the highest ranked team that we could play. He thought that would be the best thing for this team and the program. He felt it was something he could use to motivate his team to play well and he’s really excited to play Georgia Tech.”

LSU has won three consecutive bowl games all under head coach Les Miles -- dating back to the 2005 Chick-fil-A Bowl victory over No. 9 Miami. Miles guided the Tigers to a 2007 Sugar Bowl win over No. 11 Notre Dame and led LSU to its third national championship with a 38-24 triumph over No. 1 Ohio State in the 2008 BCS National Championship Game.

LSU played in the very first Chick-fil-A Bowl (formerly Peach Bowl) in 1968 when the Tigers posted a 31-27 win over Florida State. The Tigers, behind a second half rally sparked by quarterback Rohan Davey, beat Georgia Tech, 28-14, in the game in 2000; backup Matt Flynn guided the Tigers to a 40-3 victory over No. 9 Miami in the 2005 Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Georgia Tech (9-3) brings in one of the nation’s elite rushing attacks under first-year head coach Paul Johnson. The Yellow Jackets rank third in the nation in rushing yards per game (283.3) and are one of the few teams to run the triple-option in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Georgia Tech, which is coming off a 45-42 win over Georgia in its last game, has won three of its last four games. Other notable wins for the Yellow Jackets this year include a 19-16 win over Boston College, a 38-7 victory over Mississippi State, and a 31-28 win over Florida State.

Tickets to the 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl are available for as low as $60 on www.LSUsports.net and through the LSU Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-960-TKTS or 225-578-2184.

COMMENTS FROM LSU’S LES MILES ON THE INVITE TO THE CHICK-FIL-A BOWL

On getting a chance to play another game....
“We are looking forward to getting back on the field with the opportunity to play a quality opponent in Georgia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. This month of preparation gives us a chance to improve as a team and this game gives us an opportunity to close this season out on a positive note. 

On Georgia Tech....
“Georgia Tech is a very good team. They are good on both sides of the football and they will pose significant challenges to our football team. We are looking forward to chance to line up and face a highly ranked opponent in this bowl game.

On the Chick-fil-A Bowl....
“The Chick-fil-A Bowl is a great game for the SEC to be tied in with. This bowl really gives our league the chance to play in a great bowl game in one of the best cities in America. Atlanta is a great city that has been very good to LSU and we are looking forward for the opportunity to play another game in the Georgia Dome. 

LSU ATHLETICS DIRECTOR JOE ALLEVA

Opening Statement...
"In my conversation with Coach Miles before the bowl selection was done, he wanted to play the highest ranked team that we could play. He thought that would be the best thing for this team and the program. He felt it was something he could use to motivate his team to play well and he’s really excited to play Georgia Tech.”

On the opportunity to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl after a rough end to the season...
“Obviously, it was a tough way to end the season, but this is an outstanding bowl to go to. It will be on national television on New Year’s Eve. It has no competition for air time so a lot of America will be watching the game. It’s a tough matchup; Georgia Tech is a tough team they had over 400 yards rushing against Georgia. I think it’s going to be a really outstanding game, but I feel really confident that our team is going to step up and play really well and be really motivated to play this game.”

On playing a team from the ACC, his former conference...
“I know a lot about Georgia Tech. (Georgia Tech Head Coach) Paul Johnson has done an amazing job there. He has a different kind of offense that is hard to prepare for because you don’t see it very often. He’s done a terrific job there and he should be commended for it.”

On if the selection process worked the way he thought it would...
“Yea, pretty much. I think it worked out for us about as well as it could, given all the circumstances. We felt like it was the Chick-fil-A Bowl pretty much all along. Particularly after the game (vs. Arkansas) in Little Rock we thought the Chick-fil-a Bowl was where we were going to go. I just felt it was there all along. It was just my feeling, but I thought it was where we were going to end up after Little Rock.”

LSU Bowl Selection Interviews
December 7, 2008

DE Tyson Jackson

On if the team has scouted Georgia Tech at all ...
“Not right now. We have to get in the film room and watch a lot of film on those guys to see the type of tendencies they have. We know they have a great offense that we are about to face. They have a running-type of offense, so we need to sit down with our coaches and watch Georgia Tech for a long time to see how we can prepare.”

On being selected to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl ...
“It is a plus. It shows that people still have respect for our program and for our school. We still have another opportunity to go out and represent LSU, so that is a big positive on our end. We just have to go out and prepare well and hopefully play a good game against Georgia Tech. I am really pleased with the bowl game. We played there a few years ago against Miami, and we did a good job in that game. Hopefully those same types of tendencies can happen again and we will prepare well and go out and play a good game.”

On the atmosphere of the Chick-fil-A Bowl ...
“It was a really big atmosphere. With us and Miami being there a few years ago it was a lot of people and fans for both sides. The environment was really nice. It will be an interesting game with the ACC and SEC pairing up again in a bowl game. It will be a really nice matchup.”

On if the game will essentially be a home game for Georgia Tech ...
“They will have a lot of fans, but I know our fans well. They will be out there traveling with us, no matter what and no matter where the place is. I expect a pretty large turnout from our fans, so it should balance out pretty equally.”

On playing as a road team since Georgia Tech is from Atlanta ...
“It should give us extra motivation since we are going into their territory. That type of motivation for a game should help us get ready for the game.”

On if he watched the LSU-Georgia Tech bowl game in 2000 ...
“I did watch the game. I was pretty young back then. I was still in high school, watching LSU play Georgia Tech. It was a really good game back then, and LSU came out, had a really good game and won it. It was very exciting in 2000.”

On playing in the BCS National Championship Game last season to playing in the Chick-fil-A Bowl this season ...
“Last year was a wonderful thing to happen, but this year is still good that we have a nice bowl game with the Chick-fil-A Bowl. It is an exciting time to go out, represent LSU and play a good team like Georgia Tech. We will go out there and show everyone that we are still capable, still fighting and still hungry.”

On if he heard before Sunday that LSU was heading to the Chick-fil-A Bowl ...
“I heard a lot of rumors and speculation that we were going to the Chick-fil-A Bowl. A lot of guys want to go there and have a good time. With it being in Atlanta, a really good city, and in that type of atmosphere, it will be really good for us to play in that dome. We just found out a few minutes ago that it has been confirmed.”

On if the team is excited to play again ...
“My teammates are really excited to play again, especially against a team like Georgia Tech with good a offense and defense and a good coach. Our guys will be fired up.”

On if he has watched Georgia Tech play at all this season ...
“I caught a Thursday game with them versus Miami, and it was a pretty good game. They were running the ball over Miami’s defense. It is a really good offense that Georgia Tech has, and the defense is really solid. We will have a big challenge ahead of us.”

LB Darry Beckwith

On the past week leading up to the bowl announcement...
“We’ve just been getting our minds refocused. It’s the last little time away from football. We’re just getting ready for finals, studying and relaxing. Guys who are injured or nicked are getting treatment. We’re continuing to work out and stay conditioned. Now, we found out that we are playing Georgia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. We will start putting our focus on them and hope that we can just go out with a win and play hard.”

On playing a very good opponent in Georgia Tech...
“It’s a great feeling. Anytime you go to a bowl game, it’s a great accomplishment. Those guys (Georgia Tech) had a great year for their first-year head coach (Paul Johnson), and it’s going to be a wonderful football game. It’s going to be exciting for the fans and the players.”

On if the team sees the bowl as a chance to redeem itself...
“You work hard all year to accomplish certain things, and any team across America that is not going to a bowl game would love to be in our shoes or Georgia Tech’s shoes. To play in this caliber of a game on ESPN primetime will be a great feeling. We just want to go out and perform well and put a full, complete game together.”

On if the extra game is more important to get younger guys extra practice time or to end on a good note...
“I would say a little bit of both. You want to end your season with a win and for the seniors, end their careers off with a win. For the younger guys, this will be a jumpstart to their careers and for next fall.”

On the Georgia Tech offense...
“They have a pretty potent offense. The last time I’ve seen an option offense was at Parkview Baptist (high school). As far as a college football team running it, I have not seen it, and those guys have great athletes. When you get that type of system and type of offense with the athletes that they have at running back and quarterback, it can be dangerous.”

DT Marlon Favorite

On if the team will be excited for the bowl game...
“Of course. Atlanta is a beautiful city. We are going to have a great time out there. The fans are nice. The LSU fans are always happy with whatever bowl game we’re playing in. It’s going to be a competitive game. Georgia Tech is a pretty good team. It’s a lot to look forward to.”

On winning bowl games very decisively in recent years...
“I credit that to the time that we have to prepare, the coaching staff, the players’ effort and everybody really looking forward to playing in a bowl game. It’s an honor to play in a bowl game. A lot of teams across the nation do not have this opportunity, so we don’t take that for granted. We look at the fact that the bowl game is lagniappe, it’s extra. We look at the fact that we are playing at a prestigious bowl, the Chick-fil-A Bowl, which is pretty big.”

On if he sees this bowl game as an opportunity to give the younger guys momentum...
“Most definitely. We (the seniors) have an opportunity to leave LSU as the most winningest class. That’s something we can leave with the younger guys. Winning a national championship and playing in three BCS bowls is something to leave with the younger guys. The wisdom and experience that we had here at LSU is always something you want to leave with the younger guys. It makes them work hard for next year.”

 

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