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PREVIEW Sugar Bowl



Published: Sat, January 1, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



No. 3 Auburn (12-0)vs. No. 9 Virginia Tech (10-2)

Time: 8 p.m. Monday

TV/radio: WYTV (33), WEWS (5), WTAE (4), WBBW-AM (1240)

Coaches: Tommy Tuberville (50-24 in 6th year at Auburn) and Frank Beamer (135-76-2 in 18th year at Va. Tech).

Payout: Each school receives $11-14 million.

Bowl records: Auburn is 16-12-2. Va. Tech is 6-11.

Last bowl appearance: Auburn beat Wisconsin, 28-14, in last year's Music City Bowl. Va. Tech lost to Cal, 52-49, in last year's Insight Bowl.

Series history: Auburn leads, 2-1-1.

Last meeting: Auburn won, 18-7, in 1978.

Last game: Auburn beat Tennessee, 38-28, in the SEC Championship Game Dec. 4. Va. Tech won at Miami, 16-10, on Dec. 4.

Stat that matters: Fast-starting Tigers have outscored opponents 128-19 in first quarter this season.

Game facts: The Tigers settle for this after the BCS locked them out of the national title game. Tuberville has made an amazing comeback from nearly being fired prior to last year's Alabama game with a current 14-game winning streak, AU's longest since winning 18 straight in 1993-94. Senior leadership has keyed run with QB Jason Campbell (164-of-236, 2,137 passing, 16 TDs, 5 INTs, 3 TD runs) and RBs Ronnie Brown and Carnell "Cadillac" Williams (combined 1,799 rushing, 19 TDs, 47 catches, 2 TDs) doing it all on and off the field. Impressive defense (led SEC, third in nation in scoring, 11.2 ppg) showed some leaks vs. Tennessee, giving up season-high 28 points, 228 rushing and 3 TD runs (gave up 1 TD run prior to that). Picked sixth in ACC preseason poll, Hokies inspiration has been QB Bryan Randall (2,398 total offense, 19 TD passes, 7 INTs. 4 TD runs), who rallied from poor start to win ACC player of year award. His improvement keyed the season-ending 8-game winning streak. DE Darryl Tapp (led ACC with 9 sacks) and DT Jim Davis (3 blocked FGs) anchor a tough defense (led ACC, 5th in nation in scoring, 12.6 ppg).

Scripps Howard




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