- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 6, 2015

Frank Beamer’s final bowl game as Virginia Tech’s coach will be the same as the one in which he made his debut.

Virginia Tech accepted an invitation to play in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, pushing Beamer’s streak to 23 consecutive bowl games.

The Hokies (6-6, 4-4 ACC), who extended that postseason streak with a 23-20 victory over Virginia on Nov. 28, will play Tulsa on Dec. 26. The Golden Hurricane will be playing in its first bowl game since 2012, when it defeated Iowa State in the Liberty Bowl.

“It’s fitting that we started our bowl streak at the Independence Bowl back in 1993, and what a wonderful ride it’s been,” Beamer said in a statement announcing the game. :It’s certainly been a privilege and a pleasure to work with this group of coaches and student-athletes. We’d love to send them out with a victory in Shreveport.”

Virginia Tech’s 23-year bowl streak is the fifth-longest in college football history. Beamer was in his seventh season at his alma mater in 1993, when the Hokies went 9-3 and defeated Indiana, 45-20, in the Independence Bowl.

He announced last month that he will retire after this season, his 29th as Virginia Tech’s coach. Justin Fuente, who spent the last four years as the coach at Memphis, will replace Beamer.

“Our players and coaches were truly ecstatic, and grateful, to get that invitation,” Beamer said, recalling his first bowl selection. “We were appreciative then, and we’re appreciative now. We’ll bring the very same enthusiasm we brought 23 years ago, and we’re delighted to be returning to Shreveport.”

Virginia Tech hasn’t played Tulsa (6-6, 3-5 The American), which is led by first-year coach Philip Montgomery, since 1978. The Golden Hurricane have the 11th-ranked passing offense, averaging nearly 330 yards per game.

Navy to face Pittsburgh in Military Bowl

Pittsburgh, which finished second in the ACC’s Coastal Division, will be Navy’s opponent in the Military Bowl after accepting an invitation on Sunday.

The Panthers (8-4, 6-2 ACC), selected to play in a bowl game for the eighth consecutive season, will face the Midshipmen (9-2, 7-1 The American). Navy announced it would play in the game, which will be held at its home, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, last week.

“We feel fortunate to have a team the caliber of Pittsburgh face off against Navy, which is in the midst of one of the greatest seasons in school history,” Military Bowl executive director Steve Beck said in a statement. “The Panthers play an exciting brand of football and we are sure there will be a buzz in Annapolis on gameday.”

Navy will conclude its regular season on Saturday, when it faces Army in Philadelphia.

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