Graham Harrell, meet Chris Long. He wears No. 91 for Virginia, but you won't have trouble recognizing him. He'll be the guy coming after you every time you attempt a pass -- and you attempt a lot of them.
Ramsey, N.J. and Jacksonville, Fla. (Vocus) December 26, 2007
The New Year's Day Konica Minolta Gator Bowl match up of the #1 passing offense of Texas Tech against the #17 defense of Virginia is gaining attention around the country as a game that should entertain all football enthusiasts.
Since the match up was announced December 2nd, both Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports have commented on the game.
In his December 4th posting, "Bowl rankings: The best and worst of the postseason, from 1 to 32" SI.com's Stewart Mandell rated the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl the 7th most compelling bowl game, commenting, "Graham Harrell, meet Chris Long. He wears No. 91 for Virginia, but you won't have trouble recognizing him. He'll be the guy coming after you every time you attempt a pass -- and you attempt a lot of them."
Fox Sports' Pete Fiutak in his December 6th posting, "Which Bowls Should You be Watching" classified the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl as a "Great Matchup," and went on to report, "It's Texas Tech in a bowl game -- that's all you need to know. It pulled out a 44-41 win over Minnesota in a classic of an Insight Bowl last season, and has managed to win four of its last five bowl games with its high-powered offense. On the flip side is Virginia, who got through the ACC season by winning almost every close game by the skin of its teeth before losing to Virginia Tech late. It's the solid defense vs. the killer offense in what should be a close New Year's Day fight."
"As a leader in advanced imaging and networking technologies, it's important to be associated with the pedigree and history of events such as the Gator Bowl Classic," said Kevin Kern, vice president, marketing and product planning, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. "The highly anticipated matchup between Texas Tech and Virginia is a great way to kick off the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl sponsorship."
Konica Minolta Gator Bowl to Showcase Offensive and Defensive Award Winners
The Texas Tech Red Raiders will bring their mighty offense to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium with two outstanding offensive leaders. Texas Tech Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree, recipient of the prestigious Biletnikoff Award, has added to his impressive list of postseason honors when the Touchdown Club of Columbus announced the Red Raider as its 2007 Freshman of the Year and recipient of its Paul Warfield Award, given annually to the nation's top receiver. Other honors include consensus All-America First Team, all-conference, national and conference freshman of the year. He holds the NCAA freshman record and national leader with 125 receptions, 1,861 yards and 21 receiving touchdowns.
Fellow Texas Tech teammate, quarterback Graham Harrell, is an offensive team standout and is recognized as a national passing leader with 5,298 yards, 441.5 yards per game, 45 touchdown passes and a 72.7 completion percentage. He was honored by The Touchdown Club of Columbus and awarded the Sammy Baugh Trophy as the nation's top quarterback.
The Virginia Cavaliers will bring their mighty defense to Jacksonville led by Defensive Tackle, Chris Long, who has had an impressive career on the defensive side of the ball while at the University of Virginia. He has accumulated many honors including the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation's top defensive end. He is a unanimous All-American, only the third in University of Virginia's history and was in the top 10 finish in Heisman Trophy voting. Chris received First Team all-America honors from the Associated Press, the Football Writers Association of America, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the American Football Coaches Association, the Sporting News, CBSSports.com, Sports Illustrated.com and Rivals.com. Long was also named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and was the recipient of the Dudley Award as the top collegiate player in the state of Virginia. Other honors include Defensive lineman of the year by the Richmond Touchdown Club, a finalist for the Lott, Lombardi and Nagurski Awards and has had his jersey retired by Virginia.
Joining his Virginia teammate is Junior Offensive Guard Branden Albert. He has also had an impressive career and has been nationally recognized with Third Team All-America honors from the Associated Press and named First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference.
Virginia (9-3) will be making its second appearance at the Gator Bowl while Texas Tech (8-4) will be making its fourth appearance in school history.
The 2008 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl will take place at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida on January 1, 2008. The game is scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. and will be televised nationally by CBS.
To purchase tickets for the Konica Minolta Gator Bowl, please visit http://www.gatorbowl.com. Travel packages are also available through the University of Virginia Bowl Central website and Texas Tech University Bowl Central website.
About Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A, Inc. (http://www.kmbs.konicaminolta.us), a leader in advanced imaging and networking technologies for the desktop to the print shop, brings together unparalleled advances in security, print quality and network integration via its award-winning line of bizhubTM multifunction products (MFPs); bizhub PROTM production printing systems; magicolor® desktop color laser printers and all-in-ones; and pageproTM monochrome desktop laser printers and all-in-ones. Konica Minolta also offers advanced software solutions, wide-format printers, microform digital imaging systems, faxes, and scanning systems for specialized applications.
Headquartered in Ramsey, NJ, Konica Minolta delivers expert professional services and client support through an extensive network of direct sales offices, authorized dealers, resellers and distribution partners in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America.
About The Gator Bowl Classic
The Gator Bowl Classic, the 6th oldest Bowl in the country, was first played on January 1, 1946 pitting South Carolina against Wake Forest. For over 60 years, the Gator Bowl has showcased 4 Heisman Trophy winners and more than 180 first team All-Americans. A few of the great legends who are part of the Gator Bowl mystique include coaches and players like Dan Marino, Archie Manning (and son, Peyton), Paul "Bear" Bryant, "Papa" Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden.
The Gator Bowl Association is a 501(c) 3 not-for profit organization whose mission is to provide Northeast Florida with the very best in college athletics and related activities in order to maximize positive impact on the area's economy, national image and community pride. Its primary charitable activities are focused on education and youth in the North Florida area.
The 2008 Konica Minolta Gator Bowl marks the 63rd game for the Gator Bowl Classic. This year's match-up will showcase the University of Virginia from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Texas Tech University from the Big 12 Conference.
To obtain the official Konica Minolta Gator Bowl logo, please visit http://www.gbalogos.com.
Konica Minolta Corporate Contact:
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.
jnorberto @ kmbs.konicaminolta.us
Konica Minolta Media Contact:
Lois Paul & Partners
Susan_Lombardo @ LPP.com
Gator Bowl Association Contact:
Gator Bowl Association
cheri @ gatorbowl.com
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