CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - The UVa football team will play in the Orange Bowl later this month for the first time ever.
The Orange Bowl committee says it was an obvious pick with Virginia being a ranked team and winning the ACC’s Coastal Division.
Former UVa basketball star John Crotty is on the Orange Bowl selection committee, along with a few other Virginia alums.
Crotty talked with NBC29′s Marty Hudtloff in the WVIR-TV studios on Monday and admitted he’s excited to see his alma mater in the Orange Bowl.
“First of all, being a graduate, I’m a fan of the team,” says Crotty. “I’m supposed to be mr. neutral with the Orange jacket on but I loved the way they played defensively, their toughness. On the offensive end with their quarterback being able to run and throw. I thought they played such a great game against Virginia Tech. I thought that was a huge game for them obviously breaking through after 15 years and winning the Coastal.”
The Virginia football team was recognized Sunday at John Paul Jones Arena during Virginia’s basketball game.
This is the first time Virginia has been invited to one of the prestigious, so-called “New Year’s Six” bowl games.
It’s an opportunity for Virginia to showcase itself in a marquee bowl game and also a chance to get to 10 wins in a season for only the second time ever, since 1989.
“That’s been a big message the fact that, we’ve only done it one time, how we can become part of history,” says UVa senior Joe Reed. “To continue to make history that we’ve been doing this year. 10th win would be huge for us and something we definitely have in mind.”
“You’re not going to find a bigger stage than this, the Orange Bowl against the University of Florida,” says UVa linebacker Charles Snowden. “All our guys understand how big this is. We understand how big the bowl win was last year and what it did for the program. To have a similar effect like that and it’s only been done one other time in the program’s history, that would be really exciting.”
The Orange Bowl game against Florida will kickoff at 8pm on Monday, December 30th at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.