Georgia Tech seniors want to break bowl hex

Four bowl games, four losses.

It's not what Georgia Tech's seniors thought they would experience when they enrolled five years ago. But they have a chance to break the losing streak when the Jackets (11-2)  take on Iowa (10-2)  in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 5 in Miami.

"No player wants to go out having played in five bowl games and not won one," guard Cord Howard said. "It's really not a good feeling. Everybody's doing everything in our power to win one."

It's not something any of the players, let alone the seniors, are shying away from. Among the streaks the team has broken this season: first win in Tallahassee, first win in Charlottesville since 1990, first win over a top-5 team at home since 1962, first outright ACC title since 1990.

"It was the second goal on our board this year was to win a bowl game," senior Sedric Griffin said.

Griffin has had arguably the worst experience of the seniors: He broke his leg in the 2007 Gator Bowl, a 38-35 loss to West Virginia, and had a fumble returned for a touchdown called back in last season's Chick-fil-A Bowl, a 38-3  loss to LSU.

And the seniors said they definitely don't want to go out with a loss in front of a national TV audience in the only BCS game that night.

"I don't know what the outcome will be, but as far as the attention to detail, it's night and day compared to last year," defensive line coach Giff Smith said about the team's preparation.

The seniors said they've enjoyed the bowl experiences: from seeing Alcatraz and Chinatown while preparing for the 2005 Emerald Bowl in San Francisco (Utah won 38-10), to tubing in Idaho before the 2007 Humanitarian Bowl (Fresno State won 40-28).

But nothing would beat the feeling of a win.

"I don't want to leave Georgia Tech without having won a bowl game," center Dan Voss said.


Every Tech player who appeared in a game this season remains in good academic standing after the fall semester and will be eligible to play in the Orange Bowl. ... Tech coach Paul Johnson said the team had a good week of practice. The Jackets are off Sunday and will practice once more on Monday before taking the holidays off. The team will resume practicing Dec. 28.