ORLANDO, Fla. - It's one of the most intriguing match-ups of the bowl season: Oklahoma State, the nation's third-ranked scoring offense vs. Virginia Tech, the nation's fifth-ranked scoring defense. But perhaps the bigger battle will be how the Hokies' offense tries to keep pace with the high-flying Cowboys.
When Virginia Tech takes on OSU in Thursday's Camping World Bowl, it will do without its leading receiver (Cam Phillips) and leading rusher (Travon McMillian).
Cam Phillips, the all-time leading receiver in Virginia Tech history, will miss the game due to sports hernia surgery. In four seasons, Phillips caught 236 passes for 3,027 yards and 17 touchdowns. Seven of those TDs and 71 of those receptions came this season. Tech's second-leading receiver, true freshman Sean Savoy, caught 39 passes for 454 yards and four touchdowns.
“It’ll be a group effort,” Tech head coach Justin Fuente said Tuesday when asked how his Hokies will fill Phillips' void. “We’ll need all of [the other receivers] to continue to prepare over the next day and a half and be ready to go. I like the way they’ve worked. They all want to play and want an opportunity, and here it is.”
Travon McMillian, who led the Hokies with 439 rushing yards on 104 carries this season, announced on Twitter he plans to transfer away from Virginia Tech and will not play in the bowl game. In three seasons, McMillian rushed for 2,153 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Tech, 9-and-3 on the season, is playing in a bowl game for a 25th straight season - the longest active streak recognized by the NCAA. The Hokies are seeking back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time since 2011.
Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech kickoff December 28th at 5:15pm in Orlando's Camping World Stadium.