BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) -- The Virginia Tech football team is getting back to football this weekend following final exams. They'll face Cincinnati two weeks from Monday in the Military Bowl.
Facing some long odds in the final two weeks of the regular season, the Hokies extended two important streaks, one over UVA and the other a bowl streak that spans three different decades. Now they'll try to finish with a winning record by posting their 3rd straight win to close the year. The program's last losing record came back in 1992.
"You never want to have a losing record. Going 7 & 6 is a lot different than going 6 & 7. I've never had a losing record in all the years I've been playing football, especially here so I'm not gonna go out on a losing record. That's for sure," Virginia Tech Offensive Lineman Kyle Chung said.
"I think that's important to this team and this program and to this tradition. Coach Fuente actually mentioned that at our last practice and I haven't really thought about that but it's definitely a big difference from 6&7 to 7&6," Virginia Tech Defensive Tackle Ricky Walker said.
"We didn't just have a 25 year bowl streak. We had a 25 year winning streak. They're kind of one and the same and what we expect to do every year," Virginia Tech Defensive Tackle Vinny Mihota said.
Coach Justin Fuente and the staff have been busy on the road recruiting most of the past two weeks. But now that finals are over, the prep begins for one more test against the Bearcats in Annapolis on New Year's Eve.
"We've got a great group of seniors. We've got great leaders. They've been here before. The young guys still have a ways to go. Leadership can do nothing but help that, so, I love these guys. I've been with them for awhile. We're soaking up every extra moment we can with them. I'm just happy to be here," Virginia Tech Quarterback Ryan Willis said.
"We've been a little bit into the maintenance phase of our bowl prep. When you play on the 31st, I think you can break it down into three phases. One is just maintaining your conditioning and getting kids back feeling well. And then you get into sharpening your skill set, all the while getting some good work for the young players and then you get into game prep, so our kids have done a good job," Virginia Tech Head Coach Justin Fuente said.
The Hokies will practice here in Blacksburg through the end of next week before taking a break to allow the players to spend the holiday with their families. They'll reconvene in Washington, DC on the 26th to continue their prep for a Cincinnati team that sports a 10 and 2 record, which includes a win over Pac 12 member UCLA in the season opener.