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Virginia Tech looks to send Frank Beamer off on high note vs. Tulsa

Camping World Independence Bowl
Virginia Tech (6-6) vs. Tulsa (6-6)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Dec. 26, 2015

(Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)
(Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)

Virginia Tech is looking to send Frank Beamer out on a high note.

The longtime Hokies head coach, who is retiring once the season comes to a close, has led Tech to a bowl game in 23 consecutive seasons. The Camping World Independence Bowl is probably not what he had in mind when he pictured his final game, but a win would ensure that the Hokies’ winning record streak – which dates back to 1993 – remains intact. Coincidentally, the first bowl of Beamer’s tenure came at the same venue – Independence Stadium in Shreveport, Louisiana – back in the 1993 Independence Bowl.

The Hokies won that game 45-20 over Indiana. Beamer is hoping for a similar result this time around.

The Hokies will square off against a 6-6 Tulsa squad that needed a late game comeback overly lowly Tulane in the season finale to reach a bowl. It was certainly an up-and-down season for the Golden Hurricane, but this team can really move the ball – especially through the air.

Tulsa wide receiver Keyarris Garrett. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Tulsa wide receiver Keyarris Garrett. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Dane Evans has 3,958 yards and 22 touchdowns passing this season and looks the way of senior Keyarris Garrett often. Garrett entered bowl play second in the nation with 1,451 receiving yards on 88 catches – a 16.5 yard average. He also leads Tulsa with seven touchdown catches.

And while Tulsa averages more than 500 yards a game, its defense gives up more. Tulsa is third-worst nationally in total defense, giving up an average of 531.5 yards per game. The Golden Hurricane also allows 38.6 points per game, ninth-worst in the country.

That’s good news for a Virginia Tech team that doesn’t exactly light up the scoreboard on offense.

Senior quarterback Michael Brewer should have plenty of chances to exploit the weak Tulsa secondary. Isaiah Ford is Brewer’s top target. Tight end Bucky Hodges is also a reliable commodity for the Hokies, especially in the red zone.

Picks

Graham: Come on, we all want to see Frank Beamer carried off the field on victorious shoulders. The people of Blacksburg demand it and so do those of us who appreciate the greats of the game. VT 28, Tulsa 17.

Nick: I feel like I'm morally obligated to not pick against Frank Beamer for sentimental reasons here. Tulsa could give the Hokies a run, however. Virginia Tech 27, Tulsa 24.

Sam: Tulsa's defense is very bad. Like very, very bad. I can't see the Hokies losing this one, but it will be closer than people think. Virginia Tech 30, Tulsa 24.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!