By Ben Reitman
After reaching bowl eligibility for the first time in five years, Maryland football is set to face off against Virginia Tech in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Wednesday, December 28.
Ahead of the Terps’ first bowl game appearance since 2016, head coach Mike Locksley and athletic director Damon Evans, along with representatives from Virginia Tech, New Era, and the New York Yankees spoke during an introductory press conference.
“I think that pretty much everyone, including myself, knows someone who graduated from Maryland that lives in this area,” New York Yankees President Randy Levine said. “It’s a great fan base here and I think they are excited.”
While the bowl game is an exciting opportunity for New York area fans, it is also a chance for Maryland fans around the nation to see the team in a postseason game.
“We are very excited to be participating in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl,” Evans said. “This is a great opportunity for our football program. Our New York and Long Island alumni community is one of our largest alumni communities in the country and we are excited for everyone to see what the Maryland fanbase is all about.”
In his third season at the helm, Locksley is making his first bowl game appearance as a head coach at Maryland. The game is the program’s first bowl since the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, a 36-30 loss at the hands of Boston College.
“We have 25 seniors that we honor on their way out that have never experienced what a bowl week is about,” Locksley said. “We look at this as the start of our 2022 season and we could not be more excited to play in a historic [venue] like Yankee Stadium.”
Leading up to the game, both Maryland and Virginia Tech will get to see some of the storied tourist attractions that New York City has to offer.
“We’re going to continue to have a bevy of activities,” New Era Pinstripe Bowl executive director Mark Holtzman said.. “We’re going to take them to One World Observatory, the 9/11 Memorial, Radio City [Music] Hall, Lincoln Center, as well as take the families to a dinner at the Tavern on the Green.”
Virginia Tech will be led by interim head coach J.C. Price after the university parted ways with former head coach Justin Fuente with two games remaining in the season. Former Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry was announced as the permanent head coach for the Hokies’ 2022 season on November 30.
It will be the 32nd all-time meeting between the one time ACC rivals. The last meeting was a 27-24 overtime win for Maryland back in Blacksburg in 2013. The two schools have additionally agreed to play a four game home-and-home series beginning in 2026 at Capital One Field.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” Locksley said. “By no means is 6-6 the landmark we want to have, but to be able to take this step in year three by becoming a bowl eligible team, which is we know getting in this type of cycle, [it] allows you to continue to develop your team.”
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