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SUGAR BOWL MATCHUP
Michigan Wolverines vs Virginia Tech Hokies
Jan. 3, 2012 | 8:30 p.m. ET | ESPN
Stadium Guide: Sugar Bowl
Year Opened: 1965 | Field Surface: Natural Grass
Many of the strong Virginia Tech defenses and special teams that earned the nickname "Beamer Ball" -- after longtime head coach Frank Beamer -- benefited from the home-field advantage of Lane Stadium, which opened in 1965 and was named for Edward H. Lane, a 1910 graduate of the school and former member of the Board of Visitors.
Its first game was held Sept. 24, 1965, when the freshman squads of Virginia Tech and Maryland squared off. A week later the Hokies' varsity squad earned its first win in their new stadium with a 9-7 decision against William and Mary.
The Hokies had been based in Miles Stadium from 1926 to 1964, where they enjoyed a 66-25-4 record and saw the venue's seating capacity increase over the years to 17,000.
Originally designed to seat 35,050 fans, today Lane Stadium holds more than 66,000, edging out Virginia's capacity for the Commonwealth State's largest stadium. The gridiron within Lane Stadium is Worsham Field, which was dedicated Sept. 5, 1992, in honor of longtime Hokies supporters Wes and Janet Worsham.
Before entering the stadium, take a moment to check out the team's pregame walk. The Highty Tighties -- Virginia Tech's Regimental Band -- leads this processional.
Once inside Lane Stadium, you'll hear the Cadets fire Skipper after every score. Built in secrecy during the early 1960s, Skipper was named in honor of John F. Kennedy, who skippered a PT boat in World War II. Skipper effectively silenced VMI's "where's your cannon" chant during the period of time when the Hokies were left without game cannons after they were donated for scrap metal in WWII.
Source: Virginia Tech
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