It’s been an eventful 24 hours for the Tulane Green Wave.
On Saturday night, Tulane hosted the AAC Championship Game against SMU. The Green could not clinch its second consecutive conference title, as the Mustangs emerged in a 26-14 defensive-oriented slugfest.
On Sunday morning, head coach Willie Fritz departed for the Houston opening after eight years in New Orleans. Offensive coordinator Slade Nagle was named the interim head coach and will lead the Green Wave in their upcoming bowl game. Nagle is completing his eighth season as an assistant with the program, serving on Fritz’s initial staff at Tulane in 2016.
Later on Sunday afternoon, the bowl game Nagle will coach was officially announced. Tulane will participate in the 2023 Military Bowl, facing Virginia Tech in Annapolis, MD in one of three AAC vs. ACC matchups.
Tulane (11-2, 8-0 AAC) is making its second consecutive bowl appearance. The Green Wave stunned USC 46-45 in the 2022 Cotton Bowl, overcoming a 15-point deficit in the final 4:30 of action. Tulane seeks its fourth bowl victory since 2018, attempting to attain its second-straight 12-2 campaign. With a victory over Virginia Tech, the Green Wave likely secure back-to-back ranked AP Poll finishes for the first time since 1938 and 1939.
Virginia Tech (6-6, 5-3 ACC) clinched its first bowl appearance since 2021 by knocking off in-state rival Virginia in the final week of the regular season. This is the first time Virginia Tech qualified for the postseason under head coach Brent Pry, who is in the midst of his second season. By winning the Military Bowl, the Hokies can clinch their first winning season since 2019.
This will be the 10th meeting between Tulane and Virginia Tech. They last met on the gridiron in 1989, where the Hokies upended the Green Wave in 30-13 fashion.
The 2023 Military Bowl presented by GoBowling.com kicks off from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis on Wednesday, Dec. 27. It will be televised on ESPN at 2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT.