The 2009 FedEx Orange Bowl was the 75th edition of the annual American college football bowl game known as the Orange Bowl. It pitted the 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) champion Virginia Tech Hokies against the Big East Conferencechampion Cincinnati Bearcats on January 1, 2009, at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Virginia Tech defeated Cincinnati, 20–7. The game was the second contest in the 2008–2009 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) of the 2008 NCAA Division I FBS football season and was the concluding game of the season for both teams. The game was televised in the United States on FOX, and an estimated 9.3 million viewers watched the broadcast live.
Virginia Tech was selected to participate in the Orange Bowl after a 9–4 season that culminated in a 30–12 victory in the 2008 ACC Championship Game. Cincinnati was selected as the other half of the matchup after an 11–2 season that ended with a 29–24 win against Hawaii. In the weeks between the teams’ selection and the playing of the game, media attention focused on the nature of Cincinnati’s first BCS game appearance and Virginia Tech’s attempt to win its first BCS game since 1995. Attention also focused on Cincinnati’s proficient offense and Virginia Tech’s highly rated defense.
The game kicked off at 8:47 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in warm weather, and Cincinnati scored first, converting the game’s opening possession into a touchdown and a 7–0 lead in the first quarter. Virginia Tech responded in the second quarter, tying the game at seven before taking a 10–7 lead with a field goal as time expired in the first half. In the third quarter, the two teams battled defensively, with only the Hokies able to score any points as Tech extended its lead to 13–7. During the final quarter, Virginia Tech scored its second touchdown of the game, giving the Hokies a 20–7 lead that lasted until time expired.
In recognition of his performance during the game, Virginia Tech running back Darren Evans was named the game’s most valuable player. He set a Virginia Tech bowl-game record for carries and tied the Tech record for rushing yards in a bowl game. Cincinnati replaced two coaches after the loss, and three months after the game, players from each team entered the National Football League (NFL) via the 2009 NFL Draft. Cincinnati had six players selected in the draft, while Virginia Tech had one.