by CFP Staff
January 4, 2011
Stanford outscored Virginia Tech 27-0 after intermission to run away with a 40-12 win in the Orange Bowl in the first-ever BCS bowl appearance for the Cardinal.
Stanford claimed its first 12-win season in history while Virginia Tech was prevented from doing the same. In the process, the Hokies' 11-game winning streak came to a crashing halt and the Cardinal pocketed their 8th straight win.
Cardinal QB Andrew Luck preyed on blown defensive assignments and picked Virginia Tech apart in the second half when he threw 3 TD passes and completed 9-of-10 attempts. He completed his last 8 passes in-a-row to finish 18-of-23 for 287 yards with 4 TD's and 1 INT.
Stanford amassed 534 yards of offense while scoring the most points against the Hokies since LSU in 2007. Virginia Tech QB Tyrod Taylor did all he could to help the Hokies' cause, but their only turnover was his 3rd quarter interception that became the turning point of the contest.
With Stanford up 19-12 and Virginia Tech driving, Taylor was under pressure when he floated one toward the goal line that was picked off at the 3. It took just two plays - a 56-yard run and a 41-yard pass - for the Cardinal to go up by two touchdowns.
Taylor threw for 222 yards and a TD. He also broke off some scrambling runs, but wound up with minus-48 yards rushing, thanks to 8 sacks. His 11-yard TD pass to David Wilson that put the Hokies ahead 9-7 in the 2nd quarter was classic Tyrod. After scrambling for what seemed to be an eternity, he appeared to be fleeing for the safety of the sideline, but quickly stopped and dodged a tackler before hitting a diving Wilson in the endzone.
Virginia Tech's lead lasted just under four minutes.
The Hokies dropped to 9-15 in bowl games and 1-3 in Orange Bowls while finishing 11-3 for the season.
Stanford improved to 10-11-1 in bowl games in its first Orange Bowl appearance. The Cardinal snapped a 3-bowl losing streak and finished 12-1 for the season. Its only loss was to an Oregon squad that went 12-0 in the regular season and will face Auburn in the BCS title game on January 10.
Virginia Tech opened the season with losses to Boise State and FCS member James Madison, and then became the first FBS team to start 0-2 and go on to win 11 games in the same season. The Hokies finished the year with a 7th straight season of 10+ wins, a string that ranks first in the nation. Along the way, the Hokies became the first team to run the table in the ACC (8-0) since Florida State did it in 2000. And the Hokies became the first-ever to win 9 ACC games in a season when they defeated Florida State in the conference championship game. The ACC title is Virginia Tech's 3rd in the last four years, and its 4th since entering the conference in 2004.