- Heather Dinich, ESPN Staff Writer
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FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Virginia Tech's blue-collar, lunch-pail reputation is not "geographically limited," according to Stanford associate head coach Greg Roman.
In fact, when Roman was coaching in the NFL and evaluating an offensive player, he would make sure to watch film of that prospect against Virginia Tech's defense if it was available.
"I made sure I did, because I could see them on the offensive line, I could see them have to deal with quickness, toughness, relentlessness," said Roman, who had stints with the Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens before arriving at Stanford in 2009. "As a tight end, I could see him having to deal with guys trying to beat him up at the line of scrimmage and having to match up with him in coverage. At quarterback I could see him evaluate him against all the different coverage looks they need to see with the variety that they'll see, which is somewhat NFL like, and as a wide receiver you could see him against defensive backs that are going to come up and try to lay you out. So I think their reputation is long and well deserved, and it travels everywhere."
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck said it's "quite possibly the best defense" the Cardinal will face all year.
"I haven't been around football for too long, I guess, not like coach Roman," Luck said. "But from my short history, growing up and watching Virginia Tech, you always knew they were going to be a tough football team that flew around with the football. We know we're definitely going to have our hands full, and I think it's a great reputation anywhere in the United States."
Watching them on film, it's obvious why; you'd better pack your "A" game when you play Virginia Tech.
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