Instant analysis: Stanford 40, VT 12

January, 3, 2011
1/03/11
11:53
PM ET
MIAMI -- Here's a quick recap of Stanford's 40-12 win in the Discover Orange Bowl:

How the game was won: Stanford controlled the line of scrimmage, and quarterback Andrew Luck took control of the game in the second half. Virginia Tech's defense had no answer for the Cardinal offensive line, got beat up front, and the Hokies couldn't run the ball. Virginia Tech scored just one touchdown in this game and was shut out in the second half. Luck's 58-yard touchdown pass to Coby Fleener in the fourth quarter all but closed the door on the Hokies.

Turning point: In the third quarter, Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor's interception landed Stanford on the Hokies' 3-yard line, but it took only two plays to move the ball the length of the field. Stepfan Taylor rushed 56 yards on the ensuing play, followed by Luck's 41-yard touchdown pass to Fleener for the 26-12 lead. That was the first time there was any true separation in the game, and the turnover and following scoring drive gave Stanford all of the momentum.

Stat of the game: Virginia Tech's defense allowed three plays for more than 50 yards, including Jeremy Stewart's 60-yard touchdown run, Fleener's 58-yard touchdown reception and a 56-yard run by Taylor.

Player of the game: Stanford quarterback Luck. He completed 18 of 23 passes for 287 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.

Unsung hero of the game: Fleener. He finished with six catches for 173 yards, three touchdowns and 28.8 yards per catch.

What it means: The ACC dropped to 2-11 in its BCS bowls, and Virginia Tech dropped to 1-27 against teams ranked in the top five of The Associated Press. It was another missed opportunity for Frank Beamer and the ACC.

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