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Hokies' D-line must win vs. Stanford

1/3/2011

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- One of Stanford's biggest strengths this season has been its unheralded offensive line. It's paved the way for one of the nation's top rushing games and protected a star quarterback.

Virginia Tech's defensive line will have to win the matchups up front if the Hokies are going to have a chance to beat No. 4 Stanford in Monday night's Discover Orange Bowl. Stanford has allowed just five sacks all season and is currently tied with Air Force in fewest sacks allowed per game at .42. The Hokies' defensive line has matured this season and is tied at No. 20 in the country in sacks with 2.54 per game and 33 overall.

“We definitely have to win it [the game] up front," said defensive end Steven Friday. "We have to take it upon ourselves to win it up front every play and get pressure on Andrew Luck.”

Luck has thrown 28 touchdown passes this season, breaking the single-season school record previously held by John Elway and Steve Stenstrom. He has also thrown for a school-record 3,489 yards in total offense. He can run the ball, too, and his 438 rushing yards is the highest single-season total by a Stanford quarterback.

"Obviously he is a [very good] quarterback," defensive end Chris Drager said. "He will make some throws that you cannot really defend, but we are going to do our best to pressure him; that is what we do as a defensive line.”