- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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MIAMI -- Stanford leads Virginia Tech 13-12 at halftime of the Discover Orange Bowl. Here is a quick first-half analysis:
Stat of the half: 86. Passing yards for Stanford. That is unexpected when you have Heisman finalist Andrew Luck running the show. His season low is 151 yards, which came in Week 2 against UCLA. Virginia Tech has done a good job for the most part of limiting the big play. Luck is averaging 6.6 yards per pass. During the season, he averaged 8.7 per pass. He also threw his eighth interception of the season, and his first since the Arizona State game on Nov. 13.
Best player in the half: Stanford running back Jeremy Stewart. If it weren't for him, Stanford would be losing. The little-used backup who has dealt with injuries, reached a career-high for rushing in the first half with 90 yards. He scored on a career-high 60-yard touchdown run and another long drive helped set up the second touchdown drive for the Cardinal.
What Stanford needs to do: Cut out the mental errors. Stanford had several costly gaffes in the first half, from an offensive lineman catching a batted pass in the end zone for a safety, to a missed extra point, to the interception from Luck. The Cardinal also have to figure out a way to slow down Tyrod Taylor, who is keeping the Hokies in the game by himself.
What Virginia Tech needs to do: Keep up the pressure on Luck. The Hokies have not allowed him to beat them. They have had some costly breakdowns in stopping the run, but for the most part, they are playing better on offense and special teams. They just have to do a better job of capitalizing on the Stanford mistakes. Virginia Tech got no points off the fake punt it stopped or the interception Luck threw.
11hEdward Aschoff and Alex Scarborough
1dDan Murphy and Mitch Sherman