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Thursday, December 30, 2010
Hokies look to improve vs. top 5 teams

By Heather Dinich

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Virginia Tech has a long list of impressive accomplishments under coach Frank Beamer, but beating top five teams is not one of them.

The Hokies will have another shot at that when they face No. 4 Stanford in the Discover Orange Bowl.

This is Virginia Tech’s third appearance here in the past four years, and 18th straight bowl appearance, but the Hokies are 1-26 all-time against teams ranked in the top five of the Associated Press poll.

“No. 1 you probably go back and look at the top five teams we’ve played, and were we as good as they were at the time?” Beamer said. “I know when I first came to Virginia Tech it seemed like we were playing a lot of top five teams, and we weren’t as good as they were. I think that’s one part of it, but there’s no question we need to be more successful. ... There’s no question.

“I think it’s important to this program at this time to be able to say, ‘Ok, we can win a game against a top five team,” Beamer said. “I told them this morning, that’s going to be work, and a great preparation. Stanford is legit.”

Offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring said “people get caught up” in the Hokies’ record against elite competition, but that it’s “very, very important” they start to reverse that trend.

"But I think when you look at that, we were in a position to win those games,” Stinespring said. “It's not like we've gone into those games and not stood face to face and not had opportunities to win them. The fact that we haven't is something that is the albatross right now in terms of trying to shake it off a little bit.

“But we need to go out there and win this one. We need to win this one because it's a great bowl, a great match-up, a great competition, but that record, that's something that obviously people want to focus on and concentrate on, but we understand what we are in terms of our program. That record is just something that is part of it that we've got to try to go out and try to help improve it here in a couple days. It will be difficult.”