Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Luck had everything to do with it
The Pac-10 loves playing in south Florida.
With Stanford's 40-12 win over Virginia Tech, Pac-10 schools improve to 4-0 all time in the Orange Bowl. All four of those wins have been by more than 10 points.
Andrew Luck set a school bowl record with four touchdown passes, and on play-action Luck was anything but lucky. He was a perfect 5-for-5, averaging 22.2 yards per attempt with two touchdowns.
Perhaps the Hokies should have come after Stanford’s quarterback more than they did. When facing a blitz, Luck was just 4-for-8 with an interception. When Virginia Tech did not blitz, Luck completed 14-of-15 attempts.
Three of Luck’s touchdowns were in the second half to Coby Fleener. The Cardinal's tight end tied an Orange Bowl record with three touchdown receptions. The only other player from the Pac-10 with three touchdown receptions in the Orange Bowl was USC's Steve Smith in 2005.
Jeremy Stewart’s 60-yard run gave Stanford a 7-0 lead. It was the first touchdown run of at least 60 yards in the Orange Bowl since Oklahoma's Spencer Tillman had a 77-yard score in 1987 against Arkansas. Spencer entered the game with 38 yards rushing for the entire season.
Whether this was Jim Harbaugh’s final game for the school remains to be seen. Stanford won a school record 12 games this season –- one fewer than they won in 2008 and 2009 combined (13-12).
As for Virginia Tech, the Hokies allowed 40 points for the first time in their last 51 games. Prior to Stanford, the last team to score at least 40 on Virginia Tech was LSU, which scored 48 on Sept. 8, 2007. With the loss, the ACC representative is now is 1-8 in the Orange Bowl since 2001.