Stanford Overwhelms Tech in the Second Half

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Stanford (4) ........  7  6 13 14 - 40
Virginia Tech (13)...  2 10  0  0 - 12

Scoring Summary:

1st Quarter
06:16 ST - Steward 60 yard run (Whitaker kick)
00:59 VT - Team safety

2nd Quarter
10:22 VT - Taylor 11 yard pass to Wilson (Hazley kick)
06:32 ST - Ertz 25 yard pass to Luck (PAT blocked)
00:03 VT - Hazley 37 yd FG

3rd Quarter
08:47 ST - Marecic 1 yd run (PAT missed)
05:49 ST - Fleener 41 yd pass from Luck (Whitaker)

4th Quarter
12:28 ST - Fleener 58 yd pass from Luck (Whitaker)
06:05 ST - Fleener 38 yd pass from Luck (Whitaker)

Miami Gardens, FL — Virginia Tech was dominated between the tackles by Stanford and lost the Orange Bowl 40-12 on Monday night. This was a 13-12 game at halftime, but the Cardinal opened it up on the Hokies over the final 30 minutes to win this one easily. Tech finished their season with an 11-3 record, while Stanford finished 12-1.

The Hokies were able to make enough plays in the first half to stay in the game, but Stanford controlled the middle of the Tech offense in the second half and sent many blitzers from all over the field, which stopped the Hokie offense in its tracks. Tech was outgained 534-288 for the game. Tyrod Taylor was sacked eight times, and the Tech running game was limited to 66 yards and just 1.9 yards per carry.

Stanford ran for 247 yards, mostly off big plays. Andrew Luck was 18-of-23 for 287 yards, with four touchdown passes and one interception. He was intercepted once by Jayron Hosley, and Hosley dropped one other interception that he probably would have taken back for a touchdown.

The Cardinal obviously game-planned to attack Virginia Tech rover Davon Morgan. Morgan was isolated against Stanford tight ends twice, and on both occasions he gave up big plays for touchdowns. His angles against the running game were questionable at times as well.

Tyrod Taylor was blitzed, sacked and hit all night long. He finished 16-of-31 for 222 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. His one touchdown pass was one of the highlight moments of his career, when he spun away from a Stanford defender near the sideline and threw a bullet to David Wilson in the corner of the endzone for a touchdown. Unfortunately, it came in a blowout loss for the Hokies.

Danny Coale finished with seven catches for 94 yards for Tech, while Jarrett Boykin added five receptions for 84 yards.

Standouts defensively were defensive tackle John Graves and cornerback Jayron Hosley. Graves had a tackle for loss and a sack, and also stuffed a few other Stanford runs at the line of scrimmage. He played a good game, but overall Tech’s young, undersized front seven was blocked by a big, experienced Stanford offensive line.

Hosley recorded his ninth interception of the season, which is tops in college football, and dropped what surely would have been an interception for a touchdown.

Tech played very well defensively in the first half, but they began to lose focus and get frustrated in the second half when it became obvious that the Tech offense wasn’t going to get much going, and the defense couldn’t stop Andrew Luck.

The Tech defense didn’t play their best game of the season, but most of the credit has to be given to Andrew Luck and the Stanford offense. The Hokies put more pressure on Luck in the first half than he’s seen all year, but he responded well in the second half and made a lot of plays that a normal college quarterback has no chance of making. Tyrod Taylor tried to keep up, but in the end the Tech offense as a whole could not handle Stanford’s physical play at the line of scrimmage and their variety of blitzes from many different angles and positions.

Though the season didn’t end the way the Hokies wanted it, they still accomplished a lot. They won 11 games, which tied the season record for wins. Their 11 consecutive wins after starting 0-2 showed a lot about the character of the players and coaches in the program, and their seven consecutive seasons of winning 10 or more games is the longest streak in the nation.

Recap

This game didn’t begin as the shootout that we all anticipated. Stanford picked up a first down on their first play from scrimmage, but were quickly forced to punt on that opening drive, as well as their next drive. The Hokies went three and out on their first two drives, and it seemed like things were developing into a defensive stalemate.

It didn’t stay that way for long. Stanford hit the Hokies for back-to-back big plays on their next drive and drew first blood. Andrew Luck found Doug Baldwin for a 21 yard gain, and on the next play tailback Jeremy Stewart followed his big offensive line on a run up the middle, busting it through the Tech secondary for a 60 yard touchdown run. The Cardinal led 7-0 with 6:16 left in the first quarter.

The next Tech drive was thwarted by an 11 yard sack on Tyrod Taylor, and the long yardage situation killed any chances of the Hokies picking up a first down. Stanford made an uncharacteristic mistake on the ensuing punt, when Drew Terrell fielded a punt at his own two yard line, and was promptly brought down by Alonzo Tweedy.

The Tech defense was able to take advantage of the good field position. After stuffing two runs for no gain, they put pressure on Andrew Luck and were in the process of dragging him to the turf in the endzone. He got rid of the ball, but it was deflected into the back of the endzone, where it was caught by a Stanford offensive lineman. He promptly dropped to his knees for a safety, and teh score was 7-2 Stanford, with Virginia Tech ready to receive the kickoff.

The Hokies went on their best drive of the game to take their only lead. The drive began with an 11 yard completion to Marcus Davis, and it was later kept alive by a pass interference penalty on Stanford on third down. The drive ended with Tyrod Taylor making his amazing sizeline play, spinning away from a defender and firing a touchdown pass in the corer of the endzone to David Wilson. The Hokies led 9-7 with 10:22 remaining in the second quarter, and this game looked like the dogfight that everyone expected it to be.

Stanford got things going on their next drive, going 79 yards for a touchdown to reclaim the lead. The big play came on a 25 yard touchdown pass from Andrew Luck to Zach Ertz, who was isolated on rover Davon Morgan down the field. Ertz beat Morgan to the inside, Luck threw a strike, and Stanford scored. The extra point was blocked by Andre Smith, and Stanford held a 13-9 lead with 6:32 remaining in the first half.

The defenses for the rest of the quarter, until the final drive of the half. Tyrod Taylor led his team down the field for a last second field goal before halftime. He completed a huge 32 yard pass over the middle to Jarrett Boykin to set the Hokies up with a first down at the Stanford 20 with just eight seconds left. Chris Hazley came in and booted the field goal, making the game 13-12 Stanford at halftime.

At halftime, things were exactly as everyone expected them to be. It was a tight football game, and both defenses were giving the opposing offense more trouble than they had seen all season. However, the opening drives of the second half were completely one-sided.

The Hokies went three and out on their opening drive, and a 39 yard punt gave Stanford good field position at their own 41. The Cardinal methodically drove the ball downfield, and eventually punched it in from one yard out on a run by fullback Owen Marecic. The extra point was missed, and Stanford held a 19-12 lead.

Tech wasn’t out of the game yet, and after Tyrod Taylor was sacked for a 13 yard loss, he found Danny Coale for a 42 yard gain down the left sideline to the Stanford 40. After a quick five yard run by Taylor, it looked like the offenses were coming to life. However, Taylor was pressured up the middle on the next play, and he threw a deep post pattern that was intercepted by safety Delano Howell at the Stanford 3. Two plays later, the game started to get out of hand.

On the first play of Stanford’s drive, Stepfan Taylor ran 56 yards up the middle to the Tech 41. On the next play, a Virginia Tech defender fell down while trying to defend tight end Coby Fleener. Luck hit Fleener in stride behind the Tech defense for a 41 yard touchdown. Just like that, the game was 26-12.

Early in the fourth quarter, Stanford struck again with Fleener. This time he beat Davon Morgan on a corner route, Morgan missed the tackle, and Fleener ran untouched into the endzone for a 58 yard touchdown. That made the score 33-12, and it was over.

The Cardinal added one more touchdown on busted coverage against a frustrated Tech defense that was losing its focus. It was Fleener again who was running wide open over the middle for a 38 yard touchdown to put Stanford up 40-12.

Overall, it was thorough domination by Stanford in the second half on both sides of the ball.

Virginia Tech is scheduled to begin their 2011 season at home against Appalachian State on September 3.


STATISTICS

                          ST          VT
                         ----        ----
First downs               19          16
Rushed-yards          31-247       34-66
Passing yards            287         222
Sacked-yards lost        1-1        8-70
Return yards             103         119
Passes               18-23-1     16-31-1
Punts                   3-46      8-43.5
Fumbles-lost             2-1         0-0
Penalties-yards         6-49        4-28
Time of possession     27:46       32:14
Att: 65,453

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS 

RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Evans 12-37, Taylor 16-22,
Williams 4-4, Wilson 2-3. STAN, Taylor 13-114, Stewart 5-99,
Luck 4-15, Gaffney 2-10, McGillicuddy 1-7, Marecis 3-4,
Wilkerson 2-(-1), Amajoyi 1-(-1) .

PASSING-Virginia Tech, Taylor 16-31-222-1.
STAN, Luck 18-23-287-1.

RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Coale 7-92, Boykin 5-84,
Wilson 2-27, Davis 1-11, Smith 1-8.  STAN, Fleener 6-173,
Ertz 2-39, Baldwin 2-33, Whalen 2-24, Reuland 2-13, Taylor 2-7,
Owusu 1-2, Hall 1-(-5).

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