Keys to the Game, Matchups to Watch, and Game Projection: The Orange Bowl

Virginia Tech returns to a BCS bowl for the second time in four years as the Hokies meet the upstart Kansas Jayhawks
in the Orange Bowl. Tech is peaking after winning the final five big games to claim the Hokies’ second ACC championship.
Kansas surprised the football world by winning their first eleven games only to fall to Missouri in the finale for the
Big 12 North championship. Is Kansas for real, or will the Hokies’ momentum be too much for the Jayhawks?

On paper Kansas looks awesome, finishing in the top five statistically on both offense and defense. However, the
Jayhawks played one of the weaker schedules in the nation and had the luck of missing both Oklahoma and Texas on their
schedule. That does not mean that Kansas is not a very good football team, and Hokie fans should not take the Jayhawks
lightly. Kansas is a legitimate team that should give Virginia Tech a good battle on Thursday night.

In reviewing the Jayhawks’ games this season, two aspects stand out: Kansas executes extremely well and they play
very hard. The Jayhawks are a disciplined team that is sound in all areas of football. Defensively, Kansas’ scheme is
similar to the Hokies with a “stop the run first” attitude. Defensive coordinator Bill Young, a Broyles
finalist this year, will try to create mistakes by mixing coverage schemes, often using a mix of zone and man-to-man.
Kansas lacks the individual talent of the Hokies on defense, but the Jayhawks play well as a unit and are very well

Offensively, Kansas uses a spread attack with three or four (or even five) wide receivers on the field at a time.
However, the major difference in the Jayhawk spread attack from the multitude of spread offenses being installed across
the country is the use of a power running game. Kansas looks to spread defenses out with the horizontal passing game and
then pound the ball inside with a strong running attack. Kansas will provide a challenge for Bud Foster’s defense with
the varied offense. The Jayhawks, behind quarterback Todd Reesing (#5, 5-10.5 200, So., 4.75) execute well and keep
defenses off balance. This offense will likely present more problems for the Tech defense than any other team faced this