Orange Bowl Preview: Stanford vs. Virginia Tech

2011 BCS Bowl Previews: BCS National Championship | Fiesta Bowl | Rose Bowl | Orange Bowl | Sugar Bowl

Date: Monday, January 3 2011
Time: 8:30PM ET

Why Watch: The Hokies became the first program in FBS history to win 11 straight games after starting their season 0-2. Frank Beamer’s squad could have folded after losing to FCS school James Madison but instead it rallied, winning 11 in a row in impressive fashion. VA Tech largely flew under the radar while knocking off ACC opponents with relative ease and then crushing Florida State in the conference championship game. Now the Hokies look to put a bow on their season with a win against arguably the best one-loss team in the nation. Stanford had one of the best seasons in school history, losing only to an undefeated Oregon team in early October. They have a Hesiman finalist at quarterback in Andrew Luck, who would probably go No. 1 in the NFL draft if he decides to go pro next season. The Cardinal also employs one of the hottest head coaches in the nation in Jim Harbaugh.

Game Facts Stanford is 9-11-1 all-time in bowl play and will be playing in the postseason for the second consecutive year following an eight-year absence. Oklahoma beat the Cardinal 31-27 in last year’s Sun Bowl. The Hokies will be playing in their fourth BCS bowl in the last seven seasons. They’re 9-14 all-time in bowl games and they’ll be making their 17th straight bowl appearance. Under Beamer, they’re 8-9 in bowl games, which includes 37-14 win over Tennessee in last year’s Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Key Player: Steven Friday, Virginia Tech.
They say the key to any good pass defense is a good pass rush and for Virginia Tech, that starts with Friday. The senior defensive end had 8.5 sacks to lead the Hokies this season. He’s incredibly quick off the edge and if he can harass quarterback Andrew Luck, the Hokies could slow down the possible No. 1 pick and the Cardinal offense.

Read the rest of this entry »

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

2009 BCS Bowl Preview and Predictions

The 2009 BCS Bowl Season is quickly approaching – not that anyone should care.

I’m not trying to sound bitter, but if the BCS doesn’t care about any of its five bowl games outside of the national championship game, then why should we? All the BCS essentially cares about is figuring out who the top team teams are in college football – and they can’t even do that right.

But I digress. I’m not going to burn another 1,200 words on why college football needs a playoff because it’ll just fall upon deaf ears. Instead, I’ll get into the bowl season spirit and break down the five BCS bowls, as well as hand out predictions for each game.

Predictions are essentially meaningless, but they’re fun so make sure you throw out your picks in the comment section below.

Daryll ClarkRose Bowl: Penn State vs. USC
The Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California, January 1, 4:30PM ET ABC
Some college football pundits believe that this one will be over with by halftime, but if Penn State uses Oregon State’s victory over USC as a blueprint for success, the Nittany Lions could make this a tighter game than most expect. PSU tailback Evan Royster has been a playmaker this year and if the Lions can employ him the same way the Beavers’ used Jacquizz Rodgers to beat the Trojans earlier this season, then maybe they can exploit USC’s quick defense. Then again, the Trojans’ D is one of the fastest and most talented units in the country and it won’t be easy for PSU to spread the field on them like they did against Big Ten opponents this season. USC has the most talented linebacker corps in the country and their secondary features two safeties in Taylor Mays and Kevin Ellison that blanket the field in both coverage and run support. In order for the Lions to claim victory, quarterback Daryll Clark will have to play mistake free and not try to force action in the passing game. Offensively for USC, quarterback Mark Sanchez has been outstanding, but he will make mistakes. He threw at least one interception in seven games this year and if PSU’s defense can generate some pressure, they could force Sanchez into some turnovers and capitalize on some prime field position. But outside of getting pressure on Sanchez, Penn State needs to tackle well and limit the yards-after-catch opportunities that USC’s receivers thrive upon. Sounds basic enough, but the Trojans have one of the fastest offenses in the league and Sanchez has excelled at taking what defenses give him and in getting the ball into the hands of his playmakers. The Lions would be wise to get 11 defenders around the ball at all times, especially when USC tailback Stafon Johnson gets the opportunity to make plays.
Rose Bowl Prediction: USC 30, Penn State 17.

Read the rest after the jump...

“Beamer ball” lifts Virginia Tech to ACC title

Frank BeamerEver since Frank Beamer took over as head coach at Virginia Tech University in 1987, the Hokies have excelled in two areas: defense and special teams. And thanks in large part to their defense and special teams (as well as sophomore quarterback’s Tyrod Taylor’s athletic ability), VA Tech won the ACC Conference by crushing Boston College 30-12 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Saturday.

The Hokie defense forced four turnovers, returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown, and essentially dominated Eagles’ freshman QB Dominique Davis for four quarters. While Davis looks like a nice young talent, VA Tech’s defense made him look every bit like the freshman he is.

Speaking of young talent, how good did Taylor look? His passing numbers weren’t too impressive (he threw for just 84 yards on 11 of 19 passing), but he rushed 11 times for 30 yards and added two touchdowns. He also kept drives alive with his legs throughout the game and his one mistake was a batted ball that was eventually picked off. Freshman running back Darren Evans was an absolutle beast, too, rushing for 114 yards on 31 carries.

While the Hokies were impressive, what a dud of a championship game this was. Of course, the entire ACC Conference was a dud this year so I guess it’s only fitting that the title game was, too.

ECU shocks Virginia Tech 27-22 on blocked punt

Perhaps the biggest upset in college football’s opening weekend came Saturday when East Carolina shocked No. 17 Virginia Tech 27-22. The Pirates returned a blocked punt for a touchdown with just under two minutes left to play to pull off the upset.

It was over when… T.J. Lee blocked a punt for ECU and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown with 1:52 left to give the Pirates the 27-22. lead.
Gameball goes to… Patrick Pinkney, who threw for 211 yards and 1 TD and ran for another score for ECU — and more importantly threw zero INTs.
Stat of the game… 17. The Hokies had their 17-game winning streak broken in games in which they blocked a kick.

Amazing. Frank Beamer’s special teams units are always some of the best in the nation, so it was a surprise to see VA Tech lose this way. Parity has slowly crept its way into college football and it has made the games more meaningful and exciting.

Related Posts