Stanford - Virginia Tech. The Orange Bowl Open Thread

 The Orange Bowl (8:30pm EST, ESPN) tonight features #5 Stanford (11-1) and #12 Virginia Tech (11-2) in a game that has a lot of things going on besides the contest between the sidelines. 

Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh has engineered an incredible 4 year turnaround in Palo Alto, and finds himself on the wish list for several NFL and college teams.  Stanford's junior QB Andrew Luck, the Heisman runner up is on the wish list for one NFL team, the Carolina Panthers.  Presuming he forgoes his senior year for the NFL, he should be the first player chosen, reminiscent of another Stanford QB, John Elway.  Luck threw 28 TD's to only 7 INT's and had an amazing 70% completion rate.  And check the highlights: he can run and tackle, too.  Sophomore running back Stepfan Taylor made Cardinal fan forget about Toby Gerhart this year.  Running behind a huge senior laden OL (they are Stanford students - they all understand physics), he gained 1,023 yds this season.

Meanwhile, another impressive turnaround occurred on the opposite sidelines.  Virginia Tech started the season 0-2, with a loss to Boise State (understandable) and a loss to James Madison (unforgiveable).  Since then, the Hokies quietly reeled off 11 wins in a row to claim the ACC.  VT coach Frank Beamer endured some controversy earlier this week when he suspended 6 players (all 3rd stringers or lower) for the bowl game for violating team rules, and sent them home, by bus, to Blacksburg (talk about triple punishment!).  Two other regular players who broke curfew on New Year's will miss the first quarter.  The Va Tech offense is lead by its dynamic dual threat QB Tyrod Taylor, who is reminiscent of another Hokie QB, Mike Vick.  Taylor threw 23 TD's to only 4 INT's, and was second on the team in rushing with 637 yds.  Counting Taylor, the Hokies have 4 rushers  with over 500 yds this season, led by Darren Evans with 817 yds.

With both teams featuring very good run defenses, look for a lot of passing tonight.  Here, Stanford likely holds the advantage, with a better pass defense.   However, both offenses are good enough that whichever team can make more consistent stops will win.

Drinks every time an announcer says "Michigan", "NFL Ready", "Mike Vick", or "dual threat".  Only Fox71 will survive the night. 

Here's your open thread.  Have at it. 

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