Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has been outstanding in 2010, carving up defenses to the tune of 3,051 yards and 28 touchdowns. Luck, working behind an excellent offensive line, presents a nightmare matchup for opposing defenses. Not only does he posses a great arm, but has also shown the ability to take off and run, punishing defenders downfield.
Over at SB Nation's Gobbler Country, the focus is on the offensive line. If Virginia Tech can get pressure or, more importantly, slow the Stanford run game, it'll go a long way in the Orange Bowl.
The O-line has two juniors and three fifth-year seniors, led by Chase Beeler. I think Beeler will be a key player in this game because Virginia Tech has to find a way to stop Stanford's rushing attack. Andrew Luck is a surgical quarterback and he's going to get his yards. But if Tech can slow down the ground game, particularly in the red zone, they can force field goals and punts and give the offense a fighting chance.
Luck is a more prototypical passer, but Virginia Tech brings a quarterback star of their own to the Orange Bowl. Tyrod Taylor can be difficult to keep track of. In 2010, his interception numbers are down and his legs have SB Nation's Rule of Tree worried about the Hokies. Combine that with running back Ryan Williams and the 1-2 punch of the Virginia Tech offense is a potent one.
Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech QB: The ACC Player of the Year threw only four interceptions all season and is a threat to throw or run when he gets outside of the pocket.
Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech RB: Williams, who missed four games during the regular season with a hamstring injury and has been limited in practice the last two weeks with an injury to the same hamstring, doesn't expect to be 100 percent for the Orange Bowl. Even at 90% he'll be a handful for the Cardinal defense.
Virginia Tech and Stanford do battle in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3 at 8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN.
Stay tuned to this StoryStream right up through game time, as we review key unit matchups, odds, bowl history and more, and connect with Virginia Tech fans at SB Nation's Gobbler Country and Stanford fans at Rule of Tree. For a complete list of bowl games, browse our 2010 college football postseason schedule.