The second half of the 2011 Orange Bowl kicks off in Sun Life Stadium to no great ceremony, and after a quiet three-and-out by Virginia Tech to open play, longtime viewers will settle back and expect another torpid quarter.
We are incorrect. The Cardinal take the field at their own 35-yard line, and on their second set of downs, Andrew Luck rattles off three consecutive passes of 10, 18, and 17 yards to rocket Stanford into the red zone. Owen Marecic makes an appearance in a pivotal role, punching in the 1-yard touchdown two plays later, but Nate Whitaker misses his second extra point of the night. With 9:30 remaining in the third quarter, Stanford leads Virginia Tech, 19-12.
... and we're not done! The Hokies reel off another highlight-reel play in the form of a Tyrod Taylor pass to Danny Coale, who streaks down the left sideline for a 41-yard gain, throwing a Stanford assistant to the ground in his thunderous wake.
Whatever god that coach was appeasing, it worked: Two plays later, Tyrod Taylor is intercepted, and an extraordinary two-play, 99-yard Stanford drive ensues. Stepfan Taylor gets off a 56-yard run on the Cardinal's first down, and on the very next play, Andrew Luck throws his second touchdown pass of the evening, a 41-yarder to Coby Fleener. With six minutes remaining in the third quarter, Stanford leads, 26-12.
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