Stanford scored on its first four possessions of the second half to break open a tight Orange Bowl game with Virginia Tech en route to a 40-12 pasting Monday night. The loss ended the Hokies’ 11-game winning streak and sent them to their 19th loss in 20 games against top-five opponents under coach Frank Beamer.
“I think you give Stanford all the credit. They played better offensively than we did, they played better defensively than we did, and they played better on special teams,” Beamer said.
The game seemed to turn on a three-play sequence in the third quarter. Stanford was up 19-12 with Virginia Tech driving when quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw his fifth interception of the season. Set up at their 3, Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor broke through the line for a 56-yard run, and on the next play quarterback Andrew Luck connected with tight end Coby Fleener on a 41-yard touchdown that made it 26-12 Stanford with 5:49 to go in the third.
Luck threw two more touchdown passes in the fourth to seal the deal for Stanford, which came into the game ranked fourth nationally and finished its season at 12-1, its lone loss coming at the hands of #2 Oregon.
Tech had come in as perhaps the hottest team in America outside of the teams in the BCS title game, bolting through the ACC with a perfect 8-0 regular season and knocking off Florida State in the conference championship game after back-to-back losses to Boise State and James Madison to begin the campaign. Expectations had been higher for these Hokies, with the fan base clamoring for a run at the national title in Taylor’s senior season.
“I’m still proud of the way we played this whole season,” said Taylor, who completed 16 of his 31 pass attempts for 222 yards and a touchdown, and was sacked a season-high eight times. “I’m frustrated that we didn’t win our last game, but we had a heckuva season. We don’t have anything to hold our heads down about.”