Posted on: January 4, 2011 2:26 am
Edited on: January 4, 2011 7:24 am
MIAMI -- The Orange Bowl will most likely be remembered as Andrew Luck’s final college game, but it definitely will be one for the Virginia Tech defense to forget.
The Hokies came into the game ranked second in the ACC in points allowed, but were dominated in the second half, allowing 27 points, including big play after big play. The team completely fell apart after being only down one point at halftime, losing 40-12.
"We just kept pushing and pushing," said offensive guard David DeCastro. "We had to keep going until we broke them."
DeCastro and the rest of the offensive line opened up huge holes, allowing running back Jeremy Stewart to break off a career-best 60-yard run, while Stepfan Taylor finished with 114 yards. The success of the running game allowed Luck to pick apart the secondary with ease.
"The running backs hit the holes all day, sometimes the holes weren't there, but they kept at it," said guard Andrew Phillips. "That’s been a big motto for us this seasons, just keep at it and be patient."
Eventually the Hokies defense finally did break and the player that will be in the players and coaches nightmares is tight end Coby Fleener. The junior entered the game with only 22 catches this season, but ended the night with six receptions for 173 yards and three scores. Fleener was wide open all night, scoring on receptions of 41, 58 and 38 yards.
With a 19-12 lead late in the third quarter and the ball at its own 3, Taylor broke off a 56-yard run on a tremendous block from offensive lineman Andrew Phillips. The very next play Luck found Fleener for the first of his three touchdowns to break the game open.
"A couple of long plays against our defense, and then the game got away from us a little bit," said Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer. "Had them backed up, and felt like if we just hold them, we’re one play from getting back in it. But then we got two scores down and it got away from us a little bit."
Not what you would expect from a Virginia Tech defense in what will go down as one of the worst bowl losses in school history.
"We just didn’t execute," said Hokies defensive tackle John Graves. "There were a lot of big plays and mental mistakes on our part. They outperformed us and outplayed us."
Posted on: August 26, 2010 10:45 am
Edited on: August 26, 2010 10:50 am
Get out your credit cards!
The Orange Bowl has its new sponsor -- Discover Financial Services.
Discover will be the title sponsor for the 2011-2014 Orange Bowl Games and the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. The Orange Bowl Game will be known as the "Discover Orange Bowl" and the 2013 BCS National Championship Game will be named the "2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game."
Under the partnership, Discover will be the official card of the Orange Bowl and the Bowl Championship Series.
"Discover’s commitment to the Orange Bowl reinforces the game’s national strength and appeal as one of the premier sporting events in the country," said Eric Poms, CEO of the Orange Bowl Committee. "We welcome Discover to South Florida and the home of championship college football and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership. Our shared passion will leave a lasting impact on our community, while further enriching the 77-year history of the Orange Bowl."
FedEx was the sponsor for the game from 1989-2010, but ended its deal earlier this year.
Posted on: May 3, 2010 12:47 pm
Edited on: May 3, 2010 2:54 pm
Some things go hand in hand, but sadly, FedEx and the Orange Bowl are no longer one of them.
Posted on: January 6, 2010 1:18 am
Edited on: January 6, 2010 8:06 am
It's amazing to think what could have been for the Hawkeyes.
While Iowa was celebrating another dominating defensive performance in the win over Georgia Tech in the Orange Bowl, one couldn't help but wonder if Iowa would be proclaiming a share of the national title if quarterback Ricky Stanzi never got hurt.
The junior injured his ankle in the first half against Northwestern and missed the final two games of the regular season. Iowa ended up losing to the Wildcats 17-10 after leading 10-0 in the first quarter and dropped a heartbreaker to Ohio State in overtime.
If Stanzi was in the lineup, Iowa might have beaten both those teams, won the Big Ten, played in the Rose Bowl and had an undefeated season.
"That's not something we are worried about right now," said Stanzi. "We wanted to win this game and we were able to do that."
But it didn't take an genius to see that Stanzi and the Iowa offense were a different team against Georgia Tech.
Stanzi led the team down the field with ease, throwing two touchdowns in the first quarter. The passing game opened up the running game, allowing Iowa to rush for 172 yards, including 113 by Brandon Wegher.
Without Stanzi, Iowa scored just 36 points in 12 quarters (including one overtime period) and beat lowly Minnesota 12-0 in the regular-season finale. It didn't have a 100-yard rusher in those three games and backup quarterback James Vandenberg completed only 48 percent of his passes with four interceptions.
Stanzi's return at the Orange Bowl gave the offense the jolt it needed to complement one of the best defenses in the nation.
"He's the guy you hate to miss, but if he's not there, you have to play without him," said wide receiver Marvin McNutt. "He's our leader and our Tom Brady. We want him out there."
"He is such a good competitor, good leader and every time he is on the field he is going to do well," said linebacker Pat Angerer.
Iowa couldn't have asked for a better start with Stanzi opening the game 8-for-8 passing. Once the Hawkeyes put up 14 points, the defense knew their job just became a lot easier.
"It was huge," added linebacker A.J. Edds. "Especially with this kind of offense, we knew if we get them down a little bit and get them in a hole, it would give us a good chance."
Posted on: January 2, 2009 2:11 am
Edited on: January 2, 2009 11:18 am
Virginia Tech and the rest of the past ACC Champions haven't enjoyed trips to Miami recently.
Florida State lost to Penn State in 2006, Wake Forest fell to Louisville in 2007 and the Hokies lost to Kansas last year.
Who knew the formula to success was a couple of freshmen?
Running back Darren Evans provided the spark on offense, while linebacker Barquell Rivers came up with the biggest play of his career midway through the fourth quarter to lift the Hokies to their first BCS bowl win, ending a three-game Orange Bowl losing streak by ACC Champions.
"Well, you know, if you can read, you knew what our record was, and we've been a part of that," said Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer. "I felt like we let the ACC down a couple times ourselves. We got on a bad streak here lately, and it's time to get off of it."
Evans, who has been magnificent for the Hokies all season, ran for 153 yards on 28 carries, including a fourth-quarter touchdown to put the Hokies up by two scores. Throughout the game Evans had numerous big runs, looking more like a seasoned veteran as he wore down the Cincinnati defense.
"At this point of the season, we don't consider ourselves young," Evans said. "We had some tough games and everybody's played a little bit. You have to swallow that notion about being young and just go out and play."
Evans grew throughout the season and got stronger, rushing for 253 yards against Maryland, 111 against Duke and 114 against Boston College in the ACC title game.
And tonight he put together not only hard runs of 3 and 4 yards, but also big runs of 11, 13 and 32 yards.
“I’ve got to give props to the offensive line because they made a lot of holes out there. It was just kind of for me to take those extra yards.”
While Evans can celebrate with his MVP trophy, Rivers made one of the game's biggest defensive plays.
And that's saying something, considering the Hokies recorded four interceptions.
With the Bearcats trailing by 13 points and eight minutes to play, they had no choice but to go for it on 4th-and-goal from the 1. Tony Pike tried to score on a QB keeper, but Rivers drilled him, stopping him in his tracks and giving the ball to the Hokies offense.
Rivers, who had only seen limited action as a reserve, earned the starting job in the OB in place of Brett Warren.
"When a player goes down, you got to step up and play big and that's what I did," said Rivers. "I didn't have to make all the plays, but I made that one play and that was a key play in the game."
From there Evans and quarterback Tyrod Taylor ran more than five minutes off the clock, basically sealing the win for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech will use its freshman duo to its advantage next year, as it is expected to return 18 of the 22 starters on offense and defense from tonight.
"We do have alot of these guys coming back," added Beamer. "We've got some good runs we're redshirting, but there's no guarantees in this business. You've got to get down to it, but I do feel like we've got a lot of good players in our program and a lot of them are young."
Posted on: December 31, 2008 3:10 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2008 3:20 pm
There it is in black and white, or more like ... there it isn't.
Nowhere to be found is Tony Pike's name on the quarterback depth chart in the Cincinnati media guide.
But he's on that depth chart now. In fact he'll be the starter against Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl after a tremendous season for a kid who had only 20 pass attempts before this season.
After Dustin Grutza went down with an injury in the Oklahoma game, Pike was thrusted into the lineup. He struggled against the Sooners, completing only 3 of 11 for 21 yards. But things would quickly turn around.
"After the Oklahoma game I had offensive and defensive players come up and let me know they are behind me and they believe in me," said Pike.
A few of those players, including starting wide receivers Dominick Goodman and Mardy Gilyard used the bye week and extra practice time to get Pike used to the offense. It worked, because the following week he threw for 241 yards and three touchdowns in the victory over Miami (Ohio).
"We see Tony every single day at practice and how well he's been doing," said running back John Goebel. "We've always said he's got so much talent, but couldn't get any playing time to show it all off. When Grutza when down, we didn't lose any confidence in the offense because we knew Tony would come in and play really well."
That confidence helped Pike earn second-team All-Big East with 2,168 yards and 18 touchdowns, while leading Cincinnati to its first BCS bowl game in school history.
"Pike knows how we feel about him," said offensive lineman Trevor Canfield. "He'd come around and talk to us all the time and say, 'Hey, you guys are doing a great job,' even if he did get sacked. He'd take the blame, even though it's our fault. There's no complaining."
Even when Pike broke his arm against Akron and didn't return until three games later, he kept positive. He was given his opportunity when somebody went down and now Chazz Anderson would see his, leading the Bearcats to three consecutive victories.
"I think it says everything about the tam. Coach Kelly has always preached 'next man in' and it has given the players an opportunity to get ready," added Pike. "Getting the reps you need in practice. We had our teammates around us buy into the next guy coming it and it really helped us go a long way."
Posted on: May 6, 2008 10:48 am
With Dennis Dodd's updated Spring Top 25, let's take a look at part 2 of the early, early BCS projections:
BCS: Ohio State vs. Georgia. The top two teams in the nation would meet in Miami for all the marbles. Obviously this is an early projection, but for now let's assume Dodd's top 2 teams remain there all season.
The Rose Bowl would get first choice of all the replacement teams, but they love to keep that Big Ten vs. Pac-10 tradition, so expect them to take another Big Ten team if they can -- maybe Illinois or Wisconsin. Now if USC is the Pac-10 representative, I'm not so sure they take Illinois in a rematch game. Wisconsin vs. USC would be there best choice, but it IS possible for them to take a Big 12 team, not likely, but if Missouri is way up there, maybe Top 4, it could have a Missouri vs. USC game.
Now the Sugar Bowl also would lose an anchor team (SEC Champ), so it would get second choice of all the remaining teams. And you better believe if Florida is ranked in the Top 7, the Gators and Tim Tebow are heading to New Orleans.
So now we need to put the rest of the conference champs in place. ACC Champ -- projected Clemson -- heads to the Orange Bowl; Big 12 Champ -- projected Oklahoma -- heads to the Fiesta Bowl.
So this is what we have:
BCS: Ohio State vs. Georgia
Now the rest of the selection for 2009 is as follows -- Fiesta, Sugar and Orange. With the Fiesta getting first choice, they probably would pass on West Virginia to avoid a rematch, but could take Arizona State, if the Sun Devils finish high enough in the final standings. Now if Missouri ends up in the Rose Bowl, then Wisconsin in the Fiesta would be the most logical choice.
Next up is the Sugar Bowl, and they would snag West Virginia (Big East champs) or Missouri. West Virginia travels well, Pat White's final game or the prospects of taking the Big 12 runner up with a potential Heisman Trophy winner in Chase Daniel.
The Orange gets the final pick and still could end up with Missouri if everybody elses passes or West Virginia depending on who the Sugar Bowl takes in front of them.
Now here is the big kicker -- BYU. They could be the BCS party crasher this year. They will start out in the preseason Top 20, could easily run through their conference games. Their non conference games are Northern Iowa, Utah State, Washington and UCLA. Now, they beat UCLA last year and the game is in Provo, but still could lose and they travel to Washington on Sept. 6. If BYU qualifies, they most likely will be headed to Miami, unless the Fiesta Bowl shocks everybody and takes them with the first selection after the replacement picks.
BCS: Ohio State vs. Georgia