Virginia Tech vs Stanford:
This game pits two of the hottest teams in the country with Virgina Tech on a 10 game win streak after an 0-2 start and Stanford winning 7 in a row since losing at Oregon on October 2nd. These teams both have physical defenses and experienced quarterbacks. Andrew Luck is quite possibly the best pure quarterback in college football and will be tested by solid Virginia Tech defense. Virginia Tech has a good QB of their own in Tyrod Taylor who's dual threat ability has the potential to give Stanford major problems.
Look For Stanford to:
Establish the running game early using their physical blocking and overload scheme to force Virginia Tech to bring the safeties closer to the line of scrimmage to help with the run. If Virginia Tech does go to 7 or 8 in the box then look for Andrew Luck to establish the passing game taking what the defense gives him. Stanford likes to establish the run first then throw short low-risk passes early to get Luck in a rhythm. If Luck has his way early it could be a very long night for The Hokies. The Hokies like to keep the defense in front of them and not give up the big play, this plays perfectly into The Cardinal game plan.
On defense Stanford will attempt to keep Tyrod Taylor contained. He is an average passer in the pocket but if he breaks contain he has speed to run and is a very good out-of-pocket passer. Stanford has struggled against fast offenses this year and Virginia Tech is exactly that. All of the Virginia Tech running backs are fast enough to cause big problems for Stanford if they don't tackle well. Stanford will try to keep Virginia Tech one dimensional by taking away the run and making Taylor beat them throwing from the pocket.
Look for Virginia Tech to:
Use its speedy backfield to expose Stanford's lack of team speed on defense. Virginia Tech will attempt to make Stanford defend the entire field and try to get Tyrod Taylor into space with some run/pass option situations. If Taylor gets to the edge he can be very effective as a runner and passer. All the VaTech running backs are fast enough to give Stanford problems if they miss tackles at the point of attack.
On defense Virginia Tech will try to get after Andrew Luck early. As good as Andrew Luck is he tends to throw into coverage at times when he is pressured. In those moments he depends on his arm too much and Virginia Tech has good enough corners to make him pay. Its imperative that the Hokies stop the run or it will be a long night as Stanford can demoralize its opponents and control the clock when they establish the run.
Both are solid on offense and defense and both have big play ability as well as the ability to grind it out in a close game. This is a game that I think could come down to which team makes the big plays on special teams and doesn't turn the ball over.
Andrew Luck and the Cardinal running game will be too much in the 4th quarter and Stanford will win a hard fought game 35-28.
Thanks for reading,