A last-second field goal has Virginia Tech down by one going into halftime of the Orange Bowl in Miami.
The Hokies have struggled to get anything going on the ground, averaging 4.4 yards per carry. However, Tech's running backs are averaging a mere 2.8 yards per carry. Darren Evans has gotten the bulk of the carries with nine. There were questions about Ryan Williams' hamstring and the star running back had only two carries in the first half. David Wilson, who was suspended for the first quarter, also had only two carries.
Stanford got on the board first as the Hokies gave up another big play on the ground. Jeremy Stewart, Stanford's third-string running back, ran through a massive hole on the left side of the line for a 60-yard touchdown.
What's encouraging for the Hokies is they've been able to get pressure on Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Tech got on the board late in the first quarter when they forced Luck to throw while in the grasp of defensive tackle John Graves. The ball was batted into the air and caught by an offensive lineman, who took a knee for a safety.
Tech took the lead on the ensuing drive when Tyrod Taylor scrambled toward the sideline, spun to avoid going out of bounds and threw toward the end zone. Wilson dove in front of intended receiver Jarrett Boykin to catch the ball for a go-ahead touchdown.
However, Stanford answered with an eight-play, 79-yard touchdown drive. However, the extra point was blocked. The Hokies concluded the scoring in the first half on Chris Hazley's field goal with seven seconds to go.
The Hokies have to find a way to get something going on the ground. Tech's offensive line has struggled to get a push against the front seven of Stanford's 3-4 defense. Linebacker Shane Skov has been a thorn in the Hokies' side throughout the first half.
The game has been low-scoring compared to what the experts predicted through the first half. However, I expect both coaching staffs to make adjustments at halftime that could make this a shootout in the second half. Be sure to join us in the game thread until the end of the game.