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Orange Bowl 2011, Stanford vs. Virginia Tech: Gobbler Country Gives Us Some Background

Next month, the Stanford Cardinal will take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2011 Orange Bowl in Miami. Stanford was able to force themselves into the BCS scene courtesy of a strong finish to the season that netted them the number four spot in the 2010 BCS standings. Virginia Tech bounced back from a tough pair of losses to start the year and finished the season on an 11-game winning streak, capped by a victory over the Florida State Seminoles in the ACC championship game.

As we prepare for the upcoming matchup, I thought it would be useful to use our SB Nation blogs to better scout out this game. I don’t follow Virginia Tech and my knowledge of Stanford football is not the most thorough. Accordingly, I’ve decided to tap into our resident Hokie (Gobbler Country) and Cardinal (Rule of Tree) blogs to get answers to all the pertinent questions. Today we have three questions looking at general background on the 2010 Virginia Tech Hokies football season. We’ll get into more specifics as the month progresses, but consider this laying the groundwork for more detailed information. Thanks to Gobbler Country for taking the time to answer my questions.

SBNBA: What were expectations for your team coming into the 2010 season? Were you expecting a BCS bowl or have you been a bit surprised by your team’s performance this season?

GC: The Hokies actually hit my expectations for the season right on the money. I expected a 10-2 regular season and an ACC title with a loss to Boise State. Obviously, no one could have predicted the loss to James Madison in week two, but we season pretty much went how I thought it would go. I thought our other loss would come at Miami.

A lot of our fans expected the moon, that we’d be competing for a national title this year because we had some much talent coming back on offense. However, we were so young on defense I figured we’d drop a couple of games, including the opener against Boise State because the Broncos returned almost everyone.

SBNBA: What have been your best wins and worst losses? It can be one win and one loss, or more of them depending on how you’ve felt about the season.

GC: The worst loss would also be the worst loss in our history: James Madison. At Home. Week 2. Just and inexplicable loss that came at a point and under conditions where in hindsight I don’t think we could have beaten anybody. You can point to only having four days to prepare coming off a heart-breaking last-second loss and playing in a driving rain storm but, at the end of the day, we lost because we had a poor game plan and executed it poorly and JMU had a great game play and executed it flawlessly.

The best win of the season would probably be our game in the ACC Championship Game against Florida State. It’s the first time all season that we’ve played 60 minutes of solid football. Week after week we came out flat and had to dig ourselves out of a hole. Against the Seminoles we played well from the start and never took our foot off the gas.

SBNBA: In a more general sense, what has worked well for you this season and what has worked poorly? This isn’t a scouting report at this point but more just your general thoughts on 2010, so no need to get crazy specific at this point.

GC: I really just like the way our offense is clicking at this point. We’ve been effective in the passing game despite some key injuries to receivers and all three of our running backs are playing well. One of them will step up and have a big game every week. However, our run defense hasn’t performed well this year. We were able to stop FSU’s ground game, but the Noles were missing Jermaine Thomas.