Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal led the perfect response for Tyrod Taylor's spectacular touchdown throw by the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2011 Orange Bowl: A methodical 8 play, 79 yard, 3:50 drive to put his team back up on top. Luck started by throwing to his tight end Zach Ertz for fourteen yards to bring the Cardinal from their own 21 to their 35 yard line. On 3rd and 2, Luck found another tight end, this time Konrad Reuland, for a crucial first down pickup. Tailback Jeremy Stewart then made his second big gain of the game (this one for 26 yards), and Luck then found Ertz again for a 25 yard touchdown throw to give Stanford a 13-9 lead. However, the special teams gaffes by the Cardinal continued (already a fake punt fail and a fielded punt close to their own end zone on the resume tonight) when Nate Whitaker had his extra point blocked.
After some offensive stalling for the rest of the second quarter--Luck threw an interception in tight coverage to Jayron Hosley intended for Ryan Whalen, and Virginia Tech failed to convert a 4th and short when Matthew Masifilo stuffed Darren Evans--Taylor got Virginia Tech rolling again to garner them some crucial points, driving them 60 yards in under 40 seconds. A ten yard holding penalty by Michael Thomas, a 19 yard scramble by Taylor, and then Jarrett Boykin reining in a Taylor bomb for 32 yards set up a Chris Hazley field goal. Stanford leads 13-12 at halftime.