Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Orange Bowl Preview
Virginia Tech vs Kansas 8:00 ET
Line: VT -3, 53
Virginia Tech Hokies (11-2, 7-1)
The Hokies started off the season slow against East Carolina and were blown out by LSU on the road. After getting their head on straight, they suffered just one loss the rest of the year, but avenged that in the ACCCG. The Hokies were rated #1 by several computer polls at the end of the year.
Best Win: vs BC 30-16
Worst Loss: @ LSU 7-48
Record vs Bowl Teams: 6-2
Record vs BCS Top 25: 2-2
Schedule Strength: 1st
HC Beamer Record in Bowl Games: 6-8
Kansas Jayhawks (11-1, 7-1)
The improbable run of the Kansas Jayhawks landed them in a BCS Bowl despite not winning their conference or division. The Jayhawks were the last undefeated team from a BCS Conference before they fell to rival Missouri. Kansas displayed a high powered offense that scored over 50 points five times this year including 76 vs Nebraska.
Best Win: @ Texas A&M 19-11
Worst Loss: vs Missouri 28-38
Record vs Bowl Teams: 4-1
Record vs BCS Top 25: 0-1
Schedule Strength: 74th
HC Mangino Record in Bowl Games: 1-1
Va Tech Offensive Game Plan:
1. Try to establish the run game. The Jayhawks rank #1 in the Big 12 against the run and hae allowed just 2 teams above 100 yards. The Hokies have struggled running the ball this year.
2. Use speed advantage. The fastest team Kansas played all year was able to move the ball vertically with their wideouts. Try and get Eddie Royal in some 1 on 1 coverage.
3. Keep that KU offense on the sidelines. Use the run game, short passes, whatever to limit the Fighting Mangino's time with the ball.
Kansas Defensive Game Plan:
1. Make VT one dimensional. KU is very good at stopping the run and VT is not very good running the ball.
2. Get pressure on Sean Glennon. Glennon has played much better in the 2nd half of the year, but his history says that he gets rattled.
3. No kicks blocked. Not really defense, but it will be important for the Jayhawks.
Kansas Offensive Game Plan:
1. Don't be afraid to run. VT is even better than KU at stopping the run. The Jayhawks are very good at running the ball and need to play their game, not Va Tech's
2. Keep Reasing clean. Va Tech is very good at rushing the passer with just 4 or 5 defenders. Chris Ellis is the best of the bunch. KU QB Todd Reasing is very dangerous in the pocket, but needs time.
Va Tech Defensive Game Plan:
1. Try to make KU play left handed. It is tough to determine whether the Jayhawks are better at running or passing. Va Tech is better at stopping the run so the Hokies should try to force the Jayhawks to pass
2. Capitalize on turnovers
Reasing only threw 4 INTs before throwing 2 against Missouri. With the Hokies limited offensive abilities, they need to score TDs on short fields, not field goals.
Many are saying Kansas should not be in this game. They have had to listen to that all week despite winning 11 games this year and blowing out many of their opponents. Everybody points to the fact that Kansas played just 1 team in the Top 25 and lost while Va Tech played the nation's toughest schedule. Virginia Tech's defense should be challenged by playing such a high powered offense. The Hokies have made the reputation on defense and special teams and don't want to be burned like they were against LSU.
I would say Virginia Tech in a landslide, but the Hokies are not a dominating team to blow out good teams. Kansas will be able to move the ball some on Va Tech, but Reasing will spend much of the night on his back.
Virginia Tech 27 Kansas 21
Virginia Tech Wins, Covers, Under