Orange Bowl

Orange Bowl

2008 Orange Bowl Preview
by Robert Ferringo

Kansas (11-1) vs. Virginia Tech (11-2)

Conference Matchup: Big 12 vs. ACC
Date: 8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 3
Location: Orange Bowl, Miami, FL
Spread: Virginia Tech -3.0

The casual football fan may look at the Orange Bowl as the least-inspiring BCS bowl game to date.

Hey, I'm not knocking Kansas. The Jayhawks have been an ATM machine this season at 10-1 against the spread. And Virginia Tech is still a huge sentimental favorite because of the tragedy this school endured earlier this year. But c'mon, Kansas against Virginia Tech?

Well, the names may not be sexy but these are two head bangers. And even if Kansas doesn't deserve to be in this game over Missouri - and they don't - the Jayhawks have been a wrecking crew this year. They are No. 2 in the country in scoring offense and No. 5 in scoring defense. The average score of their games this year was 44-16. But Kansas also hasn't beaten a single team in the Top 25 and their only two victories over bowl teams came over second-tier teams, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.

The rock is not impressed. But apparently BCS selection folk were.

So does that mean that Virginia Tech is going to wreck the Jayhawks? Well, it's a gamble. Kansas has proven that it can score, score and score some more. Their second-rated offense will be facing its toughest task to date against Virginia Tech's No. 2 ranked defense, and whichever unit is able to win that matchup will likely take the cash.

Also, there's certainly an argument that Va. Tech could be the more overrated of the two teams in this bowl game. The ACC managed a pathetic 10-17-1 mark ATS in non-conference games this season and just 6-6 ATS versus bowl-bound clubs. The Hokies didn't cover in either of their bowl-bound nonconference games, struggling against East Carolina before getting crushed by LSU.

Kansas can cover if: If the Kansas offense is as explosive as it appeared in Big 12 play then the Jayhawks can win this game in a rout. They were the No. 1 team in the country ATS this year so there should be little doubt that they can cover in this one.

Also, if Tyrod Taylor and Sean Glennon can't find a rhythm against a stout Kansas defense then the Jayhawks can control the tempo of this game. If they can get an early lead then I think they can put a lot of pressure on a good-but-not-great group of Tech skill players. KU is 19-7 ATS in its last 26 games overall.

Virginia Tech can cover if: If they play Beamer Ball. The Hokies need to cause turnovers on defense and special teams, rip off some backbreaking plays on offense, and generally control the tempo from start to finish. Besides creating turnovers, the No. 1 thing that the Hokies need to do is minimize their own mistakes.

Last year it was Florida that found BCS success with a two-quarterback system. It's taken awhile, but now it's the Hokies that have found a solid balance using both Taylor and Glennon. They've covered five straight games and are 7-1 ATS in their last eight.

Docsports.com

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Jeff Haney on Kansas' advantage over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl and why Ohio State's a good bet in the top game

In his analysis of Thursday's Orange Bowl matchup between Kansas and Virginia Tech, Las Vegas sports handicapper Joe D'Amico gives an edge to the Jayhawks - emotionally as well as fundamentally.

First, the intangibles: Kansas lost to rival Missouri in its final regular-season game, but ended up beating out the Tigers for a Bowl Championship Series berth. The Jayhawks figure to be motivated to prove they deserve their billing ahead of Missouri, which lost twice to Oklahoma this season and settled for a Cotton Bowl appearance.

Kansas also drew criticism for a weak regular-season schedule, despite finishing 11-1 straight up and 10-1 against the point spread - the best performance in college football against the betting number.

It's the fundamental angles, though, that make Kansas one of D'Amico's two best bets on the college bowl slate. The Jayhawks are a 3 ¯1/2-point underdog against Virginia Tech in Miami (5 p.m. Thursday, Fox, Cox cable Channel 5).

At first glance, the Orange Bowl looks like a clash of offense and defense. Kansas scored an average of 44.3 points a game, second behind Hawaii in the NCAA. Tech (11-2 straight up, 7-5 against the spread), traditionally a defense-oriented unit under coach Frank Beamer, allowed 15.5 points a game, second behind Ohio State.

Yet Kansas also brings the No. 5-ranked defense into the game, allowing an average of 16 points, arguably against a softer lineup of opponents.

Kansas' quarterback, Todd Reesing, who passed for a school-record 32 touchdowns, and its rushing attack, led by Brandon McAnderson and Jake Sharp (a combined 1,838 yards and 23 touchdowns), should give Tech as much as it can handle, D'Amico said.

"Virginia Tech has a dual quarterback thing going (Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor), and I give Kansas a big advantage there," D'Amico said. "Because of Virginia Tech's defense, it will be a tough game, and they'll keep it close. In a game like that, give me the 3 and the hook (half-point)."

D'Amico also likes the underdog in the BCS championship game (5 p.m. Jan. 7, Fox), recommending a play on Ohio State plus 4 ¯1/2 points against LSU in New Orleans.

The Buckeyes (11-1 straight up, 7-4 against the spread) face another Southeastern Conference team after losing to Florida 41-14 as a 7-point favorite in last year's title game.

LSU (11-2 straight up, 5-7-1 against the spread) scored an average of 38.7 points a game behind a two-quarterback system featuring Matt Flynn (2,233 yards, 17 touchdowns) and Ryan Perrilloux (694 yards, eight touchdowns). They'll face a top-ranked Ohio State defense (10.7 points a game) that held seven opponents to single digits in scoring.

"LSU is very quick," D'Amico said. "They remind me a little bit of last year's Florida team. But that two-quarterback offense will find it hard to get into a rhythm. That will work against them, and Ohio State will be rested, healthy and hungry."

D'Amico has been contributing football picks to the Sun periodically this season, compiling a record of 14-9 (61 percent) against the point spread.

lasvegassun.com.

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What bettors need to know: Kansas vs. Virginia Tech
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Battle of opposites

Thursday’s Orange Bowl will be a battle between one of the best offenses and one of the top defenses in the nation. Kansas has produced the second most points per game this season (44.3), while Virginia Tech is allowing the second fewest (15.5).

“Something is going to give,” Virginia Tech linebacker Xavier Adibi told the Kansas City Star. “That’s the way you have to look at it. That is gonna be an exciting part of this whole game. They have an excellent offense, and we have an excellent defense. It’s going to come down to who executes better.”

In the regular season, getting the job done was not a problem for either team. The Jayhawks finished 11-1, while the Hokies were 11-2. One thing that could separate the sides is experience.

Virginia Tech has made as many bowl trips in the last ten years as Kansas has made in all 117 seasons of its football program. This is the Hokies’ fifth BCS bowl matchup in 12 years, but they are not taking their rivals lightly.

"I don't think it'll be a factor at all," VT offensive lineman Duane Brown told The Associated Press. "I think Kansas, not being in this position before, it makes them a little more excited, anticipating that day. I'm sure they're preparing as hard as they can. We've got to match that. Being too comfortable can get you in trouble."

Bettors have to decide whether the Jayhawks’ high-powered offense (490.7 yards per game) or the Hokies’ stingy defense (293.3) will win out. They can certainly find food for thought in Kansas’ ATS record this season. The team beat the number in all but one of its eleven games offering a spread.

One-two punch

Junior Hokies quarterback Sean Glennon started poorly this season and his understudy Taylor Tyrod struggled with injuries and inconsistency. To get the best out of their patchy offense, Virginia Tech employed a two-quarterback system.

Glennon is a traditional drop-back passer. Taylor – a freshman – is more of a running QB. Their differences made them suited to splitting time, but as Glennon told reporters this week, that didn’t guarantee the plan’s success.

“If either me or Tyrod took the route where we said, ‘This is B.S., I should be the guy out there,’ that could lead to kind of rooting against him when he’s in there,” he told the Kansas City Star.

“That’s not going to help the team win. The quarterback is a reflection of leadership and attitude. If the guy in charge of the huddle had that attitude, it’d be easy to self-destruct.”

Instead, the VT offense went on to play its best football of the season after the decision.

The Hokies dominated Florida State and Miami, then beat rival Virginia on the road to make the ACC title game. In that contest, VT produced one of its best offensive performances of the season in a 30-16 win over Boston College.

The Jayhawks, meanwhile, are hopeful that facing two totally different quarterbacks will make life easier for the Kansas defense.

“It’d be hard to go against one that does both,” KU linebacker Joe Mortensen said. “When Taylor comes in, he likes to run the ball. When Glennon is in, he hardly ever runs. We know what to expect when they both come in the game.”

Glennon has thrown for 1,636 yards and 11 TDs this season, while Taylor has put up 916 yards and five TDs.

Talib will return punts

Kansas cornerback Aqib Talib has been practicing punt returns all season and Jayhawks coach Mark Mangino has finally decided to give him a chance.

Talib will return punts against Virginia Tech mainly because of a lack of production from regular return specialist Anthony Webb – who was averaging less than a yard per return.

“It’s out of necessity,” Mangino told reporters this week. “Talib is a playmaker, a dependable guy. He’ll do a great job. We’re blocking people, but we’re not returning the ball.”

Talib has denied that he is using the Orange Bowl as an opportunity for him to showcase his talents to NFL scouts. “No, man, I use these extra games for my team!” he told the Star. “That’s what we’re here for. I couldn’t care less about pro scouts right now.”

He has eight receptions for 182 yards and four touchdowns this season.

Ore out for first quarter

Virginia Tech will be without its leading rusher for the opening quarter of the Orange Bowl. Associate head coach Billy Hite confirmed last week that running back Brandon Ore has been suspended for the first quarter of Thursday’s game for showing up late to practice on Dec. 21.

“I talked with coach (Frank) Beamer on Friday, and I recommended that we suspend Branden for a quarter,” Hite told the Roanoke Times. “I’m not putting up with that kind of stuff.

“In order for us to win ballgames, we can’t have guys showing up at practice whenever they want to. Everybody else made it to practice on time, so there’s no excuse for Branden not making it, too.”

Ore leads the Hokies with 876 yards on the ground and eight rushing touchdowns. He will be replaced for the opening quarter by sophomore Lewis Kenny Jr., who has 183 yards and four TDs.

Ore ran for 1,137 yards and 16 touchdowns last season and was named a first-team All-ACC performer.

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Orange Bowl Preview
By Judd Hall

Orange Bowl

Kansas (11-1 SU, 10-1 ATS) vs. Virginia Tech (11-2 SU, 7-5 ATS)

How they got there:

Kansas is making its first trip to a bowl game in three years after having one of its best seasons ever. The Jayhawks benefited by not having to play either Oklahoma or Texas during the Big XII regular season. A lot of grief has been given to KU for making a BCS game after losing to the Tigers for the North Division crown. Those are the breaks, I guess.

The Hokies are making their third BCS appearance after closing out their season five wins where they outscored opponents 174-75. Their final win enacted a little bit of revenge by taking the Atlantic Coast Conference title game 14-10 over Boston College. Virginia Tech lost to the Eagles in the waning moments on Oct. 25.

What to expect:

This game will be the classic battle of strong offense against solid defense. The Jayhawks have the No. 2 scoring offense in the nation (44.3 PPG). Virginia Tech possesses the No. 2 defense in the country, giving up 15.5 PPG in 2007. Something you may not know is that Kansas is no slouch on defense, averaging 16.0 PPG this season.

Players to Watch:

Kansas – Quarterback Todd Reesing is the player Mark Mangino has been waiting for to play at KU longer than any he’s had in Lawrence. Reesing has thrown 32 touchdowns to just six interceptions.

Virginia Tech – Linebacker Xavier Adibi is one of the top defenders in the college game today. Adibi recorded 108 stops this year which is impressive when you realize that he missed four games this season.

Bowl Records:

Kansas doesn’t have much of a bowl record to speak of…its only been in 10 postseason games, not including this year. The Jayhawks are 4-6 all time in bowl games. Their last appearance was a 42-13 win over Houston as four-point favorites in the 2005 Fort Worth Bowl.

The Hokies aren’t that great in the postseason, going 7-13 in 20 appearances and 3-4 in their last seven games. Virginia Tech lost to Georgia as a three-point “chalk,” 31-24, in the 2006 Chik-fil-A Bowl.

Bowl History:

Bettors who like the “chalk” will enjoy the Orange Bowl, as the favorite has gone 3-2 ATS in the past five games. You may also want to parlay that with the ‘under’ as it has posted a 3-2 mark in the same time frame.

Inside the Line: Virginia Tech -3, 53

Some sportsbooks opened this contest up at four, so that tells you the public is beginning to side with the Jayhawks. The total hasn’t seen a lot of movement either, dropping slightly from the opening number of 54.

Expert Opinion: Christian Alexander

One glance at the Jayhawks’ schedule and it's obvious they were fortunate to avoid Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas. Those three teams along with the Jayhawks represent the best defenses in the Big 12. The next best defense in the Big 12 is Missouri, and like I said, they handled KU.

So not only did Kansas avoid a lot of solid Big 12 teams this season but they avoided some pretty solid defenses. This brings me to my main point. The Jayhawks will not have seen a defense like Virginia Tech this season or in quite a while. The Hokies finished the season fifth in total defense and second in scoring D. The best defense that Kansas beat all year was the Buffaloes, the 64th ranked defense in the land and it just so happened the Jayhawks scored a season low in points (19) in that game as well.

VI Prediction:

I picked Virginia Tech to win this game a while back and I’m not straying from the selection. Although, the more I look at the Jayhawks, the more I think they’ve got a shot to win this game. Reesing will have a quality outing against the Hokie defense, but he’ll make one mistake. And that mistake will translate into the margin of victory for Virginia Tech.

Final Score: Virginia Tech 31, Kansas 24

vegasinsider.com

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Kansas offense, Virginia Tech defense intriguing matchup
January 2, 2008

Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) -- When Mark Mangino went to Kansas, he knew changing a woebegone program into a winner would be a major challenge.

He also knew similar turnarounds had been accomplished before.

The one Frank Beamer started a decade earlier at Virginia Tech, for example.

So Mangino modeled large chunks of his Jayhawks' regime after things Beamer did with the Hokies, like trying to be complete in all three aspects of the game, not just offense or defense or special teams.

Those parallels will be on display Thursday night, when No. 8 Kansas (11-1) -- perhaps the biggest surprise in college football this season -- makes its first Orange Bowl appearance in 39 years against the fifth-ranked Hokies (11-2), champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

"When I first arrived at Kansas, it was disappointing," said Mangino, who was 25-35 in his first five Kansas seasons before this year's big turnaround earned him the AP Coach of the Year honors. "There were days that I was frustrated and said this ought to be better. The University of Kansas deserves better than this in their football program."

An Orange Bowl trip certainly qualifies as something better, especially for a Kansas team that didn't even head to a postseason game last year.

"You know, they're for real," Beamer said.

When the Hokies and Jayhawks talk about the stakes attached to this game, they say the same thing -- that even without a national championship on the line, this is the biggest game either program has played in a long, long time.

They might be right.

For Virginia Tech, this is about history, getting to the 12-win mark for the first time and giving fans one more reason to cheer a year that will be remembered as the one following the April 16 on-campus massacre in Blacksburg in which 32 students and professors lost their lives.

"It's just what needs to happen," said Beamer, who has the Hokies in their 15th straight bowl game. "It's what needs to get done. Virginia Tech needed to rally around a football team. ... So we'll rally together and be stronger and tighter than ever. And I think that's what has happened."

For Kansas, this is about silencing all doubters, the ones who said the Jayhawks only got here because their schedule was softer than a fresh bag of marshmallows and a school-record 11-win season still wasn't good enough to merit a spot in a BCS game.

"I don't think at this point in the season we have to prove ourselves any more," quarterback Todd Reesing said. "We won 11 games this year. How many other teams in the nation can say that? Not many. So you can point to our schedule, but we play in the Big 12. That's a damn good conference."

Add in the intrigue of a great Kansas offense facing a great Virginia Tech defense, and this might have makings of a classic.

"They're a solid football team and very well-coached and talented," Beamer said. "They've got all the ingredients."

Kansas' recipe starts with the nation's highest-scoring offense.

Hawaii held that distinction until managing only 10 points against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, so now the Jayhawks -- with their 44.3 points-per-game average -- are in the top spot, and some of the stats they've put up this year are ridiculous.

Consider this, for starters: Kansas has 64 offensive touchdowns this year, against only 46 punts. The Jayhawks average 6.4 yards per play, have a two-pronged rushing attack in Brandon McAnderson and Jake Sharp (combined 1,838 yards and 23 scores) and elite receivers in Dexton Fields and Marcus Henry (who combine for 16 yards per catch). The offense is so good, very few people notice that Kansas' defense yielded only 16 points per game.

But it's Reesing who makes the Jayhawks' spread offense work. He completed 63 percent of his passes for 3,259 yards and 32 touchdowns, against only six interceptions in 409 attempts, yet Kansas knows the Hokies will represent the biggest challenge of the season.

"This is the best defense we've played against -- by far," Kansas tight end Derek Fine said. "I'm very, very impressed."

Virginia Tech allows 15.5 points per game, second-best in the nation behind Ohio State, and believes it has enough athleticism in the secondary to keep pace with the Jayhawks.

Still, the Hokies may miss a vital part of their defense.

Linebacker Vince Hall injured his left knee during a jet-skiing outing organized by the game's host committee earlier this week, Beamer said, and may not be ready Thursday night.

With Hall or without, Virginia Tech's defense understands the magnitude of this one.

"People might think that we come to a bowl game every year, so we might not pay attention to this one," Hokies defensive end Orion Martin said. "But we haven't won a BCS game in a while. Coach said this is probably one of our most important games since the '99 national championship game. So we know what's at stake."

So does Mangino.

For years, Kansas football was the thing that Jayhawk fans did to warm up for basketball season. Not any more, and the coach -- who quipped that the program was coming off "a tough century" -- is relishing this moment.

"Our kids are smart. We're not going to try to fool them and just tell them that this is just another game," Mangino said. "But it's still football ... just a few more people will be paying attention."

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Hokies LB Hall questionable for Orange Bowl

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- Virginia Tech linebacker Vince Hall injured his left knee and will be a game-time decision against Kansas in the Orange Bowl on Thursday night.

Hall was injured during a team outing at the beach, the school said, and practiced little, if at all, the last two days of workouts before Wednesday's walkthrough.

"It's tender right now," coach Frank Beamer said Wednesday. "I'm not sure what's going to happen."

It is the second injury this season for Hall, who broke his left forearm and wrist in a victory at Clemson in November and sat out the next four games.

An All-ACC linebacker last season, Hall is second on the team with 92 tackles.

Brett Warren had 30 tackles in four starts and will start if Hall can't, Beamer said.

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Orange Bowl: Kansas Jayhawks vs. Virginia Tech Hokies

Kansas startled everyone, including themselves, with an 11-1 mark (10-1 ATS) in the tough Big 12. They did it by ranking in the Top 3 in the nation in both offense and defense. They will face a Virginia Tech team in the Orange Bowl that is also a Top 5 defense and which comes in favored. Of note, Kansas gave up 28 points or more in three of their final four games.

Oddsmakers currently have the Hokies listed as 3½ -point favorites versus the Jayhawks, while the game's total is sitting at 52.

Kansas' comeback bid fell just short in a 36-28 loss to Missouri last time out, falling as 1.5-point favorites. The 64 points scored were UNDER the posted total of 66.

Todd Reesing went 28-for-49 for 349 yards, two touchdowns and two picks, while Dexton Fields had eight receptions for 116 yards and a major for the Jayhawks.

Virginia Tech scored 14 fourth-quarter points in a 30-16 win over Boston College in the ACC title game last time out, covering the 4.5-point road spread. The 46 points scored were UNDER the posted total of 48.5.

Sean Glennon went 18-for-27 for 174 yards, three touchdowns and a pick, while Eddie Royal had four receptions for 63 yards and a score for the Hokies.

Team records:
Kansas: 11-1 SU, 10-1 ATS
Virginia Tech: 11-2 SU, 7-5 ATS

Kansas most recently:
When playing on grass are 5-5
After being outgained are 3-7
When an underdog on the road are 2-8
When playing outside the conference are 9-1

Virginia Tech most recently:
When playing in January are 2-4
When playing on grass are 9-1
After being outgained are 10-0
When favored at home are 8-2

A few trends to consider:
Kansas is 11-1 SU in its last 12 games
Kansas is 9-1 ATS in its last 10 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Kansas's last 6 games
Virginia Tech is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Virginia Tech is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games

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"TECHNICIAN'S CORNER"

KANSAS vs. VIRGINIA TECH (Orange)...KU 10-1 vs. line TY, 14-2 last 16 on board, but only 3-2 as dog since LY (1-0 TY). Beamer only 2-4 vs. line last 6 bowls but he covered 7 of last 8 in ‘07 and is 18-5 against line last 23 away from home. Hokies also 13-4 their last 17 as chalk away from home. Tech edge-VT, based on extended trends.

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(8) Kansas (11-1, 10-1 ATS) vs. (5) Virginia Tech (11-2, 7-4-1 ATS)

The Jayhawks, perhaps the biggest surprise in the country this season, make their first-ever BCS Bowl appearance when they take on red-hot Virginia Tech at Dolphin Stadium.

Kansas opened the season with 11 straight wins, going an amazing 10-0 ATS in lined games. However, the Jayhawks had their Big 12 title and BCS championship hopes dashed on Nov. 24 by rival Missouri in a 36-28 loss as a one-point chalk in Kansas City.

QB Todd Reesing had a big effort against the Tigers, completing 28 of 49 passes for 349 yards and two TDs, but he threw two INTs for the only turnovers of the game. Kansas managed just 42 rushing yards, losing the total-yardage battle 519-301, and held the ball for just 22:35. KU’s defense, which had been sensational during the 11-0 start, gave up 361 passing yards and three TDs to Missouri QB Chase Daniel.

Virginia Tech topped Boston College 30-16 as a five-point favorite in the ACC championship game on Dec. 1 in Jacksonville, Fla., moving to 5-0 SU and ATS in its last five starts. QB Sean Glennon went 18 of 27 for 174 yards with three TDs and one INT, and the Hokies forced two INTs, returning one for a touchdown in the game’s waning seconds. That helped them overcome a 389-300 yardage deficit and a nearly eight-minute difference in time of possession. Va-Tech rallied from a 10-0 second-quarter deficit and held the Eagles scoreless in the second half.

The Jayhawks are in just their 11th bowl game in school history and their third under coach Mark Mangino (1-1 SU and ATS). They whipped Houston 42-13 as a four-point chalk in the 2005 Fort Worth Bowl and lost to North Carolina State 56-26 as an 11-point pup in the 2003 Champs Sports Bowl. Kansas was just 6-6 last year and did not get a bowl invitation.

The Hokies are playing in their 15th straight bowl game under coach Frank Beamer (6-8 SU and ATS), including their fourth BCS bowl. Last year in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, Virginia Tech lost to Georgia 31-24 as a three-point chalk. In their most recent BCS appearance, the Hokies lost to Auburn 16-13 in the Sugar Bowl but cashed as a six-point dog to cap the 2004 campaign.

The favorite is 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS in the last six Orange Bowls, with four of those meetings decided by double digits.

Kansas went 4-1 SU and ATS against bowl-eligible teams this season, winning by an average margin of 13 points per game (32-19) and holding a 440-391 yardage edge. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech went 6-2 SU (5-3 ATS) vs. bowl-caliber teams, outscoring them by a touchdown per contest (26-19) but getting outgained by a slim 334-322 margin.

The Jayhawks were a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS on the road this season, and they were only an underdog in one game all year, beating archrival Kansas State 30-24 catching 3½ points on the road. Kansas holds further positive ATS runs of 14-2 overall, 4-0 in non-conference play and 4-1 against teams with a winning record. However, the Jayhawks are 10-14 ATS as a road pup under Mangino.

Virginia Tech is 10-1 in its last 11 starts (7-3 ATS in lined games) and finished 5-1 SU and ATS on the road. The Hokies have also cashed in four straight games as a favorite after going 1-4 ATS in their first five games in that role. Va-Tech has additional positive ATS runs of 21-8 following a spread-cover, 18-5 on the highway and 13-4 as a road favorite. On a negative note, the Hokies are 0-5 ATS in their last five non-conference games.

Kansas rank second in the nation in scoring (44.3 points per game) and sixth nationally in total offense at 490.7 yards per game (294.1 passing, 196.6 rushing). Reesing passed for 3,254 yards (62.5 completion percentage) with 32 TDs against just six INTs, and RB Brandon McAnderson finished with 1,050 yards (6.0 per carry) and 16 TDs.

The Jayhawks’ defense is equally solid, ranking in the Top 15 in scoring defense (16 ppg, 4th), total defense (318.2 ypg, 13th) and rushing defense (89.8 ypg, 6th).

Virginia Tech’s offense isn’t nearly as prolific as the Jayhawks, averaging just 332.5 ypg (198.9 passing, 133.5 rushing), as Glennon completed 62.8 percent of his passes for 1,636 yards with 11 TDs and three INTs, while RB Brandon Ore had 877 yards (3.6 per carry) and eight TDs. However, the Hokies do put up 29.3 points per game thanks in large part to a stout defense that ranks in the Top 5 in points allowed (15.2, 2nd), total yards allowed (293.3, 5th) and rushing yards allowed (86.0, 5th).

The over is 6-2 in Kansas’ last eight as a ‘dog, 14-6 in its last 20 non-conference starts and 2-0 in its last two bowl appearances. For Virginia Tech, the over is on runs of 3-1 overall and 2-0 in bowl games.

ATS ADVANTAGE: VIRGINIA TECH and OVER

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Game Preview for Kansas vs Virginia Tech

GAME NOTES: One of the most compelling matchups in the postseason takes place in the Sunshine State on January 3rd, as the eighth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks take on the fifth-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies in the 74th-annual Orange Bowl. The Jayhawks were probably the biggest surprise in college football this season, as they won a school-record 11 games this season against just one defeat. Unfortunately, the loss to Missouri in the regular season finale left the team without a Big 12 title and on the outside of the national title game, looking in. However, it was still a banner year for Kansas and coach Mark Mangino, who was tabbed the National Coach of the Year. The Jayhawks are making their 11th all-time bowl appearance, going 4-6 overall in postseason play. This is the team's third trip to the Orange Bowl. losing to Georgia Tech in 1948 (20-14) and to Penn State in 1969 (15-14). The Hokies had a nation rally around them this season due to the unfortunate shootings on-campus last spring. Frank Beamer's team was magnificent at times, posting its own 11-win campaign, while winning the ACC. The two losses came against a pair of top-five opponents at the time, in LSU (48-7) and Boston College (14-10). Still, the team rallied and was able to avenge the loss to the Eagles, beating BC in the ACC Championship game (30-16) to earn the Orange Bowl bid. Tech is making its 21st postseason appearance and is just 7-13 all-time in bowl games, including losses in three of its last four outings. Last season, the Hokies dropped a 31-24 decision to Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. This game marks the first-ever meeting between these two teams on the gridiron.

Kansas seemed to be able to move the chains at will this season and in turn lit up the scoreboard, finishing second in the nation in scoring at 44.3 ppg. The team's best offensive asset is its balance, churning out nearly 500 yards of total offense (sixth nationally at 491.1 ypg), with 196.6 yards coming on the ground and 294.5 coming through the air. Sophomore QB Todd Reesing was phenomenal in running the offense, completing over 62 percent of his passes, for 3,259 yards, with 32 TDs and just six interceptions. In all, the team committed just 13 turnovers all year. Spreading the ball around is something that Reesing did quite well, with four players hauling in 40+ balls. WRs Dexton Fields (56 receptions, for 733 yards, six TDs) and Marcus Henry (52 receptions, for 994 yards, nine TDs) led the way, but TE Derek Fine (44 receptions, for 380 yards, four TDs) and WR Dezmon Briscoe (41 receptions, for 476 yards, seven TDs) have also seen plenty of action. The ground game features a two-headed monster in tailbacks Brandon McAnderson (1,050 yards, 16 TDs) and Jake Sharp (788 yards, seven TDs).

Like most upper echelon schools in the Big 12, Kansas is strong on the defensive side of the ball as well. The team finished the regular season ranked fourth nationally in scoring defense (16.0 ppg), sixth in rush defense (91.4 ypg) and 14th in total defense (318.3 ypg). In addition, this unit finished the year ninth in interceptions (20). The strength of the squad is in the middle with a trio of active linebackers. Juniors Joe Mortensen, James Holt and Mike Rivera are as good a trio as there are in the country. Mortensen currently leads the team in tackles (98) and TFLs (14), with two sacks and two fumble recoveries to his credit. Holt is second in both tackles (91) and TFLs (12), followed by Rivera (84 tackles), who added 9.5 TFLs, two sacks, one INT and two fumble recoveries to his strong stat line. The secondary also has its share of playmakers in safeties Darrell Stuckey (66 tackles, two INTs, two fumble recoveries) and Justin Thornton (44 tackles, four INTs) and standout cover corner Aqib Talib (61 tackles, four INTs).

The Hokies cannot match Kansas' offensive fireworks, but few teams in the country can. What Virginia Tech will do, is take advantage of the opposition's mistakes. The Tech offense didn't steamroll anyone this season, averaging 29.3 ppg, on just 332.4 yards of total offense. The rushing attack is good for 133.5 yards per game, while the passing attack goes for an additional 198.8 ypg. Beamer has not settled on one signal-caller this year, Instead he has used both junior Sean Glennon and freshman Tyrod Taylor. Glennon is the more polished passer, completing 62.8 percent of his passes, for 1,636 yards, with 11 TDs and just three INTs. Taylor is the better all-around threat, throwing for 916 yards and five TDs, while ranking second on the team in rushing with 431 yards and an additional six scores. The team doesn't use them often, but does have a trio of capable receivers in Josh Morgan (43 receptions, for 522 yards and five TDs), Justin Harper (37 receptions, for 571 yards and four TDs) and Eddie Royal (32 receptions, for 485 yards and four TDs). The ground game should be better, but talented RB Branden Ore (876 yards and eight TDs) has had a mildly disappointing season and has struggled at times.

Defensive tenacity is the name of the game in Blacksburg and this year's unit has certainly delivered. The Hokies come into this bowl game ranked among the nation's best in several statistical categories. The team is ranked second in scoring defense (15.5 ppg), fifth in rush defense (86.0 ypg), fourth in pass efficiency defense (97.90), fifth in total defense (293.3 ypg) and seventh in interceptions (21). It all starts in the linebacking corps, where two of the nation's best reside in veterans Xavier Adibi and Vince Hall. Adibi has been a force this season, leading the team in tackles (108) and TFLs (12), with three sacks and two INTs to his credit as well. Hall missed four games due to injury, but still racked up 92 total tackles, with 6.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks and one INT. The top playmaker in the secondary is shutdown cover corner Brandon Flowers. The 5-10, 200-pound junior finished third on the team in tackles (79), with 7.0 TFLs and a team-high five INTs. The Hokies really know how to bring the pressure, racking up an astounding 43 sacks on the season. Leading the charge in that area is senior rush end Chris Ellis (49 tackles, 9.0 TFLs, 8.5 sacks).

This should be one of the most enjoyable games of the bowl season. Virginia Tech will do what it does best and try to control the tempo with its stingy defense. However, Kansas can move the ball in a number of ways. If the Jayhawks can continue to play mistake-free football, they should be able to score enough to secure the win.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Kansas 24, Virginia Tech 17

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Re: Orange Bowl

Reesing may lack height, but he's in the Orange Bowl
ASSOCIATED PRESS

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.  -- So how tall is Todd Reesing, this kid who was supposed to be too short to play quarterback?

''Tall enough to get us into a BCS bowl,'' said Kansas offensive coordinator Ed Warinner, adding after a pause, ''He's 5-10ish.''

Maybe Reesing is actually 5-9. Or perhaps he's 5-9 1/2, or 5-10 1/2. Or maybe he really is exactly 2 inches shy of a 6-footer, which is what Kansas has said every time that question has been asked about its exceptional sophomore.

Aside from forcing Warinner to burn midnight oil devising ways to get Reesing around a forest of towering linemen, the quarterback's height should not matter any more.

With quick feet, quick thinking and a big dose of daring, he was good enough to set 20 school records and slingshot the Jayhawks into the Orange Bowl.

He and his teammates will face Virginia Tech on Thursday night in Kansas' first appearance in a major bowl in 39 years.

''(His height) doesn't seem to be a problem,'' Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. ''I think the stats speak for themselves.''

After wresting the starting job away from the 6-3 incumbent, Reesing burst into the big time more unexpectedly than even his team, which had been picked fourth in the Big 12 North.

In his first start as a college quarterback, he threw for 261 yards and four touchdowns. In the second, he threw for 257 and two. In the third, 313 and four. In the fourth, 368 and one.

By then, it was October and he still hadn't thrown an interception. People were starting to get the idea that this team and its quarterback might not be so ordinary after all.

Still unranked despite a 4-0 record, Kansas went to Kansas State for its first road game. It hadn't won there since 1989 and the Wildcats were ranked No. 24. But Reesing threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns and the Jayhawks emerged with a 30-24 victory in what may have been the breakthrough game they'd sought for years.

''After that game, our confidence rose a lot, being able to win on the road against a good team in a stadium we hadn't been very good in,'' Reesing said. ''That game was definitely the catapult to get the season going in the right direction for us.''

With Reesing at the helm, the Jayhawks come into the Orange Bowl with the second-highest scoring average (44.33) and sixth-highest total offense (491.08 yards) in the nation.

He most certainly didn't do it all on his own. But without him, his teammates would never have achieved a school-record 11 wins.

''They know every time he walks out there with them, there's a chance to score, and they believe it,'' Warinner said. ''He believes it. And that's half the battle.''

A big part of the other half is getting Reesing free of those big, tall linemen. No matter how hard he concentrates, it's awfully tough at 5-10 to peer over people who are 6-4, particularly when they're sticking their arms up to block the view.

''Most people talk about windows in the secondary. We talk about windows in the D-line,'' Warinner said. ''So he's fitting the ball through windows in the D-line.

''You'll see him sliding around in the pocket, and he's just finding his throwing lanes. Big guys push the pocket, hands up, he moves around.''

Reesing's darting around and throwing on the run might make some coaches wince, but the Jayhawks have adjusted and are thriving.

''You'll see him moving around back there a little bit, which unsettles some people coaching quarterbacks,'' Warinner said. ''They don't like their quarterbacks floating. But he's doing it to find his throw lane. We move the pocket. Play-action to move where the launch point is in the pocket to give him different angles to see around.''

Of course, all the scheming in the world would be meaningless without Reesing's ability to get the job done.

''He just knows how to play the game and where to fit the ball,'' Warinner said.

A fierce dislike of failure helps, too.

''I don't want to lose at anything I do,'' he said. ''That's what drives me. One thing that I have never been really good at is video games. I don't beat a lot of people at video games, so I just don't play them. Because I can't stand losing to them.''

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Re: Orange Bowl

Glennon's response to demotion enhanced his status as a leader
ASSOCIATED PRESS

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.  -- The demotion hit Sean Glennon like a raging linebacker, and the explanation that it wasn't his fault hardly seemed to lessen the anguish.

After 15 games as the starting quarterback at Virginia Tech, he was being benched, replaced by a raw but gifted freshman whose mobility made him better suited to help the Hokies mask offensive line deficiencies caused by injuries and inexperience.

''You'd think that he had lost his best friend,'' wide receiver Eddie Royal, a teammate since high school, said of Glennon's reaction. ''He was that down. It was hard to talk to him. His whole world had just changed around, and he wasn't ready for it.''

The news came on a Monday, two days after Virginia Tech's embarrassing 48-7 loss at LSU, and it took Glennon a few days to finally hear what people were telling him. Stay ready. We need you. You will get another chance. Be prepared when it comes.

And when it came, on Oct. 13 against Duke, he was more than ready, beginning a turnaround that culminated last month with an MVP Award-winning performance in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship that only enhanced Glennon's role as a leader.

''It was surreal, really,'' Glennon said of winning the award, earned when he threw for 174 yards and three touchdowns as the Hokies beat Boston College 30-16.

''If you would have told me 2 1/2 months ago that I would be standing up on that podium getting an MVP trophy, I probably wouldn't have believed you. To bounce back from a rough patch in my career and finish it strong, it meant a lot to me,'' he said.

It also seemed strangely appropriate that Glennon got the feel-good ending.

As a well-spoken quarterback and a high school classmate of two of the victims of the shootings that left 32 dead and dozens more wounded on campus on April 16, Glennon became a spokesman of sorts for the Hokies and their role in the healing.

He was also, coach Frank Beamer has said, a guy who craved the opportunity to be a major college quarterback, who worked tirelessly to correct his deficiencies and who relished the thought of helping lead the community back from its darkest days.

He did, too, just not the way he'd drawn it up in his mind.

When Tyrod Taylor injured his ankle in the first half against Duke, it was Glennon's time, and he led three consecutive touchdown drives to build a 34-7 halftime lead. He kept the job while Taylor healed, and was playing so well that when Taylor was ready to return, Glennon became the dominant side of a two-quarterback system.

''I think Sean Glennon taught us,'' offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring said. ''He went back out there and had the opportunity to play, to start, to get back on the field. I think he had fun. He enjoyed the moment, enjoyed the opportunity.

''We have a tendency to forget that this is a game. It's meant to have fun.''

By example, Beamer said, Glennon also taught the team about perseverence.

''Your actions, for most people, speak a lot louder than words and I think his actions - how he performed when he got another opportunity and the team needed him - speaks volumes,'' Beamer said Wednesday before the team's final walkthrough. ''Within the football team, I think the whole team got a new sense of respect for him, too.''

It's a comeback story the team has enjoyed watching unfold.

''To see him grow, and to see how many people were on his back, and to see him continue to work and see him continue to fight, that's a really good thing. That's a blessing,'' wide receiver Justin Harper said. ''He really has God on his side.''

The offensive line, once held up as the reason for the demotion, is now operating at full strength, and glad to see Glennon taking advantage of his second chance.

''He'd been through a whole lot this season, taking a lot of criticism, having to give the reins up to a true freshman,'' left tackle Duane Brown said.

''He was upset about it for a couple of days, got over it, told himself next time he gets an opportunity he was going to make the most of it and that's what he did.''

Glennon appreciates the good wishes, and is again relishing his role.

''If you asked me would I want to go back and do the season over again, the answer is 'no.' I wouldn't change it for anything,'' he said this week. ''It was a learning experience, a bump in the road, but I've come back strong because of it.''

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Re: Orange Bowl

Kansas offense, Virginia Tech defense is intriguing matchup
ASSOCIATED PRESS

MIAMI  -- When Mark Mangino went to Kansas, he knew changing a woebegone program into a winner would be a major challenge.

He also knew similar turnarounds had been accomplished before.

The one Frank Beamer started a decade earlier at Virginia Tech, for example.

So Mangino modeled large chunks of his Jayhawks' regime after things Beamer did with the Hokies, like trying to be complete in all three aspects of the game, not just offense or defense or special teams.

Those parallels will be on display Thursday night, when No. 8 Kansas (11-1) - perhaps the biggest surprise in college football this season - makes its first Orange Bowl appearance in 39 years against the fifth-ranked Hokies (11-2), champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

''When I first arrived at Kansas, it was disappointing,'' said Mangino, who was 25-35 in his first five Kansas seasons before this year's big turnaround earned him the AP Coach of the Year honors. ''There were days that I was frustrated and said this ought to be better. The University of Kansas deserves better than this in their football program.''

An Orange Bowl trip certainly qualifies as something better, especially for a Kansas team that didn't even head to a postseason game last year.

''You know, they're for real,'' Beamer said.

When the Hokies and Jayhawks talk about the stakes attached to this game, they say the same thing - that even without a national championship on the line, this is the biggest game either program has played in a long, long time.

They might be right.

For Virginia Tech, this is about history, getting to the 12-win mark for the first time and giving fans one more reason to cheer a year that will be remembered as the one following the April 16 on-campus massacre in Blacksburg in which 32 students and professors lost their lives.

''It's just what needs to happen,'' said Beamer, who has the Hokies in their 15th straight bowl game. ''It's what needs to get done. Virginia Tech needed to rally around a football team. ... So we'll rally together and be stronger and tighter than ever. And I think that's what has happened.''

For Kansas, this is about silencing all doubters, the ones who said the Jayhawks only got here because their schedule was softer than a fresh bag of marshmallows and a school-record 11-win season still wasn't good enough to merit a spot in a BCS game.

''I don't think at this point in the season we have to prove ourselves any more,'' quarterback Todd Reesing said. ''We won 11 games this year. How many other teams in the nation can say that? Not many. So you can point to our schedule, but we play in the Big 12. That's a damn good conference.''

Add in the intrigue of a great Kansas offense facing a great Virginia Tech defense, and this might have makings of a classic.

''They're a solid football team and very well-coached and talented,'' Beamer said. ''They've got all the ingredients.''

Kansas' recipe starts with the nation's highest-scoring offense.

Hawaii held that distinction until managing only 10 points against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl, so now the Jayhawks - with their 44.3 points-per-game average - are in the top spot, and some of the stats they've put up this year are ridiculous.

Consider this, for starters: Kansas has 64 offensive touchdowns this year, against only 46 punts. The Jayhawks average 6.4 yards per play, have a two-pronged rushing attack in Brandon McAnderson and Jake Sharp (combined 1,838 yards and 23 scores) and elite receivers in Dexton Fields and Marcus Henry (who combine for 16 yards per catch). The offense is so good, very few people notice that Kansas' defense yielded only 16 points per game.

But it's Reesing who makes the Jayhawks' spread offense work. He completed 63 percent of his passes for 3,259 yards and 32 touchdowns, against only six interceptions in 409 attempts, yet Kansas knows the Hokies will represent the biggest challenge of the season.

''This is the best defense we've played against - by far,'' Kansas tight end Derek Fine said. ''I'm very, very impressed.''

Virginia Tech allows 15.5 points per game, second-best in the nation behind Ohio State, and believes it has enough athleticism in the secondary to keep pace with the Jayhawks.

Still, the Hokies may miss a vital part of their defense.

Linebacker Vince Hall injured his left knee during a jet-skiing outing organized by the game's host committee earlier this week, Beamer said, and may not be ready Thursday night.

With Hall or without, Virginia Tech's defense understands the magnitude of this one.

''People might think that we come to a bowl game every year, so we might not pay attention to this one,'' Hokies defensive end Orion Martin said. ''But we haven't won a BCS game in a while. Coach said this is probably one of our most important games since the '99 national championship game. So we know what's at stake.''

So does Mangino.

For years, Kansas football was the thing that Jayhawk fans did to warm up for basketball season. Not any more, and the coach - who quipped that the program was coming off ''a tough century'' - is relishing this moment.

''Our kids are smart. We're not going to try to fool them and just tell them that this is just another game,'' Mangino said. ''But it's still football ... just a few more people will be paying attention.''

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Re: Orange Bowl

Glennon, Taylor bring unique strengths to Hokies offense
ESPN.com

FT. LAUDERDALE -- Virginia Tech has tried this two-quarterback thing before.

The first time, it didn't work.

In 2003, quarterbacks Marcus Vick and Bryan Randall were each given a quarter in the first half to prove themselves as the best and continue playing in the second half. The coaching staff made it a competition, and instead of worrying about beating their opponents, the Hokies were more concerned about winning the job.

"It just didn't work out," coach Frank Beamer said. "It just wasn't the way to go about it.

"What happened, in the Boston College game really, Bryan went in first, scored a couple of times and was on a roll," Beamer recalled. "Then Marcus came in and didn't do as well, threw an interception. The fans were booing. It just didn't work."

Lesson learned.

For the past four games, the system Virginia Tech has developed for quarterbacks Sean Glennon (the passer) and Tyrod Taylor (the runner) has worked well enough to win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship, a title that earned the Hokies a spot against Kansas in Thursday's FedEx Orange Bowl.

So far, Virginia Tech's system has worked because both players are willing to go along with it, because they have been given margin for error without fear of being benched and because the coaching staff has agreed to it and ironed out the kinks in the logistics of calling the plays.

Beamer said it takes about two or three extra seconds to figure out which quarterback to use.

"It's not just call a play, its call a play and which quarterback is going to run it," he said. "There's a little bit more involved."

Offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring is in the coaches' box calling down to Billy Hite, associate head coach and running backs coach. Hite has the signalers right beside him. He tells them the play and they signal it to the quarterback.

The wrinkle in the system is switching the quarterbacks. If a change is coming, Stinespring will either say "alert" or "on deck." If another quarterback is going in, there is no need to signal in the play because the quarterback will run it in. Glennon and Taylor switched 20 times during their regular-season win against Virginia.

"It's not confusing, but at the same time you don't know when you're going in," said Taylor, who has accounted for five passing touchdowns and six rushing. "It could be on any play. You've got to be in tune with the game so when you get in there you know what you have to do."

In order to save clock time and get the system off to a smooth start, Stinespring said he scripts about 20 to 25 plays the night before and will adjust as necessary.

"In the very beginning, it's not an easy venture to go into," said Stinespring. "If it was, if it didn't require a little bit of work or anything, I think a lot of people would do it, but we still feel like the benefits outweighed the costs.

"It's gone about as smooth as it could go. This is a trial-and-error thing. You're kind of going through uncharted waters every time you do it. … We've changed them in every situation you can be in."

Glennon, a redshirt junior, is the more experienced of the two and has a better understanding of the passing game. The entire playbook is open to him and he usually starts. Glennon has completed 62.8 percent of his passes for 1,636 yards, 11 touchdowns and three interceptions. Glennon was benched, though, after the second game of the season, an embarrassing 48-7 loss to LSU.

Taylor, a true freshman who had planned to redshirt this season, was first brought in because the Hokies weren't getting the pass protection they needed. He brought more mobility and added the running dimension to the offense.

Taylor started five games until he injured his ankle at Duke, giving Glennon his chance at redemption. Glennon played well against Duke, Boston College and Georgia Tech. By then, Taylor was healthy and the coaching staff had a decision to make.

"I had been playing very well I thought," Glennon said. "I had entertained the idea, 'What are they going to do? Are they going to put me back on the bench? Are they going to put Tyrod back on the bench?'"

At the staff meeting on the Monday following the Georgia Tech game, Beamer looked at quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain and asked him, "What are we going to do about this quarterback situation?"

"I said, 'Well, I don't think I would ever have said this, but I think we ought to play both of them,'" O'Cain said. "He said, 'I do, too.' The entire offensive staff felt the same way.

"Now what we had to do at that point was decide exactly how we wanted to do it," O'Cain said. "That Monday afternoon in their position meeting, I told them, 'We're going to play both of you. I don't know how we're going to do it, but we'll have a plan.'"

There's actually no set game plan as to how much either of them is going to play. It's strictly situational and based on field position, down and distance and personnel formations.

"You may have 10 plays, you may have 20 plays," Taylor said. "You never know."

Nor does the Kansas defense know.

"Each quarterback is going to have his tendencies," said Jayhawks corner Aqib Talib. "It's like game planning for two different offenses."

Which is exactly what the Jayhawks have done.

"It's to the point now that you put a tape in there and you know what the next play is," said Kansas defensive coordinator Bill Young. "You've seen it so many times."

Not until game time, though, do even Glennon and Taylor know what to expect.

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Re: Orange Bowl

College Football Gameday

Orange Bowl Preview

The BCS Bowl schedule resumes on Thursday, as the Kansas Jayhawks take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in the Orange Bowl.

The Jayhawks were undefeated heading into their final game of the season against Missouri but came up short against the Tigers in a 36-28 loss as a 1-point favorite, which knocked them out of contention for a national championship. Kansas had one of the best offenses in the nation this season and averaged a second-best 44.3 points per game.

Quarterback Todd Reesing passed for 3259 yards with 32 touchdowns and only six interceptions on the season. Running back Brandon McAnderson rushed for 1050 yards with 16 touchdowns, while Marcus Henry led the team in receiving with 994 yards and nine touchdowns. The Jayhawks were also very stingy on defense, ranking first in the Big 12 and fifth in the country after allowing 16 points per game.

The Hokies won the ACC title after defeating Boston College 30-16 as a 4.5-point underdog in the championship game. Once again Virginia Tech sported one of the best defenses in all of college football after they were ranked second in scoring defense, allowing 15.5 points per game. Offensively the Hokies were also strong behind their quarterback tandem of Sean Glennon and Tyrod Taylor. Glennon threw for 1636 yards with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions, while Taylor passed for 916 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions, and he also ran in six TDs. Virginia will be slightly shorthanded to start the Orange Bowl, as starting running back Branden Ore has been benched for the first quarter as punishment for arriving late to a practice last week. Ore led the Hokies in rushing this season with 876 yards and eight touchdowns.

Kansas last played in a bowl game in 2005 when they defeated Houston 42-13 in the Fort Worth Bowl as a 3-point favorite. The Hokies appeared in last year’s Chick-fil-A Bowl, which they lost to Georgia 31-24 as a 3-point favorite. In this Orange Bowl, the Hokies are a 3-point favorite while the total has been set at 52.5.


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Re: Orange Bowl

Orange Bowl notes

Mangino fan club


Kansas coach Mark Mangino will have a large group of friends and family from his native western Pennsylvania in attendance tonight.

“A lot of my friends back home have had more fun than I’ve had during this run here at Kansas,” Mangino said. “As far as me personally, those guys would be my friend if I was out there digging a ditch somewhere. It’s just they’re excited it’s one of them. One of their guys that’s having this opportunity to coach in the Big 12. Having an opportunity to coach in the Orange Bowl.”

Mangino expressed the irony that he, of all his friends, is the one people recognize. Many of them are doctors, lawyers and corporate executives, he says.

“I have a friend who is a doctor, and he’s keeping people alive,” Mangino said. “He’s a cardiologist. And he has patents on different things for heart disease. Nobody knows him. I coach football, and it’s a big deal. That’s the way our society is.”

Stay away from the jet skis

Virginia Tech may leave the Orange Bowl tomorrow and never jet ski again. Hokies linebacker Vince Hall bruised his knee while jet skiing on the Atlantic Ocean this week.

So Virginia Tech could have to play tonight without one of its best defensive players.

“It will be a game-time decision,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said.The Hokies will go with Brett Warren if Hall can’t play.

Mangino keeps things loose

Mangino was told that quarterback Todd Reesing said the coach liked to joke with the players, specifically Reesing.

“Well,” Mangino said, “I do it not just specifically to Reesing. He thinks it’s exclusive to him (smiling). He’d like to think that. But I do it with everybody. And that’s my way of keeping people loose. You know, we’re playing a football game. We’re not going to fight a war. The kids should enjoy the experience. I tell jokes, and sometimes I don’t tell jokes either. Does (Reesing) tell you about the other things I tell him?”

Mangino was asked whether he would relay one of his jokes.

“No,” he said. “It’s exclusive to our team. I only have so much material. I don’t want it to get out (smiling).”

Loyal to KU

Mangino explained why he is not concerned with any of the current job openings in college football.

“I’ve made myself pretty clear from the outset that we not only have a good football team this year, we’re going to be even better next year,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere. I never say never, but the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

“I’ve invested a lot of hard work and time at Kansas in the face of adversity, among doubters for much of my time here. We’re getting it where we want it to be.”

Beamer: Defensive pressure is key

Beamer wasn’t convinced that his defense’s success would hinge on star cornerbacks Brandon Flowers and Macho Harris against KU’s talented wide receivers.

“I don’t think it will come down to those matchups as much as it will to get some pressure on Kansas,” Beamer said. “That’s going to be the real issue, trying to get the ball out of there a little sooner than Kansas would like.”

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