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Stanford perfect opportunity for Hokies

With all Virginia Tech accomplished this season -- an 11-game winning streak, an undefeated ride through the conference schedule -- it would seem as if the Hokies don't have anything left to prove.

Their 9-14 bowl record says otherwise.

Virginia Tech's matchup against No. 4 Stanford in the Discover Orange Bowl is an open invitation for the Hokies to prove they can beat a ranked opponent in a BCS bowl. Dominating the ACC year in and year out is one thing, but beating ranked opponents not named Cincinnati anywhere besides Blacksburg is another. Over the past decade, Virginia Tech has made strides in reversing that losing bowl record, and it can take another step forward this year by beating Stanford.

Since the loss to Florida State in the 2000 Sugar Bowl, Virginia Tech has won five bowl games, including the past two against unranked Tennessee and No. 12 Cincinnati. The 2008 (the 2009 Orange Bowl), win over Cincinnati was the only ranked opponent Virginia Tech has beaten in a bowl game this decade.

If Virginia Tech is going to add Stanford to that list, the onus is on the defense, just as it was in the season opener against Boise State. Stanford is No. 1 in the country in sacks allowed (.42), No. 8 in scoring offense (40.33), No. 14 in total offense (467.33) and No. 3 in turnover margin (1.17).

If the Hokies can stop Andrew Luck & Co., it would arguably be the biggest bowl win the program has seen in more than a decade -- the biggest since Virginia Tech beat Texas in the 1995 Sugar Bowl.