Andrew Luck gets a chance to shine in the glitz and glamour of Miami against one of the top pass defenses in the nation.
Fifth-ranked Stanford (11-1) accepted an invitation to the Discover Orange Bowl, where the Cardinal will face Atlantic Coast Conference champion Virginia Tech (11-2) on Monday, Jan. 3. Game time is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PT at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. and will be televised on ESPN. It's the first-ever meeting between the schools.
"I am very proud of our football team and I am happy to accept the invitation to have our team play in the Discover Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech," Stanford Director of Athletics Bob Bowlsby said. "Our team has completed a very successful regular season and I am certain they will play very well against an excellent Virginia Tech team."
Stanford is making its second straight bowl appearance and 22nd overall, having compiled a 9-10-1 record in previous postseason games. This marks the Cardinal's third bowl appearance in the state of Florida, where it competed in the 1986 Gator Bowl and 1993 Blockbuster Bowl, and first January bowl showing since it faced Wisconsin in the 2000 Rose Bowl.
Under head coach Jim Harbaugh, Stanford won 11 games for the first time in school history and also set a school-record with eight conference victories.
"It means our team played well and deserved something good to happen," Harbaugh said. "It should be a great matchup. Now that we know who we play, we're looking forward to practice Monday."
The Cardinal has the nation's eighth-highest scoring offense with an average of 40.3 points a game. Stanford scored a school-record 484 points.
In addition, Stanford is ranked 14th nationally in total offense (467.33), 17th in rushing offense (211.0) and 30th in passing offense (256.33).
The Cardinal also ranks in the top 25 nationally in five defensive categories, including scoring defense (11th; 17.73), interceptions (17; t-11th), passing efficiency defense (21st; 113.11), total defense (24th; 325.75) and rushing defense (24th; 125.42).
Virginia Tech has won 11 straight, including a 44-33 victory over Florida State in the Dr. Pepper Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game to earn the right to represent the ACC in the Discover Orange Bowl. The Hokies lost their first two games.
The Hokies will be making their fourth appearance in the Discover Orange Bowl and third in the past four seasons, dropping games to Kansas in 2008 and Cincinnati in 2009.
The Discover Orange Bowl has been played annually since January 1, 1935 and along with the Sugar Bowl and Sun Bowl, is the second oldest bowl game in the country, behind the Rose Bowl, which was first played in 1902 and annually since 1916.