I'm struck by a few things. First, Virginia Tech is a damn good team, especially the defense. Watching the Mighty Card as closely as I have this year, there are things that I've gotten used to. The running game will be dominant; Andrew Luck will direct long, productive drives; the receivers will find space whether playing against a zone or a man scheme.
None of that has been true tonight. Aside from two long runs by Jeremy Stewart -- Jeremy Stewart! -- the Stanford ground game has been nonexistent. As a result, things have been more difficult for Luck and his receiving corps. Luck has been efficient (9 for 13) but not prolific (85 yards).
The big story, though, has been Tyrod Taylor. The Virginia Tech quarterback has been as good as advertised, or even better. He's had a few critical scrambles, but his biggest moment was an absolutely amazing play early in the second quarter. After the Hokies had driven to a first and goal, the Stanford defense pushed them back on consecutive plays to force a third down from the twelve. On that third down Taylor was forced to scramble all the way back beyond the twenty, chased by Owen Marecic. As he neared the Stanford sideline, Taylor executed a nifty hop step to avoid a diving Marecic, tiptoed along the sideline, then floated a pass into the endzone for a touchdown. It was pure Michael Vick.
Overall, though, the Stanford defense played well, led by linebacker Shayne Skov, who's likely playing his way onto a lot of 2011 preseason honors lists.
The adjustments have been made. Now let's see how the second half shakes out.