Typically, college football bowl games become meaningless exhibitions with little at stake. On Monday night, in the Orange Bowl, the Stanford Cardinal came in with something to prove. The Cardinal did just that, cruising to a 40-12 win over the Virginia Tech Hokies in Miami. But it was the game of one player, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, that stood tall above the rest.
Should he declare for the 2011 NFL Draft, Luck would likely be the No. 1 overall pick. Even before he hit the field on Monday, Luck had franchise quarterback written all over him. But against Virginia Tech, in front of a national audience, Luck put on his surgeon gloves and went to work, dismantling the Hokie defense with clinical precision.
Luck’s line to finish the game? 18-23 for 286 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. That still doesn’t explain the show he put on. Under pressure, he eluded defenders and threw on the run. In the fourth quarter, Luck faced pressure, got out of it and hit Cody Fleener with a strike for a touchdown. It was a play that had scouts foaming at the mouth.
While the Seahawks search for a franchise quarterback, it’s looking more and more like Luck is the prize of the 2011 NFL Draft. Now all we have to do is hope one of the other, almost-top-end quarterbacks is around when Seattle steps to the podium in April.