The Hokies were a top 10 team in the preseason, but they started with consecutive losses to Boise State and James Madison.
Rather than sulk, Frank Beamer's squad found some motivation and have rolled off 11 straight wins since. It's a cliche but the game could come down to who simply wants it more.
"You want the thrill of winning, the great thrill of victory, and accomplishing victory as a team. You know that's what our guys will be playing for. They'll be playing for each other," says Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh.
"We haven't won a big caliber game against a team that's been ranked real high in a long time. So just to go out there and get a win against this team and how talented they are would mean a lot for me and the team," said Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor.