Devin Scott, a freshman starting his first game against the nation's fourth-best defense, threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns to lead previously winless Temple to a 28-24 come-from-behind road victory over No. 14 Virginia Tech Saturday at Blacksburg, Va.
Temple, which entered the game 0-26 in Big East Conference road games, trailed by 17 points but rallied with three second-half touchdowns--including a game-winning one-yard run by Scott.
"I was just having fun out there," said Scott, who began the season as the Owls' third-string quarterback. "I like to pass. This is an option team, but I like to throw the ball and every time the coach calls a pass play I get excited."
For the Owls (1-6 overall and 1-2 Big East), it was their first victory over a ranked team since Sept. 19, 1987, when they defeated No. 16 Pittsburgh, 24-21. Temple's victory is even more impressive considering that the Owls had 10 players making their first starts of the season because of injuries.
"I've never seen a more injured, beat up football team in my life," Temple Coach Bobby Wallace said. "They were just playing their hearts out."
Led by Leon Gray's interception late in the fourth quarter, Temple's defense made enough big plays to stop Virginia Tech (5-1, 3-1).
"That last goal-line play, we just kicked that door down," Wallace said.
Virginia Tech's Nick Sorensen, a safety brought back to quarterback at midseason, engineered the last drive in the final 1:28 with six consecutive completions and a four-yard run. But wide-open Ricky Hall dropped what looked like an easy touchdown pass in the end zone with 24 seconds to play before Lamont Pegues, who rushed for a career-high 166 yards, was stopped to end the game at the Temple two.
This is the second year in a row that Virginia Tech suffered a homecoming upset loss. Last season, Miami of Ohio defeated the Hokies, 24-17.
This one hurt even more.
"I've never been so embarrassed in my life," Virginia Tech defensive end Corey Moore said. "I'm shellshocked. We're the laughingstock of college football right now and deservedly so."
Virginia Tech outgained Temple, 480-357, and Sorensen completed 14 of 24 passes for 143 yards, but he threw two interceptions and fumbled once.
"It was a great game, a tough game," Sorensen said. "We just didn't pull it out in the end."
In the first half, Sorensen threw a screen pass to Jarrett Ferguson for a 26-yard touchdown.
Shayne Graham kicked a 28-yard field goal on Virginia Tech's next possession, and Sorensen put the Hokies ahead, 17-0, with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Hall on a slant pattern.
"Sometimes I think when you get momentum early in a game you let up a bit," Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer said. "It looked like things were going our way and it was going to be a ho-hum day, and then we started to play ho-hum."
Sorensen said: "I thought the game was over."
Temple finally scored when fullback Rasha Harrison turned a screen pass into a 67-yard touchdown, and it didn't let up thereafter.
"One big play let them back in the game," Moore said. "That gave them confidence and the momentum."
Temple got another touchdown on a 13-yard run by Jason McKie, and, with 9:07 remaining in the third quarter, Scott completed an 80-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Johnson to put the Owls ahead, 21-17.