PHILADELPHIA -- Walter Washington scrambled for one big play
after another during Temple's frantic fourth-quarter rally. Then,
one of the simplest plays cost the Owls one of the biggest wins in
Virginia Tech quarterback Bryan Randall ran 23 yards for a
touchdown in overtime, and Temple missed an extra point on its
matching TD, giving the No. 12 Hokies a 24-23 victory Saturday.
"Ten years from now nobody's going to remember who won this
game. They'll remember how they played in it," Temple coach Bobby
Temple (1-9, 0-5 Big East) overcome a 17-0 deficit in the fourth
quarter, with the Owls tying it on Jared Davis' 37-yard field goal
with 40 seconds left in regulation.
Temple won the toss and chose defense. Two plays later, Randall
ran 23 yards for the score.
Temple came right back when Washington found Zamir Cobb in the
flat, with Cobb using a big block to go 22 yards for the touchdown.
Davis, who went 18-for-20 on extra points this season, was wide
left, setting off a wild celebration for the Hokies (8-2, 4-2), who
were nearly upset by Temple for the second time in five years.
"Who knows what would have happened in the next overtime? He
didn't lose the game for us," Wallace said. "It ended the game,
but there were other plays that could have been made."
Temple lost for the third time this year in overtime and lost
for the 11th time in the last 12 games against the Hokies. The
third-ranked Hokies barely survived a 20-10 win last season and the
winless Owls beat the No. 10 Hokies 28-24 in 1998 in Blacksburg.
"They didn't play like a team that had won just one game,"
Hokies coach Frank Beamer said. "Thank goodness we got out of here
with a win. Now let's go back to Blacksburg."
They'll leave with memories of Washington darting around the
Washington, the fleet-footed quarterback starting for injured
Mike McGann (elbow), energized Temple's offense, which was last in
the Big East in passing efficiency.
Washington finished with 151 yards rushing -- the first 100-yard
effort ever by a Temple quarterback. He used his feet, and one
clutch pass, to bring Temple back in the fourth.
With Virginia Tech leading 17-0 early in the fourth, Washington
threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Umar Ferguson to make it 17-7.
Later in the fourth, Washington's 34-yard run to the 1 set up a
scoring run by Ferguson on the next play.
Then, Washington came through with one of Temple's most
important plays of the year. With the Owls facing fourth-and-9 at
the Hokies 45, Washington dropped back and connected with Phil
Goodman for a 30-yard gain.
Four plays later, Davis kicked his 37-yarder and was mobbed by
teammates, silencing the thousands of Hokies' fans who made the
"We got a lot of inspiration out of Walter's play," Wallace
said. "He picked everybody up in the stadium that was for Temple.
He got everybody excited and believing."
Just minutes later, however, those same Virginia Tech fans would
be going wild when Davis missed the biggest kick of his career.
The game wasn't supposed to be this hard for the Hokies, who
were coming off a 31-28 loss at Pittsburgh that knocked them out of
the national and conference title picture.
"Pennsylvania's a tough state," quipped Hokies linebacker
Virginia Tech was sluggish in the first half and led only 3-0 at
the half, giving Washington and the Owls the opening they needed
for an upset.
Washington opened the game with a 39-yard run and seemingly
never stopped. His most impressive effort was a 9-yard run where he
dragged a pile of defenders for about 7 of those yards.
"We couldn't get him on the ground. I think they found a
quarterback," Beamer said.
Virginia Tech finally broke through in the third quarter, when
Kevin Jones scored on a 9-yard run on the opening drive. The Hokies
made it 17-0 on a 28-yard TD pass from Randall to Ernest Wilford 37
seconds into the fourth.
Jones, a Chester, Pa., native, ran for 150 yards and a
touchdown, despite being sick for most of the game. Jones said he
felt drained after throwing up twice on the sidelines, which he
blamed on a bad pregame meal.
Jones did finish with his seventh 100-yard game this season, a
Virginia Tech was driving for the win late in the fourth when
Randall's pass was intercepted by Jonathan McPhee and returned to
the Hokies' 33.
Davis missed a 50-yarder as time expired.
"I guess they thought we were going to be a pushover, but we
showed we can play with them any time," Washington said.
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