Michael Vick's fleet feet could have carried him all the way to New Orleans.
Vick, No. 2 Virginia Tech's dazzling freshman quarterback, ran for a season-high 134 yards and two touchdowns and passed for two more as the Hokies allowed a brief early lead by Temple before storming back for a 62-7 win Saturday.
How fast is Vick?
"He's just a special player, and I'm glad he's with us," coach Frank Beamer said. "He's faster than the guys chasing him."
With a win over No. 25 Boston College next Friday, they can finish the regular season undefeated for the first time since going 8-0-1 in 1954.
The Hokies can thank Vick for putting them in that position. He burned the Owls' porous defense with touchdown runs of 53 and 75 yards, and got out of other jams by using his mobility to buy time outside the pocket.
"I was very tired after that. I was out of shape. I have to get in shape," Vick said.
Tech linebacker Ben Taylor said he's scared to see how fast Vick could be if he was in shape.
"He does that all the time," said Taylor, who fired up the defense in the second half with two big hits to break up consecutive pass plays.
"Michael can do whatever he puts his mind to because that's the way he plays," Taylor said.
Virginia Tech hopes their impressive win over Temple (2-8, 2-4) strengthens their position in the Bowl Championship Series standings, where they are second.
Top-ranked Florida State all but clinched a spot in the Sugar, beating No. 3 Florida 30-23 Saturday.
The Hokies also avenged a 28-24 loss to Temple last year in Blacksburg when the Owls were a 35-point underdog.
Vicwas a one-man wrecking crew against Temple's poor-tackling defense. He completed 7-of-10 passes for 171 yards and two long touchdowns to Andre Davis besides his two spectacular touchdown runs.
His most impressive score came early in the third quarter. Under pressure in the pocket at his own 25, Vick eluded a couple tackles, reversed field, then raced 75 yards into the end zone to give the Hokies a 34-7 lead.
"Eighty-five to 95 percent of the other quarterbacks would have been sacked. He goes for two long touchdowns," Temple coach Bobby Wallace said.
Andre Kendrick added two rushing scores, while Larry Austin had a 31-yard interception return for the Hokies. Tech outgained Temple in total yardage (511-224) and first downs (20-10).
Temple quarterback Devin Scott was sacked three times, finishing 12-of-21 passing for 152 yards.
For the first five minutes at least, the Owls played like they could pull off another unlikely upset.
Off the opening kickoff, Scott led Temple's offense to a surprisingly easy scoring drive. Five plays after finding Jamal Wallace down the sideline for a 62-yard completion to the Tech 15, Marcus Godfrey rushed for a 2-yard score to give Temple a 7-0 lead 3:10 into the game.
It was the first time the Hokies were behind in the first quarter all season. It gave them a quick wake-up call.
"I'm not sure we played as consistently as we're used to playing, especially in the first half," Beamer said. "It was an eye-opener certainly."
On the ensuing drive, Vick got out of trouble in the pocket and dashed 53 yards untouched into the end zone for his first touchdown and tie the score at 7 with 10:49 left in the first quarter.
The Hokies were stopped on their next two drives deep in Temple territory, coming away with only Shayne Graham's field goal at the end of the first quarter.
After Austin's interception return, Vick threw two sloppy passes intercepted by Temple's Kevin Harvey on consecutive possessions, and it looked like the Owls may have another shot for an upset.
It only delayed the inevitable.
Vick found Davis for a 65-yard TD pass after Harvey missed a tackle with 2:25 left in the first half. The two connected for a 30-yard TD to put Tech up 41-7 in the third quarter.
"The thing about this team is we don't get down when the other team scores a touchdown. We don't get scared," Vick said. "Sometimes I like to get down because it motivates me to play better."
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