Temple was 0-26 in Big East road games, trailed 14th-ranked Virginia Tech by 17 points and had to count on a freshman quarterback in his first career start against the nation's No. 4 defense.
And with Devin Scott "just having fun out there," the 18-year-old came through Saturday, rallying the Owls to three second-half touchdowns and a 28-24 shocker against the previously unbeaten Hokies.
Scott threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns, then scored the game-winner on a 1-yard run with 6:04 left as the Owls (1-6, 1-2 Big East) handed the Hokies (5-1, 3-1) their second consecutive homecoming horror show.
Last year, Miami of Ohio beat the Hokies 24-17 on homecoming weekend.
This one hurt even more.
"I've never been so embarrassed in my life. I'm shellshocked. We're the laughingstock of college football right now and deservedly so," Virginia Tech defensive end Corey Moore said.
It was Temple's first victory over a ranked team since Sept. 19, 1987, when the Owls beat No. 16 Pittsburgh 24-21. They did it with 10 players making their first starts of the season because of a rash on injuries.
Because the Owls are so much smaller, Temple coach Bobby Wallace said he experimented with a new defensive alignment, which inexperienced Hokies quarterback Nick Sorensen said threw them off for a while.
"I've never seen a more injured, beat-up football team in my life,"> Wallace said of his team. "They were just playing their hearts out."
Scott, a third-stringer who Temple had planned to redshirt, got help from Leon Gray -- whose interception stalled a late Virginia Tech drive -- and from his defense, which stopped Lamont Pegues on the last play from the Temple 2.
"That last goal-line play, we just kicked that door down," Wallace said.
Sorensen, a safety brought back to quarterback at midseason, engineered the last drive in the final 1:28 with six consecutive completions and a 4-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 Pegues was stuffed.
The tailback already had rushed for a career-high 166 yards.
Both teams were playing without their top two quarterbacks, and Virginia Tech dominated until the last minute of the first half, outgaining Temple 232-42 and outscoring the Owls 17-0.
"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."
"I thought the game was over," Sorensen said.
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 connected with Carlos Johnson across the middle for an 80-yard touchdown to put the Owls ahead 21-17.
Scott said he had been missing the long post pass all week in practice, and Gray interrupted him to say, "You hit the one that counts."
After Shayne Graham missed a 47-yard field-goal attempt for Virginia Tech, the Hokies got the ball back and Pegues scored on a sweep on fourth-and-goal from the 1 to put Virginia Tech back up 24-21.
But Temple took the ensuing kickoff and drove the length of the field for the winning score.
"I was just having fun out there," said Scott, who was 4-for-9 with no interceptions. "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."
Virginia Tech outgained Temple 480-357. 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 across the middle.
But the Hokies blew two other good scoing chances, losing a fumble at the Temple 2-yard-line and missing a 27-yard field goal attempt.
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