Saturday, Oct. 7 12:00pm ET
Temple no match for undefeated Hokies


BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer told the media early last week that freshman cornerback Eric Green was the best man for the starting job.

Green, who made his first start for the No. 3 Hokies on Saturday, proved his coach right. Green intercepted two passes -- one in the end zone -- to help Virginia Tech beat Temple 35-13.

"I knew I had to come out and play my `A' game," Green said. "I'm feeling pretty good right now. I came out and did what I needed to do in my first big game."

Green was backed up by the rest of Virginia Tech's defense, which held Temple to just 116 total yards. The Hokies had six sacks.

"They played extremely well on defense, but I think we played pretty poorly on offense," Temple coach Bobby Wallace said.

Linebacker Jake Houseright tipped a pass from Mike Frost in the third quarter and Green intercepted it and returned it 41 yards. That play set up a touchdown that gave the Hokies (5-0, 3-0 Big East) a 28-13 lead. Green intercepted another pass in the end zone with nine minutes left to play.

"I told you guys that Eric Green is a freshman that doesn't play like a freshman," Beamer said. "I thought he made a heck of a catch on that tipped ball at a critical point of the ball game."

Temple (3-3, 0-2) cut the Hokies' 21-7 halftime lead when quarterback Michael Vick fumbled on the first play of the third quarter and linebacker Taylor Suman recovered for the Owls to set up Mike Frost's 26-yard TD pass to Charles Cobb.

Vick turned the ball over three times, was sacked four times, and rushed for just 55 yards. He had averaged 107.3 yards.

"Sometimes things just weren't coming together," Vick said. "The first interception was a bad read. The second one, I was trying to make too much happen. The fumbles, I don't know what to say about that."

Vick was 14-of-28 passing for 162 yards.

"Michael needs to be himself and not make anything more than what it is and not make anything less than what it is," Beamer said. "He just needs to go and play and that's probably going to be good enough."

Virginia Tech came out strong, taking a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter, but then linebacker Chonn Lacey intercepted a pass by Vick and ran 65 yards for a touchdown with about a minute left in the half.

"I think Temple is a much improved football team," Beamer said. "They play good defense, they fly around and they have some good athletes."

Virginia Tech took the lead after Wayne Ward blocked a punt two minutes into the game. Linebacker Ben Taylor recovered and ran for 9 yards. On the ensuing possession, tailback Lee Suggs ran 7 yards for the touchdown.

"I think we played well, for the most part, and were able to get some points out of our special teams," Beamer said. "We've got some good potential out here, but we've got to get some things ironed out. We've got to make sure we're not turning the ball over."

Green moved into the starting lineup after Larry Austin injured his knee last week against Boston College.

Virginia Tech holds an 11-3 lead in its meetings with Temple. The Hokies won last year's game 62-7 in Philadelphia.

Saturday's game was the first time the Owls returned to Lane Stadium since they upset the Hokies 28-24 in 1998. They went in as 35-point underdogs, but scored 21 second-half points to send the Hokies to their first loss in six games.

Even Beamer acknowledged having flashbacks to that game when Temple cut the lead to eight points in the third quarter.

"I thought, 'Geez, is this is going to be a replay?" he said with a grin. "But the outcome wasn't the same. We got it done."

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 Michael Vick's first completiton is a 41-yard TD toss to Cullen Hawkins.
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 Michael Vick flies in for the touchdown on this 5-yard run.
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 Lee Suggs scores the easy 7-yard TD against Temple.
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