PHILADELPHIA, OCT. 20 -- The fourth quarter blues was the theme song once again for Virginia Tech today. The Hokies gave up 14 points in the last period and lost, 31-28, when Temple quarterback Matt Baker threw to Kevin McCoy for a 15-yard touchdown with 1:51 left.
In seven games this year, Tech has been outscored by 63-17 in the fourth quarter.
"It just seemed like we weren't meant to win," Hokies Coach Frank Beamer said. "I've never seen such poor tackling in all my life. We did all the things a team does when it's not ready to play."
Baker, who completed 23 of 35 passes -- including his final nine -- for 270 yards, directed Temple (3-3) on its winning six-play drive after Mark Ellis recovered a fumble on the Virginia Tech 44.
With starting Hokies quarterback Will Furrer sidelined -- his left ankle was hurt on a late hit earlier in the quarter -- backup Rodd Wooten took over. Starting at his 24, he threw two short passes for eight yards and took a late hit for a 15-yard penalty. But on the next play Temple hit him from behind, popped the ball loose, recovered and ran out the clock.
"We said going into the ballgame we wanted to be in it in the fourth quarter," Temple Coach Jerry Berndt said.
Temple's heroics could be greatly credited to Virginia Tech's poorest defensive effort of the season. The Owls, who rushed for minus 26 yards last year against the Hokies, had 155 yards today.
Virginia Tech did overcome some poor tackling by intercepting Baker three times. But in the fourth quarter, the Hokies did almost everything wrong. Mickey Thomas missed a 43-yard field goal, his second of the day, fullback Phil Bryant fumbled deep in his territory -- it led to the winning touchdown -- and Wooten fumbled.
With 4:37 to play, Temple assistant coach Earle Mosley began choking. He collapsed on the sideline and play stopped immediately as medical personnel worked on him.
Berndt said that Mosley, 43, apparently choked on some phlegm. After several minutes, he was revived and play resumed.