For Virginia Tech, the 1990 team was like a Super Ball in the hands of an eight-year-old: you never knew which way it was going to go. The Hokies evened their record at 3-3 with a 26-21 win over West Virginia in Blacksburg, which always made everybody happy. But next was a trip to Philadelphia to play Temple, and for the fourth time that season, a late rally spoiled the day. Favored by 5½ points, Tech lost 31-28.
“For us, it was the most disappointing game of the season,” outside linebacker Archie Hopkins said.
Seven games into the season, the Hokies were a team with 10 gallons of gas in a 13-gallon tank, getting outscored 67-13 in the fourth quarter.
The Temple game was miserable all around. Even though it was played at an NFL venue, the Veterans Stadium turf was so bad it should have been cordoned off with black-and-yellow crime scene tape.
“In the areas where the turf covered the baseball infield, the field was raised as much as one or two inches,” recalled placekicker Scott Freund.
Added offensive lineman Marc Verniel: “It was like a thin layer carpet on top of plywood.”
After playing on the seamy field, five Hokies suffered either sprained knees or ankles, and 16 Hokies needed treatment on Sunday. In the fourth quarter, Tech had to play without four of its most important players: quarterback Will Furrer, tailback Vaughn Hebron, center Jim Pyne, and safety Damien Russell. Furrer’s loss was particularly galling, because Temple linebacker...
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