Temple’s Mike Frost will get his first NCAA Division I start this weekend against the team that boasts the Michael Jordan of college football.
Temple travels to Blacksburg, Va., to take on the third-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies and Heisman Trophy favorite, quarterback Michael Vick.
Frost, who transferred to Temple from Glendale Community college in California after last season, has been hampered by injury this season.
After rotating at quarterback with fellow junior Devin Scott in the Owls’ first game at Navy, Frost was injured against Maryland. He didn’t play against Bowling Green or Eastern Michigan as he recovered from the injury.
In last week’s 29-24 loss to West Virginia, however, Frost replaced Scott in the fourth quarter and scored two quick touchdowns. He started the first drive at the twelve-yard line and made a quick strike to Greg Muckerson for a touchdown.
On the next drive, he went 45 yards and connected with Charles Cobb for a touchdown to give Temple a short-lived 24-23 lead. West Virginia came back and scored a touchdown to defeat Temple, 29-24.
Scott went 12-for-22 for 100 yards and an interception, but the Temple offense stalled in the second half and coach Bobby Wallace opted for Frost.
Frost came in and threw for 154 yards and the two touchdowns on 18-of-32 passing.
“I just feel like Mike deserves to start a game,” Wallace said. “He’s been in on eight series and we scored on five.”
At Glendale Community college, Frost set three school records with 5,192 yards of passing, 5,325 total yards of offense and 44 touchdowns. Frost enrolled at Temple in the spring of 2000 and joined the team this season.
Scott has put up very good numbers this season in the team’s non-conference schedule. He has thrown for 948 yards and five touchdowns and he averages 189.6 yards a game, including a 336-yard performance against Maryland.
Wallace felt like the team needed a different spark to start up the offense last week and Frost will remain in this week.
Expect Scott to play as well. Wallace will likely rotate the two quarterbacks like he did against Navy, before Frost went down with the injury.
“Devin, I’m sure as a quarterback, is disappointed,” Wallace said. “But at the same time he’s a team player.”
While Temple is bouncing around its quarterbacks, Virginia Tech is settled on their man. Michael Vick, widely considered the best quarterback/athlete in the nation, will look to tear apart Temple’s 14th ranked defense.
Vick is so dangerous in that he can pass to beat you (118.3 yards per game this season), and run to beat you (107.3 yards per game).
“Feet and speed. He’s running around on the field like a pro player running around on a high school field,” Wallace said. “It’s like having a Michael Jordan on your team. (He’s) the best college football player I’ve seen in 22 years.”
The Hokies also have tailback Lee Suggs that can hurt teams with his rushing ability. He is averaging 108.3 yards a game this season.
“We’ve got to contain (Vick),” Wallace said. “But at the same time we better stop (Suggs), too. Our defense is good against the run, that’s what they do best.”
The last time Temple traveled to Virginia Tech, in 1998, they wound up winning 28-24 and pulling off a huge upset in the process.
“We certainly remember that,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “Temple is bringing a much better football team this time.”
The game kicks off at Noon on Saturday and will be televised on either Comcast Sportsnet or ESPN 2. The final television decision won’t be made until tomorrow.