PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- It may not have seemed possible in September, but Pittsburgh suddenly has a legitimate chance to win the Big East Conference title.
Fresh off a huge win at Virginia Tech, the 23rd-ranked Panthers play their first game as a ranked team in 11 years when they host Temple on Saturday at Heinz Field.
Should Pittsburgh (7-2, 4-0) get past the Owls, it will battle top-ranked Miami on November 21 at the Orange Bowl. The Panthers and Hurricanes are the unbeaten teams in Big East play.
Brandon Miree scored on a 53-yard run to snap a tie with 4:11 remaining as the Panthers stunned the Hokies, 28-21, for their biggest win under sixth-year coach Walt Harris. Pittsburgh twice erased 14-point deficits.
The Panthers beat the Hokies at their own game, outrushing them, 275-136. Miree ran for 161 yards on 23 carries.
The Panthers, who are seeking their first 8-2 start since 1983, defeated their highest-ranked opponent since Dan Marino led Pittsburgh to a 24-20 victory over No. 2 Georgia in the 1982 Sugar Bowl.
The win propelled Pittsburgh into the national rankings for the first time since October 20, 1991, when it was 23rd in both major polls.
Temple (3-6, 1-3) allowed a season high in points in last week's 46-20 loss to West Virginia. The Owls played well in a 20-10 setback to Virginia Tech on October 2, but never were in the game against the Mountaineers, trailing, 33-0, at the intermission.
Mike McGann passed for three touchdowns after the contest was out of reach. He also was intercepted three times.
Pittsburgh leads the all-time series, 23-8-1, including a 33-7 victory last year that started a season-ending six-game winning streak.
The Panthers have won 13 of their last 15 games overall.