The Rutgers football team faced a tough matchup on the road to end its non-conference schedule but were able to hold on and defeat Temple 16-14. With the win, head coach Greg Schiano now holds the most coaching victories in program history, passing former head coach Frank Burns with his 79th win leading the Scarlet Knights (3-0, 0-0).
The Owls (1-2, 0-0) struck first at Lincoln Financial Field, capping off a 12-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run from Quincy Patterson. Rutgers responded with a field goal from junior kicker Jude McAtamney, but Temple held a surprising 7-3 lead after 15 minutes.
The second quarter saw both offenses held in check, but the Knights were able to capitalize on defense to take the lead into the halftime break. Sophomore defensive back Shaquan Loyal batted a ball up in the air, came down with it for an interception and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown to gain a 3-point advantage.
Defense dominated the game on both sides of the ball as only two offensive touchdowns were recorded in the game, both scored by the Owls. Rutgers increased its lead to 9 with two field goals in the second half before Temple answered early in the fourth as Jordan Smith caught a 47-yard pass from E.J. Warner to bring the game within 2.
After the touchdown, the Knights held the ball for 8 minutes before punting it away and were able to cause a turnover on downs to secure the victory and escape Philadelphia still undefeated.
The Rutgers offense saw many of the early season storylines continue to play out, with the rushing attack taking charge while the passing game struggled. Sophomore quarterback Evan Simon saw most of the passing action, completing 9 of his 15 attempts while fellow sophomore quarterback Gavin Wimsatt attempted just two passes, completing one.
In total, the Knights mustered just 59 passing yards. Warner had 215 yards himself with one touchdown. The rushing attack told another story, as Rutgers outgained the Owls 142-49. Senior tight end Johnny Langan saw extended time at running back, gaining a team-high 79 yards on nine carries.
The Knights now move into one of their biggest game weeks of the season with a game against Iowa. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday at SHI Stadium on Busch campus and will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1 and 88.7 WRSU-FM.
“I’m really proud of our football team,” Schiano said. “One of my mentors taught me, ‘On a day when you're not throwing your fastball, you have to be good enough to find a way to win,' and that’s what we did today.”
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