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Rutgers football looks to remain undefeated against Temple

Sophomore quarterback Evan Simon and the Rutgers football team will look to continue their hot start of the season on the road against Temple. – Photo by AJ Mast /

Coming off of a blowout against overmatched opponent Wagner, the Rutgers football team finishes its non-conference schedule this weekend when the team goes on the road to face Temple. The Scarlet Knights (2-0, 0-0) and the Owls (1-1, 0-0) matched up in last year’s season opener, with Rutgers taking a dominant 61-14 victory. 

The Knights put their home opener away just 15 minutes into the game, scoring on four first-quarter drives to take a 28-point lead. Three different players threw a touchdown pass, the first time this has happened for the program since 1997. In total, Rutgers registered nine offensive touchdowns and more than 500 yards of total offense.

The quarterback battle continues in Piscataway as both sophomore quarterbacks Evan Simon and Gavin Wimsatt took snaps on Saturday. Simon was the most efficient passer, completing 10 of his 12 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns.

Wimsatt completed just 4 of 12 along with throwing an interception. In addition, senior quarterback Noah Vedral could come back into the fold this week, but his status is still unknown after missing the first two games.

“He is progressing, so he's doing more things this week than he did last week,” said head coach Greg Schiano when asked about Vedral. “It's still too early to tell. Can he play this week? I don't know. It's all going to depend on Tuesday and Wednesday how fast he progresses. But look, we are just playing it by ear.”

The Knights have been lockdown on defense through their first two games, ranking second in the country in rushing defense and ninth in total defense. Sophomore defensive back Robert Longerbeam has recorded interceptions in both games, solidifying his starting spot after large signs of development in his first year on the Banks.

Rutgers will match up with Temple for the 38th time in program history. The Knights lead the series 22-15 and are on a five-game winning streak in the series. 

The Owls are coming off of a 16-point victory over Lafayette last weekend. E.J. Warner, son of NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, made his collegiate debut in the game, throwing for 173 yards and two touchdowns. De’Von Fox made a huge impact on special teams, blocking three different punts.

The game will kick off at Lincoln Financial Field at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The broadcast will take place through ESPN+ and the radio broadcast will be available on 88.7 WRSU-FM.

“I've already heard and I don't know how accurate it is, but I hear there's 14 to 20 buses full of Rutgers students going down,” Schiano said. “I really anticipate we are going to have a heck of a Rutgers turnout down at Lincoln Financial Field. Great stadium, great venue, and I hear there's pep rallies everything and else. I love it. Let's paint that place scarlet. They are cherry, right? So let's paint it scarlet."

For more updates on the Rutgers football team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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