The Rutgers football team will be facing off against Temple tomorrow night. The game will be played at SHI Stadium on Busch campus and was announced to be a blackout game.
The Scarlet Knights (1-0, 1-0) are coming off a well-executed win over Northwestern. The Owls (1-0, 0-0) are coming off a comeback win against Akron. In that game, Temple trailed 21-10 at halftime but scored 14 unanswered points in the second half to win the game.
The Daily Targum sat down with Declan Landis, The Temple news writer, to talk about the matchup.
Rutgers' defense will be looking to shut down the Owls' quarterback E.J. Warner. Warner threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns last week, so the Knights' front seven and secondary will need to be sharp.
"The Rutgers secondary was really good … It is a bit of a concern for E.J.," Landis said. "His teammates have always said that he lives in the film room. If he's not working out, if he's not out on the field, he is in the film room studying."
Landis stressed the importance of Warner getting the ball to his tight ends so Temple could drive the ball downfield.
"The big thing for Temple is can (it) factor in (its) tight ends into the passing game and factor them in early," Landis said. "(Temple has) two really good tight ends in David Martin-Robinson and Jordan Smith."
Both Martin-Robinson and Smith can make catches in traffic, break tackles and gain yards after the catch. The passing game will not rely solely on the tight ends, though.
"(Temple) got Ian Stewart back, who was (the team's) big wide receiver," Landis said. "He is what we call our single digit, who is one of the team leaders. Another guy is Dante Wright, who is the Colorado State transfer."
Stewart caught seven passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns before getting a season-ending foot injury last year.
Wright had 43 catches, 540 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 2021 with Colorado State. He was a key receiver for the Rams and was second on the team in receptions and receiving yards that year.
If the Owls want to win and slow down Rutgers' offense, Temple will need to play to its strengths defensively.
"(Temple's) linebacking core is probably the best part of the roster," Landis said. "(The team has) a lot of really good linebackers from Jordan Magee and Layton Jordan, who was one of the best pass rushers in the country, statistically."
Magee's ability to shoot gaps and stuff runs will pressure the Knights' ground game, whereas Jordan utilizes his athleticism to pressure the quarterback. Jordan got one sack against the Zips (0-1, 0-0) and will look to add more to his stat sheet.
The Owls will seek revenge for their close 16-14 loss against Rutgers last season. When asked about who will win the game, Landis gave the win to Temple.
"I'll go with my gut. I think it's going to be a close game, and it will come down to the end," Landis said. "I'm going to go with Temple ... (by) 3."
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