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Three takeaways from Rutgers football's commanding win over Temple

Senior wide receiver JaQuae Jackson had a breakout game for the Rutgers football team, catching four passes for 95 yards and helping the Scarlet Knights beat Temple by a score of 36-7. – Photo by Ben Solomon /

The Rutgers football team defeated Temple by a score of 36-7 in a blackout game in SHI Stadium on Busch campus yesterday night.

The Scarlet Knights (2-0, 1-0) have now defeated the Owls (1-1, 0-0) in back-to-back-to-back seasons and are 2-0 to start the season for the third straight year. Here are three takeaways from the win.

Another good outing from Gavin Wimsatt

After leading the charge in last week's win against Northwestern, junior quarterback Gavin Wimsatt put up another efficient stat line against Temple.

In the first quarter, Wimsatt used his legs to get a 17-yard first down and bring Rutgers into enemy territory.

A few plays later, Wimsatt was able to find freshman running back Ja'shon Benjamin wide open on a swing pass to his left side. Benjamin took it 33 yards to the endzone for his first collegiate touchdown.

In the second quarter, on 2nd and 20, Wimsatt had enough time in the pocket to sky a deep ball to senior wide receiver JaQuae Jackson for a 61-yard completion. The completion set up the Knights' second field goal of the night to extend their lead to 13-0. It was the longest completed pass in Wimsatt's collegiate career.

Wimsatt finished the game with 198 pass yards, 24 rushing yards and no turnovers.

"(Wimsatt's) a competitor, that's one thing about him," Jackson said. "He's fit to handle any situation that comes his way. He's the leader of this offense, so he's going to make sure we chop every moment and we get the offense going every time."

Head coach Greg Schiano commended Wimsatt's play in his postgame press conference.

"I think he performed very efficiently," Schiano said. "No turnovers, two weeks in a row. I mean, the one ball he threw to (Jackson) was beautiful … I thought he managed the game right. He played well … Overall, I think (this was) another step in the right direction."

The running backs show up

Junior running back Kyle Monangai earned a career-high rushing day after totaling 165 yards. In the fourth quarter, he rushed six straight times for 57 yards, capping the drive off with a one-yard score to put Rutgers up 19-7.

"I like to prepare myself for any situation," Monangai said after the game. "If I got to go drive eight straight plays, eight straight runs, then that's what I got to do."

It wasn't just Monangai. Benjamin also caught a touchdown and rushed five times for 36 yards. Sophomore running back Samuel Brown V returned from injury with a touchdown to put the Knights up 29-7 while adding a 27-yard reception. Junior running back Al-Shadee Salaam also scored a touchdown to secure his team's lead.

"We have a whole bunch of talent in that (running back room)," Monangai said. "Blessed to be in the same room as those guys. We make each other better ... I just try and think about what I can do to help the guys in my room first and then (expand on) what I can do to make the team better. That's just the same mentality every day."

The Dark Side defense

Once again, the Rutgers defense showed out. "The Dark Side defense," as the players call themselves, thrived against the Owls.

The Knights pressured Temple quarterback E.J. Warner all game, getting six quarterback hits, 13 pass breakups and two interceptions.

 "I think they are just scratching the surface, but I think they are playing well," Schiano said of the defense. "I think the defensive players have a great bond with the staff and with each other. It's neat to watch. I enjoy being around them."

Rutgers will look to build off its momentum as the team stays home for a third straight week to face off against Virginia Tech at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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

To view more of Josh Meyers' work, follow @JoshCMeyers on X.

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