Temple Could Not Put Together A Complete Game Against No. 15 Rutgers
Temple was looking for its first ever 3-0 start in conference play, but with 15th-ranked Rutgers coming into the Linc, history was not on the Owls side – they had only beaten a ranked team three times in 75 chances since 1974.
The 35,145 people that came out to the Linc made for the third largest crowd for a Temple football game. These fans saw a game with two completely different halves. Temple jumped out to a 10-0 first half lead, holding Rutgers to only three first downs and 100 yards on offense. Montel Harris had 12 carries for 50 yards in the first half. Rutgers had not allowed a 100 yard rusher in ten straight games, and it looked like Montel had a good chance of snapping that streak. The Owls’ fans were in good spirits going into the locker room with a potential upset brewing.
As the 2nd half started, it looked like Temple forgot to come out of the locker room as it quickly gave up a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that only took the Scarlet Knights two minutes to complete. This cut the lead to 10-7 and the momentum shift was obvious. Temple went on to give up two more long touchdown drives of 80 and 90 yards in the third quarter and the score quickly ballooned to 21-10. The Scarlet Knights had scored 21 unanswered points in the third quarter and their fans were making much more noise then the Owls faithful.
Head coach Steve Addazio said after the game, “It looked we ran out of gas in the third quarter, we looked fatigued, we’re a little thin right now and do not have much depth. The guys came out of the locker room flat and it was tough to watch”.
The fourth quarter was much of the same for the Knights, as they blocked a punt leading to short 30 yard touchdown drive and then recovered a fumble by quarterback Chris Coyer for a touchdown to extend the lead to 25 points. After Coyer’s fumble, which was his second turnover of the game, he was pulled in favor of Clinton Granger, AKA Juice, a 6-foot-3 220-pound junior.
Addazio commented on the QB change afterwards saying, “I wanted to see Juice get some reps, I was not liking what I was seeing from the offense and I needed to change it up. The quarterback competition is always open, the best man is going to play”. Sounds like a quarterback controversy may be brewing if Coyer continues his inconsistent play.
The game ended 35-10, it was an ugly second half for the Owls as they only accumulated 90 yards of offense and gave up 35 points on the other side of the ball. Rutger’s quarterback Gary Nova lit up the Owls for 230 yards and four touchdowns. Running Back Jawan Jamison also rushed for for 114 yards on 19 carries, while catching five balls for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Temple let this one slip away yesterday, but now its focus has to be on not letting the season snowball as the Owls have two tough road games coming up against Pittsburgh and Louisville. They have to get back on the saddle and have a good week of practice, or they are going to have a rude awakening when they go on the road for a cross state battle against Pittsburgh.