Rutgers 16, Temple 6
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP)—Jeremy Ito kicked three field goals and Ryan Hart threw a late touchdown pass to help Rutgers hold off Temple 16-6 in an error-filled game Saturday.
Rutgers (4-2) won despite committing five turnovers and failing to score a touchdown against the Big East’s worst defense until the final three minutes.
The Scarlet Knights instead relied on Ito, who connected from 43, 27 and 24 yards, and on a defense that sacked Temple quarterback Walter Washington six times.
Hart struggled early but finished 18-for-30 for 193 yards. He was intercepted three times by Temple, which entered the game allowing 265 yards a game through the air, worst in the Big East. Washington was 21-of-39 for 219 yards.
Ryan Lux kicked field goals of 37 and 38 yards for Temple (1-6).
With the two most porous defenses in the Big East opposing one another— Rutgers had allowed 29 points a game and Temple just under 40 before Saturday— many expected a track meet on the new turf at Rutgers Stadium. But neither team could execute in the red zone.
Hart, who came into the game as the Big East’s leading passer with a 288-yard average, was 9-of-16 in the first half but produced only 55 yards. He also threw two interceptions—one in the first quarter that led to a missed field goal by Lux, and another in the second quarter that appeared to result from a miscommunication with his receiver.
Temple’s Jermaine Hargraves returned the second interception to the Rutgers 14, but a penalty on the runback pushed the line of scrimmage back to the 24. After a 5-yard run by Umar Ferguson and two incompletions, Lux gave the Owls a 3-0 lead with a 37-yard field goal.
Rutgers got its initial first down of the game on its next possession on a 26-yard pass from Hart to Tres Moses, and Ito culminated the drive with a 37-yard field goal with 12:00 left to tie the game.
Temple had several chances to take the lead but could not capitalize. In the first quarter, Washington fumbled on the Rutgers 25 on Temple’s second possession. He threw an interception later in the quarter after Jermaine Hargraves had set up the Owls on the Rutgers 33 when he recovered a fumbled snap by Hart.
A first-quarter interception in Rutgers territory by Temple’s Sadeke Konte went for naught when holder Mike McLaughlin fumbled the snap on Lux’s field goal attempt.
Washington drove the Owls to the Rutgers 16 midway through the third quarter, but two penalties and a sack pushed them back to midfield and out of field goal range. Temple got within Lux’s range on its next possession, but he missed a 32-yard attempt at the close of the third quarter.
Lux made it 6-6 with 11:56 left in the game on a 38-yard field goal that followed a 45-yard drive highlighted by a 27-yard run by Tim Brown.
Rutgers finally got in the end zone with 2:55 left when Hart found Willie Foster in the corner of the end zone.