Temple vs. Rutgers: Five keys for Saturday night’s game

Rutgers football got a big season-opening win on Sunday, taking down a Big Ten rival in Northwestern. Now they must get ready to take on the Temple on Saturday night.

Rutgers (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten) will host Temple (1-0) at SHI Stadium on Saturday (7:30 p.m.).

The Scarlet Knights are seeking to start 2-0 for the third straight season. Their matchup on Saturday will mark the 39th time Rutgers and Temple have faced each other. Rutgers leads the series 23-15 and won the last six meetings. The Scarlet Knights are 15-6 at home against the Owls, and Saturday’s game will be the third consecutive season the two teams have met on the gridiron.

In 2022, the Scarlet Knights picked up a road win when they narrowly defeated Temple 16-14. Can the Scarlet Knights defend their home turf and beat the Owls for the seventh consecutive time?

Scroll down for five things to look for in Rutgers’ Week 2 matchup against the Temple Owls.

Consistency from quarterback Gavin Wimsatt

In his week one game, quarterback Gavin Wimsatt played mistake-free football. He navigated the Scarlet Knights’ offense on two 16-play drives, scoring a touchdown on both drives to start the game. Wimsatt went 17-of-29 for 163 yards with a touchdown pass and touchdown run. He had zero turnovers and allowed Rutgers to have a time of possession of 37:56, the second-highest mark in a Big Ten play. Week two will test Wimsatt’s development as he prepares to have back-to-back solid performances.


Can the offense get the running game going?

The Scarlet Knights were missing two of their four running backs in week one, with Samuel Brown V and Aaron Young missing the home opener because of injuries. Junior running back Kyle Monangai and freshman Ja’shon Benjamin picked up the slack, rushing for 99 yards on 34 carries. The two running backs only averaged 2.9 yards a carry, an area where Rutgers will look to improve in week two.


Chris Long to step up in the passing game

Chris Long, Rutgers junior wide receiver, recorded two catches for 28 yards in his week one matchup against the Wildcats. In 2022, Long logged 15 receptions for 200 yards and one touchdown in 12 games. The 6-foot 175-pound wide receiver started to merge as a deep threat for the Scarlet Knights, recording one catch in his last 11 games last season. Look for Long to get going in his week two matchup against Temple.


Rutgers continues to play defense at a high level

The Scarlet Knights’ defense was lights-out in their home opener, holding the Wildcats to 201 total yards and only 12 rushing yards. Rutgers allowed the fewest yards against a Big Ten opponent since joining the conference in 2014. The Scarlet Knights recorded five sacks, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles. Look for Rutgers to start fast on offense to establish an early lead, leaning on their dominant defense to pull out the victory.



Rutgers to win the turnover battle

The Scarlet Knights won the turnover battle by producing two interceptions in their week one matchup. The Rutgers defense gave their offense two extra opportunities to score points. With young players on offense, the more opportunities to produce points, the better the outcome. Wimsatt needs to manage the game and protect the football if the Scarlet Knights want to go 2-0 on the season.

Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire