PHILADELPHIA (October 20, 2012) – A second half surge with four touchdown passes from sophomore QB Gary Nova (Elmwood Park, N.J.) powered the Rutgers football team to a 35-10 win at Temple on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field. The victory improved the Scarlet Knights to 7-0 for the third time since 1976. RU is now 4-0 in BIG EAST action for the second time in school history (2006). Temple dropped to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in league play.
Rutgers came storming out of the locker room to start the third quarter, executing three scoring drives to take a 21-10 lead. Nova found senior WR Tim Wright (Wall Township, N.J.) for a 32-yard touchdown strike to tighten Temple’s lead to 10-7 at 12:43.
Nova was involved for RU’s next score, flipping a screen pass to Jamison who took it 32 yards to the end zone to give the Scarlet Knights the lead for good with 5:09 left in the third quarter.
An interception by junior CB Logan Ryan (Berlin, N.J.) set up RU’s next touchdown drive. The Scarlet Knight defensive back intercepted Coyer at Rutgers’ 34-yard line and returned it 17 yards to the Temple 49-yard line. Rutgers then marched in for the score, with Nova rolling out and finding senior WR Mark Harrison (Startford, Conn.) for a five-yard scoring toss.
RU continued its scoring streak into the fourth quarter after a blocked punt by freshman WR Leonte Carroo (Edison, N.J.). On the ensuing possession, Nova connected with senior TE D.C. Jefferson (Winter Haven, Fla.) on a 10-yard touchdown pass to put Rutgers up 28-10.
The Rutgers defense got in on the scoring with senior LB Khaseem Greene (Elizabeth, N.J.) taking a fumble caused by junior DT Jamil Merrell (Bear, Del.) 20 yards to across the goal line to give the Scarlet Knights a 35-10 advantage with 10:51 remaining in the contest.
The Owls initially jumped out to a 7-0 lead with 36 seconds left in the first quarter after a pass attempt by quarterback Chris Coyer was tipped to wide receiver Cody Booth from four yards out in the end zone.
Temple added a field goal from kicker Brandon McManus with 1:10 left in the half to take a 10-0 lead into the break. The successful kick would be the last Owl points for the day.
The Scarlet Knights next return home to High Point Solutions Stadium for a Homecoming matchup against Kent State, with action set to begin at 3:30 p.m. on SNY.
• No. 15 Rutgers (7-0, 4-0 BIG EAST) scored 35 unanswered points in the second half to erase a 10-0 halftime deficit to defeat Temple (3-3, 2-1 BIG EAST) 35-10 Saturday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field.
• Rutgers is now 20-15 all-time in series history vs. the Owls. RU has won three straight in the series.
• Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood became the first RU head coach in school history to start his career 7-0. He is the only first-time head coach in the nation this season to begin the year 7-0.
• Rutgers is 7-0 for just the fifth time in 143 years of college football. It is the first time since 2006 RU is 7-0.
• Rutgers is 4-0 in the BIG EAST for just the second time since conference play began in 1991. RU was also 4-0 to start the BIG EAST slate in 2006.
• Rutgers outgained Temple 371-191. Since 2000, Rutgers is 44-4 when holding its opponent to less than 300 yards of total offense.
• Sophomore QB Gary Nova (Elmwood Park, N.J.) was 17-of-27 passing for 232 yards and four touchdowns. Nova tossed all four scoring passes in the second half.
• Nova’s string of 164 consecutive passes without an interception came to an end on the final play of the first half.
• Sophomore RB Jawan Jamison (Starke, Fla.) rushed for 114 yards on 19 carries (6.0 yards per carry average) for his sixth 100-yard game of the season. Jamison has cracked the century mark in eight of the previous 10 games.
• Jamison also established career-highs in receptions (5) and receiving yards(81) to lead RU in both rushing and receiving on the afternoon. Jamison finished with a season-high 195 all-purpose yards.
• Jamison is the first player since Mohamed Sanu to lead RU in rushing and receiving in the same game. Sanu rushed for 121 yards and totaled 70 yards receiving in 2010 vs. Tulane (10/2/10).
• Rutgers has outscored the opposition 69-3 in the third quarter of play in 2012. The Scarlet Knights had a 21-0 advantage in the third quarter vs. the Owls.
• Rutgers allowed just 191 yards of total offense vs. Temple – the second-lowest amount of the year (Howard, 149). It was the first time since Nov. 12, 2009against USF that RU allowed less than 200 yards to a BIG EAST opponent. USFtotaled 159 yards of total offense in 2009.
• Temple was the first team of the year to rush for over 100 yards on the ground against RU, totaling 119 yards on 42 carries. Temple averaged just 2.8 yards per rush. After rushing for 74 yards in the first quarter, the Owls were held to 45 yards rushing over the final three quarters of action.
• Senior WR Mark Harrison (Stratford, Conn.) caught his 16th career receiving touchdown in the third quarter to move into a tie for fourth place in school history for receiving touchdowns. Harrison is tied with Tiquan Underwood, Marco Battaglia and Tres Moses in the RU record book for fourth on the all-time list.
• True freshman Leonte Carroo (Edison, N.J.) blocked his first career punt to setup a RU touchdown in the second half. It was the 28th blocked kick for RU since 2009, the most of any school in the nation during that time period.
• Senior LB Khaseem Greene (Elizabeth, N.J.) scored his first defensive touchdown since high school at Elizabeth HS with his fourth quarter fumble recovery for a 20-yard return. Greene scooped and scored off Jamil Merrell’s (Bear, Del.) sack-fumble for the final score of the game.
• Rutgers scored 35 points in a half vs. BIG EAST competition for the first time since 2008 vs. Louisville (12/4/08). RU scored 49 points in the first half against the Cardinals in the 2008 regular-season finale.