Battling heavy rains and wind from the initial kickoff, Rutgers fell behind 3-0 on a 41-yard FG by Poklemba but, with :06 left in the opening quarter, Ryan Hart connected with Aaron Martin on a 35-yard TD pass. The TD strike, the first of Hart’s career, came three plays after a Temple pass interference call pushed the RU offense to the 30-yard line.
Rutgers then extended its lead with another touchdown just past the midway point of the second quarter. On the first play from scrimmage after recovering a Temple fumble at the RU 47, Hart read a blitz perfectly and found senior TE LJ Smith in the middle of the field for a short completion. Smith turned and found a seam, rumbling 35 yards and into the end zone for a 53-yard TD and 14-3 RU lead.
The Scarlet Knights then took advantage of good field position following another Temple fumble to build its lead to 17-3. With :40 left in the half, Raheem Orr forced a fumble from Lestor Trammer, which was recovered on the 16-yard line by Greg Pyszczymuka. After a three-yard completion pushed the line of scrimmage to the 13-yard line, Ryan Sands connected on a 31-yarder to end the half.
Temple struck for the first of two second-half touchdowns at the 12:17 mark of the second half, when Tanardo Sharps capped five-play, 57-yard drive with a four-run TD run. The score remained that way into the fourth quarter, when the Owls scored twice in the final 3:17 to finish the comeback.
The Owls tied the game at 17-17 when Mike McGann connected with Zamir Cobb on third-and-eight for a 17-yard TD pass. The Owl defense stopped Rutgers on its ensuing possession and then the offense drove 34 yards on seven plays, leaving just :39 second on the clock.
Temple outgained Rutgers, 400-142, using 271 yards on the ground. Sharps, who set a BIG EAST record with 48 carries, finished with 215 yards, while McGann carried nine times for 51 yards. For Rutgers, Ryan Hart was 14-of-27 for 155 yards and two TD’s in his second career start, connecting with Martin five times for 66 yards. Shawn Seabrooks led the defensive effort with 10 tackles, while Jarvis Johnson had seven tackles and his first career interception.
Rutgers returns to action next Saturday, when it faces Notre Dame in South Bend, IN for a 12:00 kick-off.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Temple.............. 3 0 6 11 - 20 Record: (4-7,2-4) Rutgers............. 7 10 0 0 - 17 Record: (1-9,0-6) GAME STATS
POST-GAME GAME NOTES
FIRST CAREER STARTS
Making their first career starts for Rutgers were WR Bryan Wilson, DE Val Barnaby and DB Eddie Grimes.
HART FIRST CAREER TD PASS
True freshman QB Ryan Hart threw the first touchdown pass of his career, a 35-yard
second-quarter connection with senior WR Aaron Martin. For Martin, it was his third TD reception of the season and the eighth TD reception of his career.
JOHNSON MAKES FIRST CAREER INTERCEPTION
Sophomore DB Jarvis Johnson made his first career interception in the second quarter against Temple.
HART LONGEST PASS OF HIS CAREER
Ryan Hart’s 53-yard TD pass to TE L.J. Smith in the second quarter was the longest pass play of Hart’s career.
SMITH SECOND-LONGEST CAREER RECEPTION; ENTERS RU TOP 10
L.J. Smith’s 53-yard second-quarter TD reception was the second longest of his career. On
Oct. 23, 1999, Smith had a 54-yard TD reception against Pittsburgh. With the reception, Smith moved into the Rutgers’ all-time Top 10 in career receiving yardage. It was the 10th TD reception of his career, which ties him for eighth place on the RU all-time list. The reception gave him 1,418 career receiving yards, ninth on the all-time list.
POINTS ALLOWED THE LOWEST TO BIG EAST TEAM SINCE 1998
The 20 points allowed by Rutgers against Temple were the fewest for Rutgers in a BIG EAST game since Oct. 31, 1998, when the Knights defeated Temple 21-10.