The Temple Owls play host to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in an interesting non-conference showdown between regional foes from Lincoln Financial Field. With both teams battling for similar recruits and looking to find increased success on the field, Saturday is a crucial game, even without the national notoriety. These two met last season, with Rutgers dominating at home, en route to a 61-14 win. With an undefeated start, this season already as well for the Scarlet Knights. it could be a challenge for the Owls to avenge last season's loss.
Scarlet Knights Off To Hot StartRutgers may have dropped their bowl game in December but after a 2-0 start to the season, it's clear that the Scarlet Knights are improved and off to a strong start. A win on the road against Boston College turned some heads in the opener and even though Wagner is an FCS foe, the Scarlet Knights were still able to take them down with ease, 66-7 last week. Adding in a rout of the Owls in last year's matchup, this Rutgers group has momentum building in the right direction towards grabbing another big win on Saturday. With regional bragging rights on the line as well, the Scarlet Knights will be ready to make it back-to-back seasons with a win in this matchup.
Rutgers are aiming to navigate a few injuries though, which could even the playing field on the weekend. On the defensive end of things, Mohamed Toure (knee) and Moses Walker (knee) are out for the season. On the offensive front, Noah Vendral is questionable, though given his loss on the quarterback position, his status might not be as impactful.
6 Scarlet Knights scored their first career rushing, receiving or passing touchdown on Saturday ‼️— Rutgers Football (@RFootball) September 12, 2022
Rushing:@SjbV5 | @RU_TRAIN8
Receiving:@johnnylangan2 | @Wakeemupchris
Passing:@evan6simon | @GavinWimsatt pic.twitter.com/M7uMMJRLIa
On the offensive front, Rutgers has gone great lengths to take care of the ball this season and having yet to turn it over this season, will continue to give them confidence. In a game like this one, controlling the clock will be key and with Rutgers having the nation's seventh-best attack when it comes to rushing yards per game. Al-Shadee Salaam is averaging 9.4 yards per carry on the season, while Kyle Monangai is more of the workhorse back. Questions remain as to who might get the majority of the snaps at quarterback, though it shouldn't matter in this one.
The defense gave Temple fits last year and it seems likely that they make things interesting again in this one. Rutgers is holding opponents to under 250 yards total per game, while holding them to under 30 yards per game on the ground. That should bode well for them controlling the clock again in this one. Speaking of winning the turnover battle, Rutgers ranks just outside the top ten nationally, meaning gaining some extra possessions could be crucial towards making it an easy win for the second straight season.
Owls Aiming To Avenge 2021 BlowoutTemple was embarrassed in this meeting last year at Rutgers and while they will want to flip the script in the rematch, it might be a tall ask for them to turn things around. The offseason didn't necessarily seem them reload much and while they were able to grab the win last week, a 30-0 loss to Duke, predicted to be one of the worst teams in the ACC, was stunning. If that's an indication of how the season might go, Saturday could be a rough one. The Owls lost seven in a row down the stretch last season and considering they haven't beaten an FBS opponent since last October, there's little reason to think that things change in this one.
Injuries have at least been kind to Temple on the season and they only have one player questionable as they head into this one. David Martin-Robinson (undisclosed) is questionable to play in this one but given his lack of snaps already on the season, his absence isn't likely to hurt. If he can play though, it can only serve to improve the receiving core.
Questions remain as to who will get the ball for the Owls in the one under center, given the split in snaps so far this season. EJ Warner (173 yards, two touchdowns) has been strong, while Dwan Mathis (125 yards, 0 touchdowns) has been intriguing as well. While one or the other getting the ball isn't likely to impact the game much, both have taken care of the ball, which at least should keep the offense out of beating itself. With an offense that ranks outside the top 100 nationally across nearly every category though, it still seems like far too much of an ask for them to find success in this one.
Defensively, the Owls have certainly improved over last season. Even though they are yet to force a turnover, they still rank in the top 60 nationally across most defensive categories, peaking at 40th against the run. With Rutgers likely to try to dictate their style early on the ground, Temple will be looking to clog lanes and roce the Scarlet Knights to try to figure things out through the air.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
After taking down the Owls last season by nearly 50 points, there's little doubt that Rutgers will be able to make easy work of Temple again in this one. Rutgers not only has the ground game to control the clock and control the game as a whole, but they also have the defense to stifle the Owls. Temple still has uncertainty at quarterback, which is a massive concern, and even though they'll be at home, it isn't going to matter in this likely blowout. Additionally, according to covers.com, Rutgers is 6-0 ATS in their last six games in September and 6-1 ATS in their last seven non-conference games. For Temple, they are 0-5 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win and 1-6 ATS in their last seven games on grass.
Full-Game Total Pick
Rutgers won't have any issues moving the ball but with the majority of their damage likely to come on the ground, this could be a slow trickle of success in their win. Temple already showed how their offense looked against an FBS foe two weeks ago, which is unlikely to change given the questions still at quarterback and Rutgers' strong defensive play. Additionally, according to covers.com, the under is 5-1 in the last games for Rutgers after allowing fewer than 275 total yards the previous game and in their last six games after scoring more than 40 points the last time out.