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Rutgers wears down Temple 36-7



Sep 9, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Ja'shon Benjamin (20) scores on a touchdown reception during the first half as Temple Owls safety Tywan Francis (4) defends at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers had a winning formula in the season opening win against Northwestern and stuck with a similar plan on Saturday night vs. Temple. Jump out to a lead by multiple scores, dominate defensively and wear down the opponent with the run game late. It resulted in a 36-7 Rutgers win over the Owls to improve to 2-0 this season.

After Temple made it 13-7 early in the fourth quarter, Rutgers scored 23 unanswered points to win with authority.

Gavin Wimsatt looked really good early on, struggled with accuracy once the game plan got conservative and then made a couple good throws late. Overall, another positive performance that shows improvement but also the need for more. He finished 11 of 22 for 199 yards and 1 touchdown along with 24 yards rushing on 8 carries.

Kyle Monangai got better as the game progressed and wore Temple down in the fourth quarter. He rushed for 57 yards on six straight carries that resulted in a touchdown to put the game away late. Monangai is doing his best Mohamed Ibrahim impression for offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca in gaining yards after hits and being allusive at times. He finished with a game high 165 yards rushing on 28 carries for 5.9 yards per carry and a touchdown.

JaQuae Jackson showed his potential to become the No. 1 receiver as he finished with four catches for 95 yards. The highlight was a 61 yard reception in which Wimsatt hit Jackson in stride for a huge play with Rutgers deep in its own territory. After a quiet debut, Jackson looked the part on Saturday.

Jai Patel was great in the kicking game, making all three field goal attempts from 51 yards, 43 yards and 23 yards.

The defense had two goal line stands, played with energy and made very few mistakes.

Rutgers outgained Temple 453 to 298, had a +1 turnover margin, won the time of possession with 35 minutes with the ball and committed just four penalties. Overall, it was a solid performance in all three phases.

The Scarlet Knights will host Virginia Tech (1-1), who lost at home 24-17 to Purdue on Saturday, on September 16 at 3:30 p.m. It’s a tremendous opportunity for Rutgers to start the season with a 3-0 record. Plenty more to come with our postgame coverage.

My rapid reaction to the win is here.



Here is my game log with commentary during the action.

First Quarter

  • Temple has just 22 total yards on its first two drives as the Rutgers defense has started strong once again.
  • On the first drive, Rutgers was into the Temple red zone before Isaiah Washington fumbled on the 10 yard line. It was the first offensive turnover of the season.
  • Christian Dremel left injured after a big hit on an incompletion.
  • On the second drive, Gavin Wimsatt ran 17 yards for a first down followed by a 33 yard touchdown pass to running back Ja’Shon Benjamin. Rutgers leads Temple 7-0 late first quarter.
  • Wimsatt is off to a great start completing 5 of 7 passes for 71 yards and a score while rushing for 22 yards on 2 carries.
  • Rutgers dominating through one quarter but need to finish this third drive with some points as they lead Temple 7-0. RU outgained the Owls 148-26 in the opening frame.

Second Quarter

  • Jai Patel kicks a 51 yard field goal to give Rutgers a 10-0 lead. Great response from Patel after going 1-2 last week in his debut.
  • Rutgers defense has held Temple to only 56 total yards and just 3 first downs on its first four offensive possessions.
  • Both of Rutgers’ starting tackles, Hollin Pierce and Tyler Needham, are on the ground being looked at and appear to be in significant pain. NOT GOOD!
  • Jai Patel connects from 43 yards as Rutgers leads Temple 13-0 with just over seven minutes left in the first half.
  • RU outgaining Temple 219-56 so far. Still would like more points at this point but strong start just the same.
  • Pierce is back out there. Needham was carted into the locker room.

At The Half

  • Rutgers leads Temple 13-0 at the half.
  • Wimsatt 8-14, 142 yards, TD plus 21 yards rushing on 4 carries.
  • Ja’shon Benjamin 4 rushes for 33 yards and a 33 yard touchdown reception.
  • Ja’Quae Jackson 3 catches 77 yards.
  • Desmond Igbinosun 4 tackles, 1 sack
  • Jai Patel 2-2 FG (51, 43)
  • Defense has held Temple to just 18 yards rushing on 1.6 yards per carry.

Third Quarter

  • Rutgers almost had a fumble recovery but the play was ruled forward progress and no review was allowed.
  • Big goal line stand for Rutgers to hold Temple scoreless midway third quarter leading 13-0.
  • Clutch 55 yard punt by Flynn Appleby to the Temple 39 after booting it from his own end zone.
  • Third quarter ends with Rutgers leading 13-0 but Temple in the red zone at the 9 yard line.

Fourth Quarter

  • EJ Warner to Dante Wright for a 9 yard touchdown. Rutgers leads Temple 13-7 with 14:51 to play. No life from the offense in the second half. Would like to see that change.
  • 57 yards on 6 straight rushes from Kyle Monangai ends with a much needed TOUCHDOWN! Came after Rutgers finally threw it down the field 18 yard pass Wimsatt to Jackson. Went for 2 and failed.
  • Rutgers 19 Temple 7 with 11:48 to play.
  • Shaquan Loyal with a case of deja vu as he catches the deflection for an INTERCEPTION and returns it 37 yards to the Temple 10. Sweep the leg time.
  • Jai Patel 3 for 3 on the night with the chip shot from 23 yards out. Still another chance for the offense to come away with more and didn’t happen.
  • Rutgers 22 Temple 7 with 9:57 left to play in the game.
  • Sam Brown scores a TOUCHDOWN from 1 yard out after he made a 27 yard reception to signal his return back to the field for RU.
  • Rutgers 29 Temple 7 with 5:37 to play.
  • Jordan Thompson with the INTERCEPTION!
  • Al Shadee-Salaam scores in his first action of the season. Great response after Temple made it a one score game early fourth quarter. Rutgers has scored 23 unanswered points to lead 36-7 with just over 2 minutes left.

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