My look at some of the best and worst performances and happenings from Rutgers’ 35-10 victory Big East over Temple on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field:
Player of the game: Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova looked like he was participating against seventh-graders in a 7-on-7 drill. The sophomore threw touchdowns on the Scarlet Knights’ first four second-half possessions. His fourth scoring pass – a 10-yard to D.C. Jefferson – gave Rutgers an 18-point advantage with 11 minutes, 41 seconds remaining. Nova completed 17 of 27 passes for 232 yards and the four touchdowns. He produced 176 of those yards on 12-for-14 passing during the four straight TD drives.
West performance of the game: How can you not give this award to Temple quarterback Chris Coyer? The redshirt junior lost two fumbles and threw an interception in the Owls’ biggest game of the year. He completed 7 of 14 passes for 65 yards. Seven of his final 10 pass attempts were incomplete. He was benched after Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene returned his second fumble for a touchdown to make it a 25-point game with 10:51 left.
Best defensive performance: This award goes to Rutgers cornerback Logan Ryan. The Eastern High School product finished with an interception, three pass breakups and two tackles. The junior returned his interceptions 17 yards to Temple 49-yard to set up Nova’s third touchdown pass. Let’s just say that the Berlin native had an enjoyable homecoming.
Worst defensive performance: Since it wouldn’t be fair to single out one player, this award goes to the Owls’ pass defense as a whole. Nova had a lot of time to complete passes in the second half. And on most occasions, his receivers had a step or two on Temple’s defensive backs. Basically, the Owls’ pass defense was non-existent after intermission. The Scarlet Knights did whatever they wanted no matter how many defenders covered them.
Worst statistic: This was a tough one, considering Temple had nine rushes for minus 10 yards in the fourth quarter. But in all honesty the game was basically over at that time. So it goes to the Owls’ third-down conversions. Temple only converted 5 of 16 third downs. And that’s misleading, considering it converted 3 of 5 third downs in the first quarter. As a result, the Owls were 2 of 11 the rest of the game.
Worst of the worst: Temple’s fanbase. Around 65 percent of the 35,145 in attendance were Rutgers fans. And most of the Temple supporters left early in the fourth quarter. Honestly, it looked as if Rutgers was the home team.