PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Jeremy Ito kicked three field goals and
Ryan Hart threw a late touchdown pass to help Rutgers hold off
Temple 16-6 in an error-filled game Saturday.
Rutgers (4-2) won despite committing five turnovers and failing
to score a touchdown against the Big East's worst defense until the
final three minutes.
The Scarlet Knights instead relied on Ito, who connected from
43, 27 and 24 yards, and on a defense that sacked Temple
quarterback Walter Washington six times.
Hart struggled early but finished 18-for-30 for 193 yards. He
was intercepted three times by Temple, which entered the game
allowing 265 yards a game through the air, worst in the Big East.
Washington was 21-of-39 for 219 yards.
Ryan Lux kicked field goals of 37 and 38 yards for Temple (1-6).
With the two most porous defenses in the Big East opposing one
another -- Rutgers had allowed 29 points a game and Temple just
under 40 before Saturday -- many expected a track meet on the new
turf at Rutgers Stadium. But neither team could execute in the red
Hart, who came into the game as the Big East's leading passer
with a 288-yard average, was 9-of-16 in the first half but produced
only 55 yards. He also threw two interceptions -- one in the first
quarter that led to a missed field goal by Lux, and another in the
second quarter that appeared to result from a miscommunication with
Temple's Jermaine Hargraves returned the second interception to
the Rutgers 14, but a penalty on the runback pushed the line of
scrimmage back to the 24. After a 5-yard run by Umar Ferguson and
two incompletions, Lux gave the Owls a 3-0 lead with a 37-yard
Rutgers got its initial first down of the game on its next
possession on a 26-yard pass from Hart to Tres Moses, and Ito
culminated the drive with a 37-yard field goal with 12:00 left to
tie the game.
Temple had several chances to take the lead but could not
capitalize. In the first quarter, Washington fumbled on the Rutgers
25 on Temple's second possession. He threw an interception later in
the quarter after Jermaine Hargraves had set up the Owls on the
Rutgers 33 when he recovered a fumbled snap by Hart.
A first-quarter interception in Rutgers territory by Temple's
Sadeke Konte went for naught when holder Mike McLaughlin fumbled
the snap on Lux's field goal attempt.
Washington drove the Owls to the Rutgers 16 midway through the
third quarter, but two penalties and a sack pushed them back to
midfield and out of field goal range. Temple got within Lux's range
on its next possession, but he missed a 32-yard attempt at the
close of the third quarter.
Lux made it 6-6 with 11:56 left in the game on a 38-yard field
goal that followed a 45-yard drive highlighted by a 27-yard run by
Rutgers finally got in the end zone with 2:55 left when Hart
found Willie Foster in the corner of the end zone.
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