After a disappointing loss to Pitt, the Owls stay on the road to take on the
No bowl game this year for the Temple Owls football team.
After a disappointing 29-22 loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers, their record stands at 3-7, with a 1-4 Big East record; only Boston College at 0-4 and Rutgers at 0-5 have a worst Big East Record than the Owls.
Sure enough those are the last two team left on the Owls schedule.
First up for the fight for last place is a team that has finished in that same spot four out of the last five seasons: the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
Rutgers has won only 15 Big East football games since the conference started in 1991. Ironically only Temple has won fewer than Rutgers with 11.
The Owls have owned the Scarlet Knights, beating them four out of the last five seasons and outscoring them 183-54, the only blemish was a 21-10 loss in 1998 at Rutgers Stadium.
Rutgers is coming off a bye week and had an extra week to think about their near upset of No. 1 Miami, where the Scarlet Knights actually led 17-14 in the fourth quarter before losing 42-17.
“In the kicking game we have improved a great deal, they have made some plays,” Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano said about what his has seen improve with his young players throughout the year.
“That is something we take a lot of pride in, a place where your young kids can shine.”
Rutgers only win this season was in September, when they destroyed a winless Army team 44-0.
There fourth quarter debacle against Miami shows the way their season has gone so far.
They have held leads against big time teams but could not prevent being outscored 113-15 in the fourth quarter.
They have rotated quarterbacks all year because of injuries or ineffectiveness.
Last game it was freshman Ryan Hart’s turn on the quarterback merry-go-round.
He went 9-23 throwing for 110 and two interceptions.
He will get the nod from Schiano for his second career start.
Temple has to remain focused both offensively and defensively after last week’s loss.
Coach Bobby Wallace had this to say about getting ready for this game.
“Over the last few years, Tarnardo (Sharps) has had really good games against them. We’ve been able to run the ball and get turnovers. It’s a rival game,” Wallace said.
“We have a lot of kids from New Jersey.
A lot of kids know kids on their team.
It’s a game our kids get excited Rutgers defense this season has given up 190 yards per game and 16 touchdowns.
Tarnardo has run for three consecutive 100-yard games against Rutgers, including his career high three scores on 168 yards in 2000.
Another senior looking to forge ahead in draft status these last few games is defensive tackle Dan Klecko.
Last game he recorded 4.5 tackles with 3 of them for a loss, a quarterback sack and two forced fumbles.
He will look to get to the quarterback against an offensive line that has given up a league worst 37 sacks.
The rest of the year is now about the seniors and finishing their Temple careers strong, but short of their overall goal.
Matt Sitkoff can be reached at Phil14367@aol.com.