Things looked bleak for the Scarlet Knights, who trailed 10-0 at halftime in their game against Temple. But, just as they have all season long, Rutgers made adjustments and found the weaknesses in the Owls' defense to roll up four offensive touchdowns in the second half to roll to a 35-10 victory. The win moved them to 7-0 on the season and 4-0 in the Big East.
"In the second half, we were just able to execute better," explained Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood (as reported by the Associated Press on ESPN.com). Whether it is the tone of Coach Flood's voice or the strategic adjustments he makes at halftime, Rutgers has now outscored opponents 69-3 in the third quarter in 2012.
"I wish there was a magical speech," remarked Flood (as reported by the Associated Press). "It was more technical coaching."
Rutgers won the game with the same formula for success that they have used all season long: a stiff, opportunistic defense and a steady diet of the running game in the form of Jawan Jamison. Defensively, the Scarlet Knights held Temple to 119 rushing yards and just 72 yards passing. So stifling was the defense that Temple was just 5-for-16 on third-down conversions and could only manage nine first downs.
After being held under 100 yards last week, Jamison rolled for 114 yards on 19 carries against Temple and caught five passes, including a 32-yarder for a touchdown. "We just have the ability to fight," said the sophomore running back (per the Associated Press) about the team's second-half comeback. "We play together and punch adversity in the face."
Despite throwing his first interception in over a month, QB Gary Nova (17-of-27, 232 yards) showed continued maturity as he threw four touchdowns in the second half, staking the Knights to a 28-10 lead. Linebacker Khaseem Greene later salted the game away for the Knights when he returned a Temple fumble for a touchdown.
"It's one of the worst third quarters I've seen in a long time," said Temple head coach Steve Addazio (per the Associated Press). "They had to come alive and make some plays, and they made plays in the third quarter."