Week 8 – Rutgers at Temple

Posted Oct 19, 2012

Week 8 Fearless Prediction & Game Analysis – Rutgers at Temple

Rutgers (6-0) at Temple (3-2) Oct. 20, 12:00, SNY

Here's The Deal: No. 15 Rutgers will make the short trip to Philadelphia to renew a rivalry that went on hiatus when Temple left the Big East in 2004. The Scarlet Knights, who got to 3-0 in the Big East with last week's win over Syracuse, will play this pivotal road test before returning home for consecutive non-conference games. The program has started to create pockets of national attention, particularly in the polls, a credit to rookie head coach Kyle Flood in his first season succeeding the highly popular and successful Greg Schiano. The only other Big East team with more than one league victory? That'd be the Owls, who are 2-0 after rallying to defeat Connecticut in overtime last Saturday. Beating a ranked team at the Linc would serve as a resounding statement from head coach Steve Addazio and his players, who still are playing with something to prove in their return to the conference.

Why Rutgers Might Win: One-dimensional offenses don't fare especially well against Rutgers. Strike that, no offenses fare especially well against Rutgers. Temple's only method of travel is on the ground, a one-note program that stands 116th nationally in the passing game. However, QB Chris Coyer and RB Montel Harris are going to hit a brick wall when trying to navigate a Scarlet Knights D that's allowing just 60 rushing yards per game and 2.2 yards per carry. With LB Khaseem Greene setting the tone all season long, Rutgers clamps down forcibly on the opposition, especially those that are unable to stretch the field.

Why Temple Might Win: The Scarlet Knights are in an offensive funk, and the Owls are poised to take advantage of it. Rutgers is balanced, but not necessarily in a good way, ranking 89th nationally in rushing and 90th in passing. Save for the Arkansas game, the team has sputtered with the ball, unable to sustain drives or score six. It'll be facing a Temple defense that has been improving, ranking 10th in the country in sacks, and getting leg support from P Brandon McManus. The Owls are coming off a six-sack performance that saw DE John Youboty and LB Nate D. Smith lead a collaborative effort to stuff Connecticut in East Hartford.

What To Watch Out For: After hitting a low-point last week against Syracuse, amassing just 237 yards, the Rutgers offense hopes to find a little more rhythm this week. It has to get back on track before Big East play resumes on Nov. 17. RB Jawan Jamison ought to return to form after being held below 100 yards on the ground for the first time in 2012. But Gary Nova has been quiet since peaking in Fayetteville, unable to fully exploit the size advantage of rangy receivers Mark Harrison, Tim Wright and Brandon Coleman.

What Will Happen: The Rutgers defense and special teams will come to the rescue … again. This is a huge game for Temple in front of its home crowd, but the Owls won't be able to rally from a slow start the way they did last Saturday at Rentschler Field. A stacked box will mean short gains for Coyer and Harris, and plenty of punts from McManus. Temple doesn't have nearly as many sure-things on the defensive side of the ball, which means Jamison will find the running lanes he needs to keep the chains moving. In yet another low-scoring affair, Rutgers will maintain its unblemished record.

CFN Prediction: Rutgers 26 … Temple 16
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Rutgers -5 O/U: 41.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Seven Psychopaths, 1 – Here Comes the Boom): 2.5