|After a slow start, Gary Nova throws four second-half touchdown passes in a 35-10 win. (US Presswire)|
RUTGERS WON. After a dreadful first half, Rutgers hit its stride offensively and shut out Temple after the break in a 35-10 win. The Scarlet Knights improved to 7-0 for the second time in six years, and their 4-0 conference record puts them in the driver's seat for a Big East title.
HOW RUTGERS WON: Timing, execution, and communication all seemed off in the first half for the Scarlet Knights. It was the kind of uncharacteristic performance that fans dread in conference road games. But once Jawan Jamison gave Rutgers a 14-10 lead on a 32-yard touchdown reception, the Scarlet Knights team that we have seen this season showed up and poured on 271 yards of second-half offense.
Leonte Carroo blocked a punt, Khaseem Greene returned a fumble for a touchdown and Logan Ryan picked off Chris Coyer to keep the second-half rout rolling, setting up Gary Nova with good field position for four touchdown passes.
WHEN RUTGERS WON: The second half, pretty much from the moment the Scarlet Knights came out of the locker room. Temple only got two first downs after the break. And with Rutgers finally moving the ball, there never seemed to be a chance that Temple would reclaim the lead.
WHAT RUTGERS WON: During the first half, it appeared Rutgers was headed for another heartbreaking conference loss that could derail its Big East title hopes. If the Scarlet Knights were going to come out flat in a game this year, at least it happened in a game in which they could turn it around. With a 4-0 conference record, they will go out of conference until Nov. 17. Then, in a 12-day stretch, Rutgers will play at Cincinnati, at Pittsburgh and then host Louisville on Thursday night in what could be a battle for the Big East title.
WHAT TEMPLE LOST: The 10-0 first half gave the "worst-to-first Temple back in the Big East" storyline some life, but this game was more about Rutgers avoiding the meltdown. Credit the Owls for a strong defensive effort in that first half, but they do not have the weapons on offense to overcome the lead that was built in the second half.
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