By Matt Sugam
Three and out
1. How will Rutgers handle Temple’s Chris Coyer?
The lefty quarterback leads the team with 71 carries, many of which come on designed runs. Temple head coach Steve Addazio was a coach at Florida during the Tim Tebow era and was his offensive coordinator for a year. Addazio has implemented that read option offense at Temple. While Croyer is nowhere near the level of Tebow, he’s still a threat with his feet.
2. Can Rutgers bottle up Montel Harris?
The former Boston College running back was one of the best backs in the ACC before transferring to Temple for his fifth-year of eligibility. With 310 yards on 69 carries and three touchdowns on the season, he started to look like the player he was before his knee injury last year the past two games. Rutgers is No. 2 in the country against the run, and needs to show why against Harris.
3. Can Jawan Jamison bounce back?
Jamison saw his six game 100 yard game streak snapped against Syracuse. He only had 64 yards on 28 carries. Jamison insists it has nothing to do with wear and tear on his body after 158 carries through the first half of the season. He said the worst rushing day of the year had to do with the fact he wasn’t decisive. He needs to be this week so he can get back on track.
This game’s key player is…
Nose Tackle Scott Vallone
Not only is Temple a run heavy team, but when they do so with the quarterback, it makes it a true 11 on 11. (When a quarterback hands off the ball to a running back, he’s not blocking). That means the front seven has to win the one-on-one battles. And it would help if Scott Vallone could eat up a couple of blocks as the nose tackle.
The sophisticated fan will be watching…
The big pass plays
This is going to be an old school football game. Ground and pound offense with a defense looking to slug it out. However, there should be a few shots taken down field. Whichever team converts those opportunities will put them in a good position to win.
Fourth and short
Temple was so bad they got kicked out of the Big East in 2004. Now they’re back and playing Rutgers with the winner taking first place in the conference.