Rutgers Routs Temple in Season Opener, Owls’ QB D’Wan Mathis Leaves with Injury

Written By: Jake Gabel

Photo Courtesy of: @Temple_FB

Piscataway, New Jersey – The Rutgers Scarlet Knights dominated the Temple Owls in each team’s first game of the season. Rutgers beat Temple by a whopping 61-14 score. 

Originally planned for Thursday, Sept. 2, the game was pushed back to Saturday, Sept. 4 due to Hurricane Ida. 

The story of the game was the turnover differential. Temple had five turnovers, while Rutgers did not turn the ball over once. 

The Owls had two interceptions, one from starting quarterback D’Wan Mathis and one from backup Justin Lynch. Mathis and Lynch both also had one fumble apiece, while return man De’Von Fox fumbled on a kickoff return as well. 

Head Coach Rod Carey did not hold back in the postgame press conference, expressing his frustrations. 

“It was about as bad as we could possibly play. Five turnovers on the day. Spotted them 26 [points], climbed our way back, then gave up some more there on some easy stuff,” Carey said. “Not anything positive out of that in all three phases, so we have to get back to work and fix it.”

Temple’s defense was able to stop Rutgers on the first drive of the game, but Rutgers’ punter Adam Korsak was able to pin Temple inside their own one-yard line. Korsak was named to last year’s All-Big-Ten Second-Team by the media. 

Thanks to the poor field position, the Owl’s first drive resulted in a safety. Mathis was sacked by Rutger’s Olakunle Fatukasi in the endzone. Fatukasi was named to last year’s All-Big-Ten First-Team by the media. 

Rutgers’ rushing attack could not be stopped by Temple. The Scarlet Knights rushed for 220 yards and six rushing touchdowns. Kyle Monangai and Johnny Langan had two touchdowns, while Isaih Pacheco and Aaron Young contributed one touchdown. 

Temple’s only two scores came from their rushing attack. Running back Edward Saydee and quarterback Mathis each ran for a score. Unfortunately, both would leave the game early due to injury. 

Mathis looked to be limping for almost the entire first half but stayed in the game. However, it was not until the third quarter that the staff had seen enough and took him out of the game. 

At first, backup quarterback Mariano Valenti came in for Mathis. But after two plays and a punt, true freshman Lynch came in at quarterback and stayed in the game for the rest of the way. 

Lynch’s first college game did not go as planned, as his first-ever pass attempt was intercepted by Max Melton and returned for a pick-six. 

“I do not think there was a performance that was good at all,” Carey said. “From mine as the head coach, to [D’wan’s] as the quarterback, to defense and special teams. I don’t think there was a good performance, none of it was good.” 

As of right now, it is unknown whether Mathis will be able to return from injury in time for Temple’s next game. 

Rutgers (1-0) will look to start 2-0 next week when they play Syracuse. While Temple (0-1) tries to get their first win of the season in Akron. Kick-off is scheduled for noon. 

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