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OTB Staff Roundtable Week 2 Predictions: Temple at Rutgers

TheScarlet Knights will host Temple on Saturday night.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers is looking to start 2-0 for the third consecutive season. The one thing standing in its way is the Temple Owls.

This will be the third straight year that these two teams square off and the Scarlet Knights were victorious in the previous two. Can they do it again?

Below, check out what the staff OTB has to say about the Week 2 matchup between Rutgers and Temple.

Greg Patuto: Rutgers should not have left Philly with a win last year. All Rutgers fans should admit this. Anyway, a win is a win. The Scarlet Knights are looking to leave less doubt here and score their first offensive touchdown against Temple since 2021. Defensively, Rutgers should expect plenty of EJ Warner and prepare for the passing attack. The secondary needs to come ready to play. If the backfield remains banged up, Kyle Monangai and Ja’Shon Benjamin should have enough to get it done. Finally, Kirk Ciarrocca must continue to give fans hope about the offense. With that being said, Stan Drayton will have Temple back soon. He is the right man for the job but expect Rutgers to defend home field once again (in a closer game than some might hope for). Rutgers 24, Temple 17

Jack Schocket: Rutgers thoroughly decimated the Wildcats last week, but that doesn’t mean the Owls are going to just roll over this week. Temple is a tough team that almost upset the Scarlet Knights last season and will be looking for revenge when they show up at SHI Stadium on Saturday. Still, Rutgers is the better team, and they need to avoid playing down to their opponent. The most important thing for the Scarlet Knights against Temple (other than a win) is Gavin Wimsatt continuing to build off a strong season opener against the Wildcats. If he can gain some confidence heading into the rest of the season, that’ll be huge. Kyle Monangai impressed me last week and he (and the rest of the backfield) should have a big game this week. Defensively, stopping EJ Warner, and the Temple passing offense is vital. Robert Longerbeam and Max Melton need to show why they could be among the best cornerback duos in the Big Ten this season. Bottom line, avoid an upset. Rutgers 31, Temple 10

Matt Forno: Rutgers will host a Temple team that is much improved from two years ago when the Scarlet Knights thrashed the Owls 61-14. I regret to remind fans that last year, Rutgers nearly lost on the road to Temple, barely sneaking out a win with ZERO offensive scores 16-14. EJ Warner is a great young QB who Temple trusts with the ball in his hands. During Saturday’s win against Akron, Warner passed the ball 49 times. Temple certainly can pass the ball to a solid WR core, but struggled running the ball, only rushing for 61 yards. This should be an excellent opportunity for the Rutgers defense to continue to prove why they belong among the top defensives in the Big Ten. I expect Joe Harasymiak to throw some heat at Warner in the pocket, while limiting Temple’s rushing attack to another poor outing. Rutgers wins and covers if they stick to the plan they showed during their Week 1 win — control the clock, protect the ball, and play complimentary football. Gavin Wimsatt needs to continue to show development, poise, and growth as a QB. Look for him to use his legs more this game. With this being the BLACKOUT game, I expect the fans to show out in force and give Rutgers a noteworthy home field advantage. Rutgers 34, Temple 13

John Dean: Rutgers hosts a Temple team that gave them a run for their money in a 16-14 win last season. This year, however, I think the game plays out differently. Rutgers defense shut down the Temple offense last year and is even better this season. Additionally I think the Rutgers offensive line will give a much improved performance and open running lanes for Monangai, Benjamin, and any other back who is able to play. Look for the Scarlet Knights to win and cover the -9.5 point spread. Rutgers 28, Temple 14

Francis Hearne: Week 2 brings a familiar foe to town in the Temple Owls. This is the third consecutive season for this matchup with Rutgers taking each of the first two in very different fashions. 2021 was a blowout, but 2022 was only a two-point game won by RU without scoring an offensive touchdown. I believe this game will land somewhere in the middle. Temple’s QB EJ Warner can sling it, he threw two TD’s against Rutgers last year and attempted 49 passed against Akron last week. I do believe this defense is even better than last year’s and will shut down the Owls offense. I anticipate a similar game plan from Coach Ciarrocca, control the ball and the clock to keep the defense fresh and the Owls on the sideline. On paper, Rutgers should win and win comfortably, but we all know how unpredictable college football can (on full display in this game last year). Thins is where the Schiano advantage comes into play. He will have this team focused and ready to CHOP, just like last week. Rutgers 27 Temple 9

Andrew Rice: Last year against Temple, Rutgers barely escaped with a win, winning 16-14. The offense struggled as it had so many times last year. This is a perfect game to show how much the team has improved from last year. Temple has a good offense and a good QB in EJ Warner. This means that the Rutgers offense will need to control the ball as much as possible to win. I expect a game plan like the one in the Northwestern game. If Rutgers can control the ball on offense, they should be able to make quick work of the Owls. Rutgers 35 Temple 14