Monday Notebook: Temple Game Week

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The gang reignites the rivalry this weekend with connections abound between Rutgers and Temple. ScarletReport.com has the latest, including quarterback Gary Nova's thoughts on the offense and reactions to many relationships between the two programs.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – When Rutgers beat Arkansas last month, quarterback Gary Nova threw the ball 35 times for 397 yards.

In the two games sense, Nova attempted 50 passes and threw for 309 yards.

It has led to calls from fans, and even people close to Nova, to ask why Rutgers is not throwing the ball more in the last two games.

"It has to do with some of the situations we've been in," Nova said Monday. "Why take the risk of making a turnover or something like that? Run the ball, and with our defensive playing as well as they've been playing, just put it on the other (offense) and our defense is probably going to get a takeaway or put them in a bad situation."

So, what does Nova say when he is asked about going to the passing game more?

"6-0!" he said.

Indeed, Rutgers is 6-0 (3-0 Big East) and ranked No. 17 and19 in the two major polls.

"We play situational football," Rutgers guard Andre Civil said. "Whatever situation is there, and how the game is played as far as field position …we attack those situations."

Because Rutgers is second in the Big East in time of possession (32:57), opponents have run the second-fewest offensive plays (63per game) in the league against them.

"I'm definitely happy where our offense is," Civil said. "But I'm not satisfied. I'm never satisfied.

Streets of Philadelphia

Relationships and friendships always meet when teams with local ties like Rutgers and Temple meet. The Scarlet Knights and Owls recruit the same areas and, in one special case, have called the same player a part of their program.

Highlighted by Rutgers transfer Abdul Smith, Rutgers and Temple will have many friendships and relationships clash when they meet Saturday at noon at Lincoln Financial Field.

"He's a friend of mine and I remember the days when we came in as corners together," said cornerback Logan Ryan. "It's a cool thing to see him at a different school doing his thing. … Temple's doing a great job, obviously they started off 2-0 in the Big East. They're a well-coached team."

For Flood, he is personally excited to match wits with Temple coach Steve Addazio. Former offensive line coach to former offensive line coach, Flood is excited to face him.

"On a personal note, this is exciting for me, an honor to coach against Steve," he said. "Steve is one of the truly fine offensive line coaches in the country before becoming a head coach."

Jamison wearing down?

Jawan Jamison had his streak of rushing for 100 yards in a game end at six, but he said it was more to do with poor decisions he made in running the ball than it is wearing down from running the ball 102 times in the previous three games.

"I felt like I was more hesitant," Jamison said of his play against Syracuse. "When I would see a hole, I felt like I was more hesitant to see if my blockers would get there fast enough and I didn't hit it as hard as I usually do. That's something I'm going to work on this week.

"I was making some bad decisions."

Jamison added he didn't think he was wearing down from carrying a Big East-high 158 times this season.

More Honors for Greene

Linebacker Khaseeem Greene's 14-tackle game featuring three forced fumbles and an interception puts him as the Big East Defensive Player of the Week. Midway through the season, Greene is a top contender to repeat as Big East Defensive Player of the Year with 63 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, four forced fumbles and two picks.

"I'm just honored to be in that circle, but at the same time I'm just looking at it like I read it one day and it will go out the window the next day," Greene said.

Respect for Temple Offense

Led by Boston College transfer Montel Harris at running back and Oakton High School (Vienna, Va.) product Chris Coyer at quarterback, the Temple offense presents unique challenges for the Scarlet Knights.

In many ways, the offense resembles what Addazio did with Tim Tebow at Florida, Flood said.

"I think what they have found in Chris Cover is they have found a guy who can run their offense the way Tim Tebow ran their offense down in Florida," Flood said. "He's that type of player. He has more carries than any other individual on their team."

Coyer averaged 200 total yards per game and has just two turnovers through the first six games.

"It's a weapon we have to prepare for," said defensive end Ka'Lial Glaud. "[Coyer] is a really good player that does a lot of different things within that offense. That's a big reason why they're undefeated in the Big East."

Watching the rankings

Rutgers is No. 15 in the BCS rankings, which were released Sunday, and it did catch the eye of a few players.

"I was watching it last night," Rutgers senior nose guard Scott Vallone said. "It was interesting to see us in the BCS standing for, I think, the first time since I've been here. It's exciting to see but it doesn't mean much in week seven. To be where we want to be at the end of the season, we need to be in the rankings now."


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