For the second straight week, the Owls found themselves in position to win a Big East game in the waning minutes. Temple trailed 9-6 with 5:23 remaining, but couldn't locate the end zone in a 16-6 loss at Rutgers.
The Owls dropped to 1-6 on the year. Their only victory came against I-AA representative Florida A&M.
Junior quarterback Walter Washington has proven week in and week out that he is Temple's only legitimate offensive option. The team's running game is nonexistent and the receiving corps has been unimpressive.
Washington completed 21 of 39 passes for 219 yards and was intercepted twice on Saturday. He added 67 rushing yards on 27 carries, but failed to produce a touchdown in Temple's fourth straight loss.
Placekicker Ryan Lux connected on field goals from 37 and 38 yards, but missed attempts from 30 and 32.
The Owls have dropped 10 straight Big East games, but the misery won't last very long. Temple is completing its final season as a conference member and will play an independent schedule in 2005.
Temple will host Connecticut (4-2) this Saturday.
GAME BALL GOES TO
QB Walter Washington -- A week after throwing for a career-high 314 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to Pittsburgh, Washington completed 21 of 39 passes for 219 yards and was intercepted twice in the Rutgers game. He added 67 rushing yards on 27 carries.
KEEP AN EYE ON
CB Jermaine Hargraves -- The junior recovered a fumble, intercepted a Ryan Hart pass and returned it 14 yards in defeat. He also recorded four tackles.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"This game was a lot different than I anticipated. Both defenses really came to play. We missed a couple of field goals that ended up hurting us, but I thought we played hard and gave ourselves a chance late into the fourth quarter." -- Temple coach Bobby Wallace, on the expected shootout that turned out to be an offensive pillow fight.
If not for Rutgers' game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter, Temple's defense would've earned high marks. The Owls limited the Scarlet Knights to 283 yards and forced five turnovers. Temple's scoring defense was ranked 116th out of 117 Division I-A teams heading into the game, and jumped to 104th (36.3 ppg) afterward.
STILL NEEDS SOME WORK
Another offensive option besides Washington must emerge for Temple to succeed. As the opposition learns to keep Washington in check, the Owls' offense will continue to decline.
DL Antwon Burton (foot) didn't play against Rutgers and is sidelined indefinitely. LB Rian Wallace returned from a one-game suspension for his involvement in a locker room skirmish.