The Thursday college football schedule will kickoff with a battle between the Temple Owls and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights from SHI Stadium. The Owls are coming off a disappointing 1-6 season and third year head coach Rod Carey is likely on the hot seat. Georgia transfer QB D’Wan Mathis will look to inject life into an offense that averaged just 20 points in 2020. The offensive line allowed just 12 sacks and returns four starters.
Temple has plenty of room for improvement on a defense that was gashed for 433 yards and 37 points per contest a season ago. Leading tackler William Kwenkeu returns for the Owls for a linebacking corps that should be the strength for the Owls.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights went 3-6 in Greg Schiano’s first season back at the helm and are a program on the rise. The offense was much improved in 2020 by scoring 27 points per game and returns all 11 starters. Junior RB Isaih Pacheco, who has rushed for 1,795 yards and 13 touchdowns in his career, gives the Scarlet Knights a talented all-purpose back. WR Bo Melton led Rutgers with 638 yards and six touchdowns a season ago,
The numbers for Rutgers’ defense (449 yds and 32 ppg) were not overly impressive, but the unit did a great job of creating turnovers. The Scarlet Knights have plenty of talent at linebacker, including leading tackler Olakunle Fatukasi (101 tackles).