(Updated: CHANGES 4th to fourth in lede and graf 5.)
Rutgers 23, Temple 20: Gary Nova connected with Leonte Carroo on a 33-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-10 with 35 seconds to play to push the host Scarlet Knights past the Owls in American Athletic Conference play.
Carroo set career highs with seven catches for 147 yards and finished with two touchdowns for Rutgers, which has beaten Temple in four straight meetings. Nova finished 27-of-38 for 371 yards and three touchdowns for the Scarlet Knights (5-3, 2-2 AAC), who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Freshman quarterback P.J. Walker threw for 203 yards and two touchdowns for the Owls (1-8, 0-5), who have dropped 11 of their last 13 games dating back to mid-October of last year. Robbie Anderson and Kenneth Harper each caught touchdowns from Walker, who was intercepted twice.
After trailing 13-3 at halftime, Nova pulled the Scarlet Knights to within 13-9 when he conencted with Michael Burton on a 4-yard scoring strike 4:23 into the third frame and hit Carroo early in the fourth for a 34-yard touchdown to pull ahead for the first time. Harper answered immediately for the Owls on a 25-yard scamper with 10:57 left on the clock
After Justin Goodwin’s fumble on a potential scoring drive killed any Rutgers momentum, the defense came up huge when it stopped Harper on a fourth-and-1 with 1:53 to play. Nova then went 5-of-7 for 72 yards and a touchdown on the winning drive, converting the crucial fourth-and-10 to Carroo to seal the comeback victory.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Rutgers moved to 20-16 all-time against the Owls in their final meeting as conference rivals, with the Scarlet Knights moving to the Big Ten next season. ... Temple LB Tyler Matakevich recorded 10 tackles to bolster his AAC-leading total to 113. ... Rutgers WR Ruhann Peele saw his first action at cornerback and forced and recovered a Ryan Alderman fumble on Temple’s final possession.