Michael Cohen

PISCATAWAY, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 9: Running back Ja'shon Benjamin #20 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights runs off the field after scoring a 33 yard touchdown against the Temple Owls during the first quarter of a game at SHI Stadium on September 9, 2023 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)


On a night that started with a monsoon washing over Piscataway, the Scarlet Knights rained down on Temple with an explosive fourth quarter, as Rutgers scored 23 unanswered points in a 36-7 victory at SHI Stadium, Saturday night.

Kyle Monangai ran for a new career high, 165 yards on the ground, besting his 162-yard effort against Michigan State last year. His one-yard plunge into the end zone culminated in a 75-yard scoring drive to open the fourth quarter and begin the onslaught.

Monangai’s touchdown gave Rutgers a 19-7 lead, and the Rutgers defense would pin its ears back and dominate Temple.

On E.J. Warner’s first pass of the ensuing drive, he was picked off by Jordan Thompson. The pick set up a Jai Patel field goal with 9:57 to go in the game.

After Rutgers’s defense stiffened again, this time on a three-and-out, Rutgers pounded the football offensively, grinding out a 65-yard drive on seven plays that culminated in a Sam Brown V touchdown to put the contest out of reach at 29-7.

Rutgers defense

In the fourth drive alone in the fourth quarter that highlighted RU’s 23-point run, the Scarlet Knights out-gained the Owls in yards 179 to 1.

Rutgers’s stingy defense held an opponent to just seven points for the second straight week. They also forced a pair of turnovers; RU is now +3 in the turnover margin.

Gavin Wimsatt

Saturday night’s victory was another solid outing for quarterback Gavin Wimsatt, who completed 10-of-21 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown. His 33-yard touchdown strike to Ja’Shon Benjamin in the first quarter set the tone for the evening.

And to think that throw wasn’t Wimsatt’s biggest of the night. He connected on a 61-yard laser to JaQuae Jackson on a play that helped set up a field goal that made it 13-0.

The victory moves Rutgers to 2-0 on the year, a place they have been to before — each of the last two years in fact — but this feels different. Through two games, the Scarlet Knights play physically defensively, have stability under center, and can run the rock at will.

Rutgers hosts Virginia Tech next Saturday at 3:30 p.m. from SHI Stadium.

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