Rutgers gives Schiano historic win, beats Temple 16-14

Rutgers v Temple
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PHILADELPHIA – Shaquan Loyal‘s 43-yard interception return for a touchdown was the turning point of the game as Rutgers improved to 3-0 with a 16-14 victory over Temple on Saturday and made Greg Schiano the winningest coach in program history.

Schiano broke a tie for most wins with 79. He was tied with Frank Burns, who was the head coach from 1973 to 1983, including the undefeated 1976 team that was 11-0.

“We’re in the middle of building something special,” Schiano said. “I’m excited about those guys being a part of it with me. And I have the upmost respect for Coach Burns, who was a gentlemen, and I learned a lot from him for sure.”

The score by the sophomore defensive back was the only touchdown for the Scarlet Knights, who floundered offensively with just 201 total yards.

“On a day when you are not throwing your fastball, you have to be good enough to find a way to win and that’s what we did today,” Schiano said. “Defensively, we made some big stops. Offensively, we did what we had to do to end the game. Is it what we aspire to? No, but you can’t get worked up about one way or another way. We just have to keep working and getting better.”

The Rutgers defense held on and survived a late scare from the Owls whose comeback attempt ended when freshman quarterback E.J. Warner – the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner – was rushed into an incomplete pass by the Scarlet Knights on a fourth-and-3 from the Temple 41 with 2:30 to play.

Trailing 7-3 midway through the second quarter, Loyal came on a corner blitz and tipped Warner’s pass into the air, grabbing it at the 43 and streaking untouched for the momentum shift. “His eyes got really big and I knew that he was going to give me the liberty key,” Loyal said. “I put my hands up and made the play.”

Jude McAtamney hit field goals of 45, 25 and 38 yards for the Scarlet Knights, who are now 3-0 for the second straight year.

“On a day when you are not throwing your fastball, you have to find a way to win,” Schiano said. ”

Warner was 19-for-32 for 215 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Smith that brought the Owls (1-2) back within two points early in the fourth quarter.

“Obviously, there are things that we can do better to get a different result,” Temple’s first year coach Stan Drayton said. “But this is something we can build off of. No moral victories, but there are a lot of great things that we can build off.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights quarterback situation continues to cry out for Noah Vedral‘s return from an undisclosed injury. Vedral – a sixth-year starter who was injured during spring camp – took snaps this week in practice. Without Vedral and with a rotation of Evan Simon and Gavin Wimsatt, the passing game was limited to just 59 yards on 17 attempts. Wimsatt left with an undisclosed injury later in the game and Vedral is questionable for next week. “We’re not going to risk someone for just one week,” Schiano said. “It’s a doctor’s decision.”

Temple: The Owls dominated most of the action in the first half and showed some potential in the first start under Warner. However, the one turnover that he made that resulted in Loyal’s touchdown and underscores how difficult it is for Temple to win with the talent deficit they face. “He understands the game and came in knowing our offense,” Drayton said. “He earned our trust early in fall camp.”

UP NEXT

Rutgers: Starts its Big Ten schedule with a home game against Iowa next Saturday.

Temple: Hosts UMass next Saturday in final nonconference game.

Minnesota football players’ discrimination lawsuit dismissed

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by nine former University of Minnesota football players who were accused of sexual assault in 2016 in a case that roiled the school’s football program.

The lawsuit against the school claimed that the players faced emotional distress and financial damage after being falsely accused of being sex offenders. The players, who were identified in the lawsuit as John Does, sought unspecified damages for willful and malicious discrimination.

A woman alleged up to a dozen football players raped her or watched and cheered at an off-campus party in 2016. None of the players were ever charged.

The university found that 10 football players committed sexual misconduct. Five of them were expelled or suspended for violating student conduct codes, and the others were cleared on appeal.

In their lawsuit, the players alleged that the woman initiated the sexual encounters with players and an underage recruit.

U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank dismissed the lawsuit last week, saying the former players did not prove any of their claims, including allegations of bias by university investigators or pressure from Athletic Director Mark Coyle and former President Eric Kaler, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

David Madgett, an attorney for the players, said Tuesday that they are considering an appeal but have to determine if it makes sense financially and in terms of letting the former players get on with their lives. He said it was disappointing that the outcome was determined by the judge’s version of events and not decided by a jury.

“It’s disappointing to see disputes decided in this way,” Madgett said. “That’s the way things are decided more and more these days. … It’s disappointing you don’t get your day in court.”

When the allegations became public in 2016, players threatened to boycott the team’s trip to the Holiday Bowl. But after a graphic report of the investigation was released, the players agreed to play in the game.

University of Minnesota spokesman Jake Ricker said the school appreciated the judge’s decision affirming the actions taken in the case. He said the university would continue its work focusing on sexual misconduct awareness, prevention and response.

Frank dismissed the lawsuit in 2019, but an appeals court reinstated part of it in 2021 and returned it to Frank.

The players, all of whom are Black, also initially claimed racial discrimination, but that claim was previously dismissed.

The only remaining claim alleged Title IX gender discrimination. The former players noted that they never faced criminal charges, but Frank’s ruling said that “is certainly not evidence of a judicial adjudication or that plaintiffs ‘were proven innocent.'”

The men also claimed that an investigator for the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action used “manipulative tactics” with them in interviews and that their accuser helped draft the report. The players also alleged that “prior failed investigations motivated” the the school to punish them.

Frank said all the claims were unsupported by the evidence and “no reasonable jury could find that the University disciplined plaintiffs on the basis of sex.”

Michigan State player who swung helmet gets probation

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A Michigan State football player who swung his helmet at a Michigan player in a stadium tunnel expressed regret Tuesday and said he’s “just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue” on the field.

Khary Crump, a defensive back, was sentenced to probation. He was one of seven Michigan State players charged in a skirmish that followed a loss at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 29.

Crump was the only Spartan facing a felony, but that charge was dismissed in an agreement to plead guilty to misdemeanors. His record will be scrubbed clean if he stays out of trouble while on probation.

“Unfortunately, an exchange of words (took place), I felt attacked and unfortunately I did what I did,” Crump said of the tunnel altercation involving Michigan’s Gemon Green. “I’m not proud of that. I’m looking forward to moving forward.”

Crump was suspended by coach Mel Tucker. In addition, the Big Ten has suspended him for eight games in 2023.

“I had difficulties trying to stomach my actions … on that fateful day, but it happened. I can’t take it back,” Crump told MLive.com after the court hearing. “Honestly, I’m just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue in the future — on the football field, of course.”

At least four other players charged with misdemeanors Will Likely have their cases dismissed in exchange for community service and other conditions. The cases against two others are pending.