Rutgers gives Schiano historic win, beats Temple 16-14

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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.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.