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.

Former Rutgers athletic director Robert Mulcahy dies at 85

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports
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MORRISTOWN, N.J.- Robert E. Mulcahy, a longtime New Jersey official who served as athletics director for the state’s flagship university and held many high-ranking government posts during his decades of service, has died.

Mulcahy’s family announced his death Tuesday, saying he had passed away Monday after a long illness. He was 85.

Mulcahy served as athletic director for 11 years at Rutgers University and was inducted into the the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. Mulcahy helped the university obtain funding from the state legislature for a massive renovation of its athletic facilities.

Coming off a winless season the year before his arrival, Mulcahy worked steadfastly to improve conditions for the football program. His hire of coach Greg Schiano led to a resurgence in the program, which snapped a nearly 30-year postseason drought in 2005.

“In Bob’s passing, Rutgers and New Jersey lost one of its truly faithful servants,” Schiano said in a written statement. “Personally, I lost a mentor, a role model, and a true friend. The partnership we had at Rutgers was uncommon and something we both valued greatly.”

Mulcahy also held a variety of high-ranking state posts over the years, serving as chief of staff to Gov. Brendan Byrne and spending 19 years as president and CEO of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which oversees the Meadowlands Sports Complex. He also was a former chairman of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2020.

Rutgers hires Joe Harasymiak as defensive coordinator

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers hired Joe Harasymiak as defensive coordinator Friday.

The 35-year-old New Jersey native spent the last two seasons at at fellow Big Ten member Minnesota as its co-defensive coordinator.

“Joe is one of the rising stars in our profession,” coach Greg Schiano said. “It is great to bring Joe back to New Jersey, where I can’t wait to watch him coach and develop our players both on and off the field.”

Harasymiak replaces Robb Smith, who was not brought back after two seasons.

Harasymiak initially joined Minnesota for the 2018 Quick Lane Bowl win over Georgia Tech. He coaches safties in 2019, mentoring Antoine Winfield Jr., Jordan Howden and Chris Williamson.

He was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in February 2020, working with linebackers coach Joe Rossi. This past season, the Golden Gophers ranked third in the nation in total defense (278.8), sixth in scoring defense (17.3), eighth in rushing defense (97.5) and ninth in passing yards allowed (181.2). Minnesota limited West Virginia to 206 yards and six points in a win in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.

Harasymiak coached at Maine from 2011-18, spending the final three seasons as the head coach. He guided the Black Bears to a 20-15 overall record and a 15-9 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. n 2018, he led the Black Bears to a 10-4 overall record. Maine advanced to its first Football Championship Subdivision national semifinal appearance in school history. He was named interim head coach in November 2015 and assumed head coaching duties the following season.

Prior to Maine, he served as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, Springfield College. He was also an assistant coach at Maine Maritime Academy in 2008.