PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Rutgers salvaged a win with a couple of momentous plays on both sides of the ball in the final two minutes.
Embattled Gary Nova threw a 33-yard touchdown to wide receiver Leonte Carroo on fourth and 10 with 35 seconds left as Rutgers snapped a two-game skid Saturday with an improbable 23-20 victory over Temple.
The eight-play, 72-yard march with no timeouts came 1:18 after linebackers Kevin Snyder and Steve Longa stopped running back Kenneth Harper for a 1-yard loss on fourth and 1 at the Scarlet Knights 27.
"I had no doubt we were going to win the game once we got it back after our defense stopped them," said Nova, who threw for 371 yards and three touchdowns after two straight poor performances. "…We weren't going to lose the game right there."
Carroo had career highs of seven receptions for 147 yards, but the big one came on a play where Temple sent the house on a blitz and didn't get to Nova.
"It came down to one play you have to make on fourth and 1," first-year Owls coach Matt Rhule said. "The players understood that we had to have that half yard if we wanted to win."
Harper put Temple ahead 20-16 with a 25-yard run with 10:57 to play.