I mentioned in the power rankings that Temple would need to find at least a consistent passing attack in order to win, both this weekend and going forward. In their season preview, I mentioned that Bernard Pierce " has shown distinct flashes of feature-back capability when healthy"
I think I can now say the former statement, while not wrong, may be a bit overvalued, if only because it relates directly to just how good Bernard Pierce and Temple's offensive line are.
Let's go past the jump to take a closer look at Temple getting back to winning.The Temple Owls running game is very, very impressive. I thought that, against a BCS-conference squad, with a new and motivated coach like Randy Edsall, the "run first and hope Gerardi and/or Stewart does at least something throwing the ball" approach would be painfully insufficient.
Who underestimated Bernard Pierce? This guy - and for the last time. On Temple's first play from scrimmage, Stewart dropped a 54-yard strike to set up first and goal, and Pierce got to spend the first quarter just grinding. He only put up 31 yards on 10 carries in that quarter, but thanks to good field position and Stewart's 90 yards on only three passes, that's all Bernard needed to rack up three scores. He went into the half with 20 carries for 108 yards and three scores, finishing the day with five scores on the ground for the Owls.
That was pretty much all she wrote, as Maryland and quarterback Danny O'Brien spent the second half trying (and failing) to play catch-up as they did in the first half, needing 33 pass attempts just to get 153 yards of passing offense - and then watching Maryland's one touchdown drive from the bench.
This makes for a interesting matchup next Saturday against a Toledo squad that is sitting at 1-3 in no small part due to giving up an average of 138 yards rushing per game (which is somehow fifth best in the MAC. Yikes)