Rush To Glory

The Temple University football team beat Army at its own game. The Owls posted 335 rushing yards on 42 carries and finished with a pair of 100-yard rushers in taking down the top-ranked running team in the country, 42-14, on Saturday. The victory moved Temple, fighting to stay bowl relevant, to 7-4 on the season. Army fell to 3-8 in the game at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Temple University football team beat Army at its own game.

The Owls posted 335 rushing yards on 42 carries and finished with a pair of 100-yard rushers in taking down the top-ranked running team in the country, 42-14, on Saturday.

The victory moved Temple, fighting to stay bowl relevant, to 7-4 on the season. Army fell to 3-8 in the game at Lincoln Financial Field, its personal house of horrors ¬– the Black Knights are 0-9 lifetime at the Linc.

Bernard Pierce, who now has 22 touchdowns on the season, scored on runs of 1, 11 and 49 yards and finished with 157 yards on 21 carries. The fourth-quarter 49-yard TD run was one of the most electrifying of the junior's career as he slipped five tackle attempts on his way to the end zone.

"I don't know how many tackles I broke, I was just running," said Pierce. "I saw a hole, made a cutback, all my linemen blocked everybody down. All I did was read it, and I was just running."

Pierce missed last week's game against Miami (Ohio) with concussion symptoms. He was declared out for the game minutes before kickoff.

"I got a lot of rest, so I felt healthy for this game," said Pierce. "The doctors were taking extra precautions last week and decided to hold me (out). I found out minutes, maybe seconds before kickoff. I wouldn't say it was a shock. I wish they would have told me ahead of time, but I'm fully recovered., so I'm not really complaining about it."

Junior Matt Brown, who exploded for 226 yards in a 42-35 win at Army last year, destroyed the Black Knights again. Brown ran eight times for 133 yards and scored twice with TD runs of 22 and 52 yards.

"My O-line just opened the holes, there's no science or anything like that," said Brown.

The 5-foot-5 back broke loose for the 22-yard touchdown run on the first series of the game as he received the start over Pierce. Brown joked he was upset Pierce finished with more rushing yards than he did.

"We were talking to each other, saying ‘I'm going to have more yards than you,'" recalled Brown. "It looked like I was going to finish with more yards, and he broke that big run and I was so mad. I was like ‘Coach, put me back in,' but time ran out. The competition is good, it brings out the best in us."

Temple quarterback Chris Coyer threw just five passes, completing four, including a 36-yard touchdown to Joe Jones over the middle. Coyer ran 11 times for 34 yards.

The Black Knights, who came into the game averaging 352 yards per game, finished with 342 yards on 60 carries – though had just 96 yards in the first half when Temple built a 28-0 lead. They completed just 2 of 12 passes.

Middle linebacker Stephen Johnson finished with 16 tackles, while free safety Kevin Kroboth added 12 – including 11 unassisted – against Army's triple-option offense.

"The coaches did an unbelievable job getting the scout team really prepared for how Army was going to come at us," said Kroboth. "Coach (Steve) Addazio took a lot of time out of helping the offense to teach the scout team those option plays, and they did an incredible job.

"(The coaches) put a big emphasis (on me and Johnson). A lot of times we were going to be the free hitter and fortunately we made those plays."

The victory was the 29th in the last four years for Temple, which set a school record for a senior class. If the Owls win their 30th in the regular season finale Friday against Kent State, they hope the 8-4 mark is enough to receive a bowl bid.

Temple was snubbed at 8-4 last year, but Addazio said he's confident in a berth if Temple wins its last game.

"All you can do is what you can do," said the first-year head coach. "You go after it and go win seven today and have a chance to go get eight. That puts you in the best situation you can possibly be in.

"We have a real good football team. We're playing strong in November, we're in the fourth-largest media market in the country and we're a hot team. I'm sure there will be a great spot if we take care of business on Friday."
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