My look at some of the best and worst performances from Temple’s 34-0 victory over Buffalo:
Best player of the game: It was a no-brainer to give this award to Bernard Pierce for the second consecutive week. The Temple tailback rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns to exit Lincoln Financial Field with four more school records and tying another. His 17 rushing touchdowns shattered the single-season total touchdowns (16) and single-season rushing touchdowns (16) records he set two years ago. His 44 total touchdowns broke the record set by Paul Palmer, who scored 43. Pierce's 102 points this season breaks his own school record of 96. The 6-foot, 218-pounder also tied Paul Palmer's career points scored record at 264. The scary thing is that he still has five regular season games remaining.
Worst performance of the game: Please forgive me for drinking the Chazz Anderson “Kool-Aid.” I was expecting the Cincinnati transfer to take advantage of the Owls cornerbacks. Instead, Anderson’s performance was spotty. Heck, spotty might be too much of a compliment. He was a nonfactor, completing 9 of 26 passes for 84 yards and an interception.
Best performance by a defensive player: Josh Copeland’s career-best nine solo tackles and a two assists make the Buffalo free safety the easy pick to win this award. I gained the a lot of respect for the 6-2, 215-pounder, who kept making plays in what was a lopsided loss. It’s a shame for Buffalo that Copeland didn’t get a lot of help from his teammates.
Worst performance by a defensive player: What was thinking about saying Khalil Mack would make a huge impact in this game? Please. The outside linebacker, who was supposed to terrorize the Owls, finished with one tackle. Word out of Temple all week was that he was talented enough to play in the Southeastern Conference. Sorry, I didn’t see it.
Best performance by a reserve: I had a lot to pick from, but went with Ahkeem Smith. The junior outside linebacker scored a 49-yard fake punt and finished with three tackles. Smith showed why he was a former running back at Temple on the fake punt. He maneuvered past would-be tacklers and galloped into the end zone. His run basically took away any hope Buffalo had and gave the Owls a commanding 24-0 victory.
Worst of the worst: Buffalo gets this award. That’s because the Bulls were a bunch of pretenders. They talked all week about spoiling Temple’s homecoming and having renewed confidence. They said this season would be much different than the previous two meetings against the Owls. But it was similar. Temple has won the last three meetings by a combined score of 113-13. They outscored the Bulls, 76-0, in the last two games. Ouch!