MUNCIE, Ind. -- My look at some of the best and worst performances and happenings from Temple’s 42-0 victory over Ball State:
Best player of the game: How can you not give this honor to Bernard Pierce? The Temple tailback exited Schuemann Stadium as the Owls career rushing touchdown leader with 41. Yes, he broke another one of Paul Palmer’s records. Palmer’s record of 39 touchdowns stood since 1986. Pierce had 30 carries for 121 yards. He had touchdown runs of 2, 4 and 1 yards on consecutive first-half possessions.
Worst performance of the game: Watching Keith Wenning play on Saturday was like watching a piece of raw meat in a cage with a lion. The mighty, or should I say overhyped, quarterback was eaten up by the Owls. The sophomore completed just 19 of 34 passes for 155 yards. He was also intercepted twice and lost a fumble. The Owls also sacked him three times. Can you believe word coming out of Temple last week was that he was a future NFL player? Sorry, I just didn’t see it.
Best performance by a defensive player: Stephen Johnson's career-best 16 tackles and a sack make the Eagles middle linebacker the logical pick to win this award. Can you believe this guy was once a walk-on? From walk-on to leading tackler, you know this guy is making his folks back in Norristown proud.
Worst performance by a defensive player: I couldn’t single-out one Ball State defender. Yes, the team was that bad. So I chose the Cardinals entire defense. That unit looked liked it was playing flag football – and doing a horrible job at it. Ball State yielded 510 yards of total yards – 350 came on the ground. The Cardinals looked like blocking sleds on some plays – make that most plays.
Best performance by a reserve: I had a lot to pick from, but, Chris Coyer gets it for taking another one to the house. The Owls reserve quarterback did his best Usain Bolt impersonation, galloping for a 74-yard touchdown run. Temple needs to find ways to give him more touches. This was his first appearance since scoring a 68-yarder against Villanova in the season opener. He came in both games for mop-up duty. Coyer is averaging 28.4 yards on five carries and 71 yards per touchdown.
Worst of the worst: Ball State’s students. There was an announced crowd of 11,874 at the Cardinals’ homecoming game. However, the student section started emptying out after Pierce scored his 4-yard touchdown with 8 minutes, 5 seconds before intermission. By the end of the game, there were fewer than 75 students let in that section. Someone joked that they were probably friends of the players. If not, they would have left, too.