As Temple ran through their pre-game drills on Wednesday night at Lincoln Financial Field, Bernard Pierce was an active participant in full uniform. That would be the most action the star runner saw all evening, as him warm-up was more of gamesman ship according to tailback Matt Brown.
Perhaps it worked. Brown went on to rush for 143 yards on 24 carries as the Owls held off visiting MAC foe Miami of Ohio, 24-21. With the win, the Owls recorded their sixth victory, which made them bowl eligible and kept their postseason hopes alive.
Brown said the team learned this week that Pierce wouldn’t play, giving Brown plenty of time to prepare for the start. The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reported earlier this week that Pierce had suffered a concussion in last week’s loss at Ohio.
This marked the fourth time in the last five games that Brown has eclipsed 100-yards on the ground.
"How about that guy, took every snap, returned the kicks, returned the punts," said head coach Steve Addazio about Brown.
His two-yard score with 13:09 left in the fourth gave the Owls a comfortable 10-point lead that they would not relinquish. Earlier on the drive, Brown recovered a fumbled snap by quarterback Chris Coyer inside the five yard line to salvage the Owls drive.
"Right place at the right time," said Brown. "I was just happy I was there. He has my back, I have his back. That’s just the way it goes."
The small, shifty runner kept the RedHawks defense on balance throughout the night, as he made cuts to extend his rushes. Four of Browns 24 carries were for over 15 yards.
"It was my O-line, they were just opening these massive holes and I was just filling them," said Brown. "I’ll praise them."
Addazio on State. Towards the end of the post-game press conference, Addazio was asked about the firing of Penn State head coach Joe Paterno. He answered:
I didn’t know that. I had my head down, all’s I did today was try to get prepared for the football game. I think the whole situation is extremely sad. I don’t feel know enough about anything because of where I’ve been for the last 24-hours and what I’ve been doing.
I’m really not up to speed on anything and I would never want to comment on something that I don’t have any facts. Other than this whole thing to me is so incredibly sad on every front.
Contact staff writer Matt Breen at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @matt_breen.