Owls do a little of everything during delay

AKRON, Ohio – What are teams supposed to do during 1-hour, 19-minute lightning delays?

If you’re Temple, you do a little bit of everything.

At least that’s what the Owls did during Saturday night’s 41-3 Mid-American Conference opening victory Akron here at InfoCision Stadium.

“You go through every play that was run, talk about all the stuff,” said Owls first-year coach Steve Addazio, “and get together as a staff and talk about anything we saw different that we didn’t anticipate.”

The Owls (2-0, 1-0) also ate fruit and snacks during the delay that was held up late in the first quarter in a scoreless tie.

“It really is tough,” Temple quarterback Mike Gerardi said. “The rain delays get to you mentally. You want to go out there. You want to get rolling. You want to get in some type of rhythm.”

 The Owls remained locked-in on their game plan against the Zips (0-2, 0-1) during the long break.

"And we kept everybody in tuned to want we were going to do," linebacker Tahir Whitehead said.  

 What about Addazio? Was the coach, who's known for being animated, get in player's faces?

Not according to Gerardi.

He said his coach was business-like for the most part.

“But he does have that animated side right when we are about to go back out,” the quarterback said. “He gets us ready to go, because we have to go out here and set the tone, because it was zero-zero after the first drive.”

Bernard the  Great: Temple running back Bernard Pierce has 297 yards and six touchdowns through two games. The most impressive thing is he accomplished while making early exits in both games due to sizable leads.

Bernard Pierce had 18 carries for 150 yards and a career-high-tying three touchdowns - all in the first half. He has rushed for more than 100 yards in the first quarter in both of this season’s games. As a result, Pierce posted his 11th 100-yard rushing performance of his career.

“It’s a good start, but I could always do better,” he said. “There’s always room for improvement. I can always get better.”

Oh, really? What does the all-MAC selection think he needs to improve on?

“I can always improve on football, agility, pass protection. Things like that,” he said.

Pierce now has 32 career touchdowns and needs eight to surpass Paul Palmer (39) as Temple’s career leader in rushing touchdowns.

Paulhill gets banged up: Temple defensive tackle Shahid Pauhill left the game in the first quarter after being a victim of an illegal chop block. Paulhill was on crutches after the game with a leg injury.

“I don’t know the details right now where’s that's at,” Addazio said of the undisclosed injury. “But … that’s why they banned chop blocks. So kids wouldn’t get hurt, right?

“So we are disappointed in seeing chop blocks.”

The Zips were penalized for two of chop blocks in the first quarter.

Cornerback Kee-Ayre Griffin, playing in his first game following a season-opening suspension, also appeared to get injured. The senior was noticeable limping after the game.

One tough QB: Whitehead respects the toughness of Akron quarterback Clayton Moore. The sophomore was harassed all day, being sacked eight times, throwing an interception and losing a fumble. Moore completed 12 of 26 passes for 192 yards, while rushing 13 times for minus 35 yards.

“With this quarterback, I didn’t see any tentativeness,” Whitehead said. “He kept trying to make plays … He just kept bringing it. And I actually liked that about him.”

Stewart sighting: Temple quarterback Chester Stewart, who like Griffin missed last week's game with a suspension,  played in the fourth quarter.  The fifth-year senior completed 1 of 2 passes for 18 yards. He had a would-be touchdown dropped by tight end Evan Roriguez.

Addazio said we shouldn't make anything out of Stewart coming in as the backup instead of  sophomore Chris Coyer.

"So we wanted to get him some snaps and get him in the mix," Addazio said. "I thought it was right time for him to go in a play a little bit.  I'm glad we played him.

"So Chris has got in a little bit [in the first game]. And Chester's got in. That was our goal."

Owls to hit national airwaves: Temple's game against Penn State next Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field will be an ESPN national televised game. The game starts at noon.

-- Keith Pompey