If Bernard Pierce could talk to Temple fans, he would tell them to relax.
“I’m feeling well,” said the Owls tailback, who is nursing a hamstring injury. “My body is holding up well, just a couple of nicks and bruises along the way.”
Then he said the one thing Temple followers really wanted to hear.
“I should be good for Wednesday,” Pierce said in reference to the much-anticipated Mid-American Conference East Division matchup against Ohio.
The Owls (5-3, 3-2 Mid-American) must defeat the Bobcats (5-3, 2-2) at Peden Stadium if they expect to reach the conference championship game. And a healthy Pierce gives them their best chance to win.
“Coach [Steve Addazio] is taking the extra precaution of not trying to drive my body into the ground in practice when we have a game,” the 6-foot, 218-pound junior said of not practicing since Oct. 14.
Pierce leads the nation with 18 rushing touchdowns. He also ranks second in scoring (13.50 points per game) and 10th in rushing (118.88 yards per game).
The Glen Mills product had 17 carries for 107 yards a touchdown while competing at 60 percent in last weekend’s 13-10 setback to Bowling Green.
“I give him a lot of credit,” Addazio said. “He did not want to come out that one game. And it was real important for him to be in the game.”
And it’s also important for Pierce to play against Ohio.
“We got to win,” he said. “Everyone has been going really hard this week at practice. And our mentality, our mindset, our motive is to go down there and win.”