Monday, October 17, 2011

Pierce takes home another MAC Offensive Player of the Week honor

Temple junior RB Bernard Pierce was named the Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors for the East division, the MAC announced on Monday.

In Saturday’s 34-0 shutout win over Buffalo, Pierce broke five school records.  He became Temple’s all-time career leader in touchdowns (rushing + receiving) and broke his own single-season mark for TDs and points scored. He now has 44 touchdowns (43 rush + 1 rec) in his career.  Pierce re-wrote his own season record for TDs and now has 18 touchdowns in a season (previous record was 16 from 2009). He also re-wrote his own season record for points scored (96, which he shared with Brandon McManus in 2009) and now has 102 points this season. He tied Paul Palmer with 264 career points.  Pierce finished the game with 152 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.

Pierce eclipsed the 100-yard mark in rushing for the 14th time in his career and fifth time this season. 

For the second consecutive week, Pierce and fellow junior RB Matt Brown each rushed for 100 yards.  It marked the 11th time in school history that two backs rushed for 100 yards in a game, and they are the only tandem to do it three times.  They also did it last week at Ball State and in 2010 at Buffalo.

After seven games, Pierce leads the Owls (and the MAC) with 844 yards and a national-best 17 touchdowns on 164 carries. He is the Owls’ and MAC’s top scorer with 102 points.

In this week’s national statistics, Pierce is No. 1 in rushing touchdowns (17), No. 2 in scoring (14.57 ppg), and No. 8 in rushing (120.57). Over the last three seasons, Temple is 17-1 when Pierce carries the ball at least 18 times per game.

Pierce also earned Honorable Mention national running back of the week accolades on Sunday from the College Football Performance Awards.

The MAC honor is the seventh of Pierce’s career and his third this season. He earned the honor on Sept. 5 and Sept. 26. Pierce is the second Owl (fourth time) to earn recognition this season as senior LB Stephen Johnson earned Defensive honors on Oct. 10.

In other Temple news, The College Football Performance Awards honored junior PK/P Brandon McManus  as National Punter of the Week honors, while Pierce earned Honorable Mention national running back of the week.

In Saturday’s 34-0 shutout of Buffalo, McManus made two field goals (28 yd., 23 yd) and four points after touchdown to extend his consecutive streak to 28 makes.  McManus also kicked off seven times for 433 yards, averaging 61.9 yards per kickoff.  He also punted three times for 178 yards (and a career-best 59.3 average), two of which landed inside the 20, also a career best.

In seven games, McManus second in team scoring with 52 points. He leads the MAC with a perfect 28-of-28 in PATs.  In his first season with the added duty of team punting, McManus has punted 20 times for 966 yards. Seven of those 20 landed inside the 20, while 11 were longer than 50 yards.

This is McManus’ third consecutive weekly honor from the CFP.

Also, Phil Steele has release his mid-season honors, recognizing four Temple football players as All-Americans and nine players as members of his 2011 Mid-Season All-Mid-American Conference teams.

Named to the All-America teams, as well as All-MAC first team, were Pierce, senior DE Adrian Robinson, senior TE Evan Rodriguez and senior LB Tahir Whitehead (Newark, N.J.).

Pierce earned Third-Team All-America accolades, while Robinson, Rodriguez, and Whitehead were Honorable Mention selections.

Second-team All-MAC accolades went to senior OL John Palumbo and junior DB Justin Gildea.

Earning third-team All-MAC recognition were senior OL Pat Boyle, junior KOR Matt Brown and senior S Kevin Kroboth.

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