Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Temple's Pierce named to Maxwell Watch List

PHILADELPHIA – Temple junior running back Bernard Pierce (Ardmore, Pa.) is one of nine players added to the expanded 2011 Maxwell Award Watch List, the Maxwell Football Club announced on Tuesday.

The Maxwell Award has been presented to the outstanding collegiate football player in America since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced on October 31, and three finalists will be announced November 21. The winner of the 2011 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show which will be held on December 8. The formal presentation of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala, hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City on March 2, 2012.

During the first six games of the 2011 season, Pierce has been impressive.  For the month of September, Pierce helped the Owls to a 3-1 record, including a win over a BCS team and the program’s first-ever win over an ACC team.  Additionally, the Owls scored at least 38 points in each of its three wins, led the nation in scoring defense (7.75), and received a vote in the USA Today Coaches’ Top 25 poll.

Individually, Pierce posted three 100-yard rushing performances in four games.

In the win over Villanova, Pierce finished with 20 carries for 147 yards and three touchdowns. His three rushing TDs tide his career high.

In the MAC win at Akron, Pierce recorded another 100-yard performance-- the 11th of his career.  He finished with 18 carries for 150 yards and a career-high three touchdowns for the second straight week, all in one half of work (he didn’t play at all in the second half).

In the win at Maryland, Pierce rushed for a school record and Mid-American Conference record-tying five touchdowns. He eclipsed the 100-yard mark in rushing for the 12th time in his career and third time this season. He finished the game with 149 yards on 32 carries for five touchdowns.

It was the first time in his career that he scored three touchdowns in the first quarter (on 31 yards rushing) alone.   The five rushing TDs also tie the MAC record, held by 10 players.  His 30 points also tied Sherman Myers’ (vs. Syracuse, 1979) school record for most points in a game.

In Saturday’s 42-0 shutout win at Ball State, Pierce rushed for 121 yards and three touchdowns. He eclipsed the 100-yard mark in rushing for the 13th time in his career and fourth time this season. With his second TD on the day, Pierce became Temple’s all-time career leader in rushing touchdowns. He now has 41 rushing touchdowns in his career.  He surpassed Paul Palmer (1983-86) who had 39 rushing TDs.

Pierce has scored three or more TDs in four games this fall.

After six games, Pierce leads the Owls (and the MAC) with 692 yards and a national-best 15 touchdowns on 141 carries. He is the Owls’ and MAC’s top scorer with 90 points.

Pierce stands third in career 100-yard games with 13.

Pierce needs just one touchdown to surpass his own record for TDs in a season (16) from 2009 and one TD to tie Paul Palmer with career touchdowns (rushing & receiving) with 43.  He is one TD (or six points) away from breaking the record for points scored in a season of 96 which he and PK Brandon McManus set together as true freshmen in 2009.

In this week’s national statistics, Pierce is No. 1 in the nation in rushing touchdowns (15), No. 2 in scoring (15.00 ppg), and No. 13 in rushing (115.33).

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