Temple’s Pierce making impact in NFL

Bernard Pierce, Temple running back
Bernard Pierce broke off a 25-yard run and scored a touchdown Sunday for the Ravens.

Bernard Pierce may be flying on different wings and sporting different colors than when he tore it up at Temple. That doesn’t mean he’s left behind his buddies on North Broad Street.

In fact, following the Ravens’ 30-9 win over Houston this past Sunday, the 22-year-old admitted he’s keeping in touch with his former Owl teammates on a regular basis.

“I talk to them at least once a week,” said Pierce, who rushed for 65 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown in his first NFL start. “There’s a lot of people still left I know. I’ve watched them on TV, but haven’t had a chance to get down there and go to a game.”

His alma mater is 0-3 under new coach Matt Rhule, who served as assistant offensive coordinator when Pierce was there. The running back rushed for 3,570 yards and scored 54 touchdowns for the Cherry and White.

“Matt’s a good coach,” said Pierce, who has 144 yards on 52 carries this season. “There’s gonna be a lot of wins coming Temple’s way soon.”

Temple might want to start this weekend in Moscow, Idaho, where the Owls take on the Vandals. If not, they’ll face an uphill climb next week when they host Teddy Bridgewater and No. 5 Louisville.

Meanwhile, Pierce will have other things on his mind. Ravens starter Ray Rice isn’t expected back for a couple of weeks, meaning the load falls on his 6-foot, 218-pound frame.

“Bernard battled the whole game,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “He made some big third-down conversions for us. Bernard’s able to take the ball North-South against defenses and hold on to that football.”

Pierce takes it all in stride.

“I’m getting a lot better,” said Pierce. “This [first start] was just another game. I just tried to stay calm. The blocking was great, but it was still nice to take it into the end zone.”


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