Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Best Thing on TV: Bernie's MAC Show

"Give the ball to The Franchise, that's what I've been telling coach all along," Steve Manieri seems to be saying to Bernard Pierce.

Photo by Ryan Porter, Porterhouse Productions

By Mike Gibson
Mark Beier and the Toledo radio broadcast team threw some many bouquets in Temple's direction Saturday night, you didn't know which ones to catch and which ones to send to the niece's wedding.
Beier talked about the size and the fierceness of Temple's offensive line and the overall speed of the Temple defense.
Something Beier said in the fourth quarter of Temple's 40-24 win at Toledo really caught my ear, though.
"I haven't seen a running back of this caliber in the Mid-American Conference in a long, long time," said Beier, whose radio call also streams worldwide on a MAC access channel with video.
Color man Tom Duncan agreed.
Beier was, of course, talking about Temple freshman Bernard Pierce, whose amazing recovery from being carried off in a stretcher last week in the Army game is nothing more than Lourdes-like.

BP's numbers:
40 carries=game
212 yards=game
3 touchdowns=game
766 yards=season
9 TDs=season

Pierce rushed for 212 yards and three touchdowns and now has 766 yards on 135 carries, despite getting only six carries against Villanova. Pierce now has a team-high nine touchdowns and already has bettered Paul Palmer's records for touchdowns (6) and yards (628) by a freshman.
Did we mention Palmer finished as a runnerup to Vinny Testaverde for the 1986 Heisman?
Thought I'd mention that.
Temple has now won five straight games for the first time since 1979. The Owls (5-2, 4-0) are also in the MAC East driver's seat, affirming predictions by both the New York Times and CBS Sportsline prior to the season.
Meanwhile, the Toledo game was a tale of two stars with bum shoulders.
One could play. One didn't.
"It's doubtful," Temple coach Al Golden said when asked if Pierce would play Wednesday.
Five minutes later, in the same presser, Golden said: "I don't have any doubt, Aaron Opelt will be playing quarterback on Saturday night for Toledo."
Well, guess what happened?
Pierce's broken shoulder was fixed and Golden's doubt-meter was broken.
Or maybe Al was just playing possum.
Whatever, I don't think Toledo wins that game with Opelt AND Pierce playing.
Then again, I don't think Temple wins that game without Pierce.
That's how good Pierce was.
When you have a running back like Pierce, you can manage the game off him and that's what Temple quarterback Vaughn Charlton did so well on Saturday night.
Vaughn threw a nice touchdown pass that Michael Campbell caught, another ball that Michael Campbell probably should have caught for six (it would have been a really good catch, though) and another flair that went for another touchdown to Jason Harper, who only makes positive things happen every time his number is called.
Pierce went out for a blow late in the fourth quarter and they handed the ball to Lamar McPherson, who promptly went down on the same kind of play Pierce was falling forward for eight yards a pop.
"You can see the difference between Pierce and everybody else," Beier said.
Whatever they rubbed on his shoulders this week, must've worked.
I wonder if they got the bottle overnighted from France.
Whatever, it was the Elixer the Owls needed and one they will have to keep in the medicine shelf the rest of the way.