When the Philadelphia Eagles face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. (CBS3), former Temple running back Bernard Pierce will make his NFL debut at Lincoln Financial Field. The Linc is where Pierce played his college football. He had a number of big days there as the Owls big time rusher.
Pierce now plays for the Ravens. He was Baltimore’s third round pick in this year’s NFL draft. This will be a homecoming for the former Glen Mills star. He will certainly be familiar with the surroundings.
“I feel real good about it,” Pierce said. “I’m real comfortable with the field and the environment. I know what kind of crowd that will be there. So, I’m pretty good with it. College and the pros on the same field, but this time it’s not a home field. I got a lot of people coming down to the game. It feels good coming back with all the family and friends there. I’ll be real anxious to play come game day.
“Growing up in Philly, they were always a home team favorite. I’ve watched them play. I’ve even dissected a little film on them this past week. They’re a good opponent. We’re going to have to go out there and give it all we got.”
Pierce, a 6-foot, 218-pounder, played in Baltimore’s 44-13 Monday night win against the Cincinnati Bengals. He had four carries for 19 yards, including an 11-yard run. He’s averaging 4.8 yards a carry. He currently backs up the Ravens outstanding rusher Ray Rice.
“He’s a good running back and even a better mentor,” Pierce said of Rice. “He’s taught me a lot. He’s helped a lot in camp, OTAs and off the field. I would say backing up him is an honor. I’m just having fun and enjoying the ride.”
Pierce had a lot of fun and success as a Temple Owl. A year ago, he was selected as the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-MAC honoree. He set career-highs with 273 rushing attempts for a league-best 1,481 rushing yards and a school-record 27 touchdowns. He scored 162 points, a Temple single-season record. He tied a school record with nine 100-yard rushing games and had three or more TDs six times. He completed his three-year career on North Broad Street with 3,570 rushing yards.
The Owls are off to a 1-1 start with a victory over Villanova in the Mayor’s Cup and a tough loss at home to Maryland. Matt Brown, Temple running back, has replaced Pierce as the team’s leading rusher.
“I told him to keep it up,” Pierce said. “I told him to keep up the good work. I told to keep going hard.”
That’s what Pierce has been doing throughout his career.