PHILADELPHIA (AP) Temple kept its bowl hopes alive with a 42-14 victory over Army before 25,516 at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday afternoon.
The victory gives the Owls a 7-4 overall record (4-3 MAC) and a modest two-game winning streak, with Kent State remaining on their schedule. Army lost its third consecutive game and fifth of its last six.
Bernard Pierce led the Owls with a game-high 157 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries, including a 49-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown run in which he broke several tackles. Matt Brown added 133 yards on eight carries, including touchdown runs of 22 and 52 yards, averaging 16.6 yards a carry. Temple pounded Army on the ground, gaining 335 yards and five rushing touchdowns.
Army snapped Temple's shutout bid when Max Jenkins, the Black Knights' third quarterback of the afternoon, scored on a one-yard plunge with 2:59 remaining in the third quarter. Army freshman Larry Dixon added a cosmetic score on a 15-yard run with 7:30 left in the fourth quarter.
The Black Knights' starting quarterback, junior Trent Steelman, left the game after Army's second play. After missing the three previous games with a high left ankle injury, Steelman left Saturday with a right leg injury.
Temple had the game in hand by halftime. The Owls took a commanding 28-0 lead into intermission, scoring on their first two possessions and four of their first five drives. Temple outgained Army 269-103 in total yards for the half, averaging 8.1 yards a play.
The bulk of Temple's offense came on the ground, where the Owls established a new school record for rushing touchdowns scored in a season, when Bernard Pierce scored for the second time on a one-yard run with 4:30 left in the second quarter. It marked Temple's 30th rushing touchdown this season, eclipsing the previous mark of 29 during the 2009 season.
Temple wasted little time getting out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. The Owls took the opening kickoff 80 yards on six plays, concluding with Matt Brown's nifty 22-yard touchdown run.
The Owls followed that with a 15-play, 88-yard drive for Pierce's first score, an 11-yard run that Pierce took to the outside and caught the end zone pylon. All 15 plays came on the ground, with Pierce carrying 10 times for 63 yards.
After one quarter, the Owls had blasted through the Army defense for 151 yards rushing, and 194 by halftime. Army's smallish defensive front (its largest defensive lineman is 260-pound junior tackle A.J. Mackey) entered the game giving up an average of 170.8 yards rushing per game.
The Black Knights didn't cross midfield until the final minute of the second quarter.