One week after coming agonizingly close to snapping a 28-game skid against Penn State, Temple (3-1) defeated Maryland (1-2) for the first time. The Terrapins fell to 6-1 against the Owls, who had dropped the last two games in the series by a combined 54 points.
Temple led 21-0 with just over 11 minutes elapsed, boosted the margin to 31-0 at halftime and played conservatively to the finish. It was 38-0 before the Terrapins got their only score, on a touchdown pass by backup quarterback C.J. Brown with 4:31 remaining.
Pierce ran 32 times for 149 yards, including 108 in the decisive first half. He had touchdown runs of 1,9,4, 44 and 13 yards, giving him 12 TDs for the season.
The old school record for rushing touchdowns in a game was four, performed four times previously.
Starting for the first time this season, Temple senior Chester Stewart completed all six of his passes in the first half and finished 9 for 9 for 140 yards. He also ran for 43 yards.
That, combined with a defense that hounded Terps sophomore quarterback Danny O'Brien all afternoon, produced Temple's first BCS win under first-year coach Steve Addazio.
Maryland wore unsightly yellow, black and red uniforms, yet their performance was far uglier. O'Brien was 17 for 33 for 153 yards and an interception, and he also absorbed his first three sacks of the season. The running game produced only 45 yards, and the defense allowed scores on all five of Temple's first-half possessions.
The Terrapins were terrible on special teams, too. Maryland had a punt blocked for the first time since 1999 and missed an opportunity to get a comeback going in the second quarter by roughing the kicker on a fourth-and-14 punt at the Temple 16.
Given a second chance, the Owls completed a 93-yard drive to increase its lead to 28-0.
After registering an emotional win over Miami in coach Randy Edsall's first game at Maryland, the Terrapins gave highly regarded West Virginia a scare last week before this dud against the Owls.
Nearly two-thirds of the crowd of 39,102 departed before the end of the third quarter.
Coming off a bitter 14-10 defeat against Penn State, Temple couldn't have drawn up a better start. After holding the Terrapins to one yard on three plays, the Owls' first offensive snap produced a 54-yard completion from Stewart to tight end Evan Rodriguez, setting up the first of Pierce's four first-half scores.
Following another three-and-out for Maryland, Stewart ran for 18 yards on a third-and-5 and connected with Rodriguez on passes of 18 and 18 yards before Pierce made it 14-0.
The Owls weren't done. Temple again forced a punt, and Rod Streater blocked the kick to set up a touchdown. Maryland had gone 139 straight games without having a punt blocked.
At that point, many in the crowd began to boo the Terps. The jeers continued as the teams changed sides after a first quarter in which Temple led 21-0 and held a 153-47 edge in yardage.
A roughing the kicker penalty kept alive the Owls' next possession, which ended with Pierce breaking through the line on a third-and-1 play.