Posted September 26, 2011

National media spotlight shines on Temple football

  • Brian Schneider Temple junior running back Bernard Pierce was named Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive Player of the Week after scoring five touchdowns in Saturday's 38-7 win at Maryland.
  • Brian Schneider; In his first start of the season, redshirt senior quarterback Chester Stewart threw a perfect 9-9 for 140 yards.

The Temple football team's strong September, capped by Saturday's stunning 38-7 victory at Maryland, has earned the Owls high-profile headlines in national media outlets.

The buzz began on Saturday morning with the publication of a story in the print edition of the New York Times about Coach Steve Addazio's ambitions to capture the hearts of Philadelphia sports fans ("Coach's Mission: Selling Temple in a Pro Sports Town," Sept. 24, 2011).

"We talk about being Temple tough and Philadelphia proud," Addazio told the Times' Mark Viera. "There's something about this place. There's kind of a toughness, and it's cool."

Temple Athletic Director Bill Bradshaw explained Temple's potential to fill a big gap in local sports culture.

"The only thing missing in Philadelphia is college football," Bradshaw told the Times. "If you look at Philadelphia, we have the best college basketball with the Big Five. The pro sports are great. The only thing missing is football on Saturdays."

The Owls' big win sparked a flurry of coverage on Sunday. "Temple of Doom," shouted an above-the-fold photo headline on the front page of the Washington Post sports section. Inside, the Post reprised Coach Addazio's mantra in the headline of a story about Temple's renaissance ("'Temple tough and Philadelphia proud' shows through as Owls rout Terrapins," Sept. 25, 2011). A photo of Owls' junior running back Bernard Pierce, who scored five touchdowns against Maryland, dominated the front page of Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer (Keith Pompey's game coverage of the "landmark" win topped page one of the sports section). Bruce Feldman,'s senior college football columnist, said that Temple's win was "the most stunning result of the day" and that Coach Addazio "deserves a lot of credit for the way his team went on the road and mauled the Terps."

The raves continued on Monday.

Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News wrote that "Temple won a lot of hearts and minds when the Owls blew away Maryland, 38-7, on Saturday before a skeptical, trash-talking but now convinced ACC crowd at Byrd Stadium in College Park."

"Temple has been impressive since the outset of the season," wrote ESPN national college football blogger Andrea Adelson. "Coach Steve Addazio has done a terrific job in his first year taking over the program."

The Owls return home to play Mid-American Conference foe Toledo at noon on Saturday, Oct. 1, at Lincoln Financial Field. Tickets may be purchased at The Toledo game is Temple Employee Appreciation Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Day; fans showing a Temple ID or wearing pink will receive tickets for only $5. Fans bringing a canned food item or showing a Phillies playoff ticket or Eagles-49ers ticket also will receive $5 tickets.

The game will be broadcast live nationally on ESPN Plus and locally on 6ABC and 1210 AM WPHT.