Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Quest for 2000- Bernard Pierce
The next installment in my series on finding the next 2000 yard rusher in college football, lands us at Bernard Pierce of Temple. Pierce enjoyed the epitome of a breakout freshman season as he finished the year with 1,361 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. This was all accomplished without being the starter until 3rd game of the season!!! With that said, here is a breakdown of the pros and cons on Bernard Pierce becoming the next 2000 yard rusher in college football:
Averaged 21 carries per game after becoming the starter, despite missing two games to injury
Returns 4 Offensive Line Starters
2 games of over 200 yards rushing
2 games of 40 carries
Returns top Quarterback and Receivers
100+ yard games- 6 20+ carry games- 6 Avg. Yards per game- 105 Starter- 124
Good defense allows him to run the ball deep into games
Analysis: Temple showed this last year that they did not have any problems putting the game on their running back's shoulders. Proof of this is witnessed by two games of 40 carries for Pierce. He is a nice blend of power, standing 6 feet and weighing 212 pounds, and speed, having clocked a 10.8 100 meter dash in high school. Most of the offense is intact especially the offensive line. It also doesn't hurt that he plays in the not-so-defensive MAC.
Dealt with injuries at the end of the year
Battling Matt Brown for carries
Analysis: Pierce went out during the Army game and then was injured on his first run again UCLA in their bowl game. Pierce will need to show that he can stand up to the carries. The biggest hurdle to Pierce getting to the 2000 yard summit is that he will most likely be losing some carries to teammate, Matt Brown. Brown filled in seamlessly for Pierce in games against Kent State, Ohio, and UCLA. He is incredibly small (5-5, 167 lbs.) but is incredibly quick and elusive.
Bernard Pierce is a true workhorse and will have a great career for Temple. I see him getting his carries and making some fantasy worthy numbers, but ultimately losing carries to Matt Brown. I still look for Pierce to get between 20-25 carries a game and will be able to stay healthier on his quest for 2000.