Mike Gerardi threw for three touchdowns and Bernard Pierce scored on two runs as Temple easily handled Buffalo 42-0 on Saturday.

The Owls (6-2, 3-1 Mid-American Conference) scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions, building a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter.

Buffalo (2-5, 1-2) did not cross midfield on offense until the 7:34 mark of the third quarter.

Gerardi, a former walk-on making the first start of his career, connected with Rod Streater for two touchdowns, first on a 42-yard bomb and then with a 5-yard fade pass. He also hit Michael Campbell for a 5-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone.

Pierce opened the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run at 12:07 of the first quarter, capping a 23-yard drive after Buffalo fumbled the opening kickoff. He also scored on a 10-yard scamper, breaking to the outside to run untouched to the right pylon.

Pierce finished with 106 yards on 23 carries while fellow running back Matt Brown had 109 yards on 20 attempts. It was the first time two Temple running backs rushed for over 100 yards since 1997 against Rutgers.

Buffalo was shut out at home for the first time since 2002. True freshman Alex Zordich struggled in his first career start, going 11-for-26 for 98 yards and three interceptions. Zordich was sacked five times.

For the Owls it was their first shutout since 1992 and first under fifth-year head coach Al Golden. The Owls outgained Buffalo 397 yards to 161 and forced four Bulls turnovers.

The win makes Temple bowl-eligible for the second straight season. It is the first time in program history the team has been eligible to go to a bowl game in back-to-back seasons.

The Owls are off to their best start since 1979.

(Copyright ©2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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