Got to wonder what the smartest man in the history of the world would be thinking right now about Temple football.
Since the 30-minute conversation I had with Wayne Hardin on Saturday was pre-game and not post-game and I lost coach Hardin’s number, I can only move on to the second-smartest man, Albert Einstein.
I think our conversation would have gone something like this:
TFF: Mr. Einstein, you saw the Fordham game, how would you fix this Temple team?
AE: Simple mathematics, my friend. Ten plus 5+5+5 + 20/12 and 20/23=6, maybe 7.
AE: Look, your No. 10 can catch, throw and run, right? You only have him catching once or twice now. That’s just not maximizing his output. Have him come around — what do you call it?
TFF: The end?
AE: Yes, the end, and have your No. 12 pitch the ball backward to No. 10 five times and then have No. 10 throw the ball. That’s the first part of the five equation.
TFF: What’s the second?
AE: Keep him at, what do you call it, tight end and throw him the ball five times.
TFF: What’s the third?
AE: Have him come around the end and toss it to him like he’s going to throw the ball, but make it a running play behind that big guy who blocks well — what do you call it?
TFF: A pulling guard?
AE: Yes, a pulling guard. That No. 63, what’s his name?
TFF: Pete White.
AE: Yes, have No. 10 follow Pete White and take off through the secondary. There you have it: Five throws, five catches and five runs. The defense won’t know what No. 10 is going to do when he’s got the ball in his hands. It’s called deception. Works a lot in all kinds of endeavors. Mix it up. Run these 15 plays alternately with your normal regular plays. What do you call them?
TFF: The Tennessee-Chattanooga plays.
AE: Yes, the Tennessee-Chattanooga plays.
TFF: What’s the 20/12 mean?
AE: Twelve, the man who throws the ball, is your what?
AE: Yes, quarterback. He throws the ball 20 times. He’s pretty good at it. Have him do that about 20 times a game.
TFF: What does the 20/23 mean?
AE: That number 23 is fast and he’s got some nifty moves. When 12 isn’t throwing the ball, give it to him about the same number of times 12 passes it. Also might help to have 12 drop back, draw the rush to him and then dump it off to 23. What do you call that?
TFF: A screen pass.
AE: Yes, a screen pass. Get No. 23 in space … and I don’t mean intergalactic space — just in the space behind the defenders and watch him go.
TFF: What’s the six, maybe seven, part mean?
AE: Six wins, maybe seven. But listen. It all starts with getting No. 10 five carries, five passes, five catches. Nothing else works without that baseline formula. That way, you control the ball, create deception, score a lot of points. Let me ask you a question.
AE: You know about E=MC2, right?
TFF: Yes. It’s your Theory of Relativity.
AE: Yes. Do you have anyone on your team who matches the C part of the equation, someone with the speed of light?
TFF: Nobody that fast, but Khalif Herbin is the closest thing we have and he’s been on the bench.
AE: Well, get him on the field then and isolate him in situations where he can best use that speed, like quick passes and reverse. If he’s having trouble catching the ball, hand it off to him as a change-up running back.
TFF: Got it. Gee, thanks, Mr. Einstein. I’ll get this off to Matt Rhule and Marcus Satterfield as fast as I can. One more question.
TFF: What do you do to fix the other side of the ball, what we call the defense?
AE: Tough question. Who do you think I am, Einstein? That’s a joke.
TFF: Yeah, I figured that.
Thursday: Throwback Thursday