Fizzy’s Corner: Breaking It Down


Editor’s Note: Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub played football at Temple and has watched the Owls for longer than most any single fan. He’s seen a lot of bad and some good, so he knows how to separate the two by now. Here is his latest contribution.

                                                                   By Dave (Fizzy) Weinraub

Well, we’re 2 & 1, just like everyone thought we’d be at the end of the exhibition season.  But I’m not ever going to curse the football gods again because it’s a very deceptive 2 & 1.  Consider this, if Villanova receivers hadn’t dropped five balls, and the Massachusetts kicker would have made his three “gimmes,” we’d be 0 & 3.

The Offense

There was some improvement vs. Mass.  A new quarterback came in with an option offense for a few plays, and Marchi ran a few options, and a two QB draws.  There was more throwing on first down than previously, but still from straight drop-backs and not play-action.  However, there still is the same run the ball on the first two plays in the red-zone  philosophy (first possession), and run the ball up the gut on the first two plays, even after passing got us into Mass. territory in the fourth quarter. Once more, probably for the second time in college football history, our offensive coordinator shut down our passing game on the opposition’s forty-something yard line and ran the ball on second and third downs to set up (this time) a fifty-two yard field-goal attempt.  Who  does this?  Even in the NFL they don’t do this unless it’s the last few seconds of a tie game.  Are you kidding me?

Time management was again brought to question.  For the second week in a row, we had to call time out after an injury time out, to get the play in.  Hello!

Almost every coach says “we’re gonna play smash-mouth football.” The strength of this year’s team, however, is in the accuracy of our QB’s arm, and the wonderful skills of our receivers, both in catching and running after the catch.  This offense should be based on throwing the ball, short and long.  This team has to pass to set up the run.  Gun and then run!  We don’t have a Paul Palmer or a Khalid Thomas to bail us out. If we don’t play to our strengths as all great coaches do, it will be a long season.

The Defense

Alas, and woe is me.  For the third week in a row, our pass defense was porous.  Even though we blitzed a lot more, and it helped, we got burned when the backs came out, grabbed a short pass, and ran to daylight.  It’s obvious our linebackers are mostly lousy on pass defense.  They are slow to recognize their responsibility, and slow to cover.  Be aware though, this is one of the toughest responsibilities in defensive football.

After three weeks of pass defense failure, this tells me we need to add a different type of defensive scheme.   My suggestion is to have the four down-linemen and the middle linebacker be responsible for the run and pressure on the passer.  Then, I’d have four defenders in a zone across the field at ten yards deep, and two deep safeties, one on each side. This way, the defenders can see who’s coming out, read the QB’s eyes, and see the ball in the air. (Please remember, I’m 92% accurate in my play-calling from the stands. I keep my own stats, by the way, so trust me.)


P.S. – Call me crazy, but I don’t know when in football history and which defensive genius decided to have the pass defenders chase the receiver with their back to the QB.  We were always taught to stay behind the receiver until the ball was released, for many obvious advantages.  Maybe after all the offensive coordinators got together and agreed to run the same plays, the defensive coordinators met and decided this was a good thing.  Wait; I know.  It was the officials, so they could call more interference penalties.

Tomorrow: The Lost Letter

Thursday: USF Preview

Friday: USF Game Analysis


11 thoughts on “Fizzy’s Corner: Breaking It Down

  1. USF is not as perfect as everyone thinks. Let’s at least keep it close.

    • If it were tiddlywinks or horseshoes, I’d like to keep it close. I want Collins to show me something and win this game. Since he hasn’t showed me squat so far, I’m not keeping my hopes up. Stony Brook gave this team a game (and was withing a score late in the fourth quarter), so why can’t Temple? Probably because SB is better-coached. Prove me wrong, Geoff.

    • USF is the real deal.., along with Memphis, Houston, and Navy…,

      USF 41 – Temple 10…, another 30 point loss..,

      when is the last time Temple lost two games by more than 30 points in a single season?

      yes, it has come to this…,

  2. I see that same defensive mistake (face to the receiver/back to the passer in the NFL. The only way that will work is if you get lucky and the ball hits your outstretched arms (still might get called for interference). If the defender would turn around as soon as he sees the receiver’s head or eyes move, it would lead to quite a few interceptions. As for the what if’s re dropped balls or made kicks, you cannot assume that the rest of the flow of the game would be the same. What Temple or anybody else does re defense and offense is dependent on the score, so what if’s are very deceptive. I am seeing a lot short dump offs and back out into the passing lanes from a lot of teams, and we are not the only ones having trouble covering it, but our linebackers are still trying to learn to read the offense. How about that kid Roche. Is he a very pleasant surprise or what. Sharif is not yet the force I thought he would be. i miss Reddick and Ellis. Marchi is a pleasant surprise. He is good. Toddy should be worked in more but dependent on field position and situation. The coaches have it pretty right. He is obviously the backup. What happened with Russo? I thought he would be the guy. Okay, with my first game in 1947, I am certainly one of the most long standing Temple fans around. Yes, you sent to me a picture of the newspaper clipping for that PSU game. Rabbi Dick White


    • Marchi is much better than I thought he would be, I will admit that. The Marchi I saw on Cherry and White Day has not been there this year. Meanwhile, I like the kid (Centeio) and would love not to burn his redshirt with three quarterbacks who are all capable of playing. It seems they are intent on burning the redshirt, though. The way you build a program is to redshirt true freshmen unless you absolutely HAVE to play them. The way Logan has played, I don’t see the “have to” part with Todd.

  3. Am I reading the Nbr 1 issue , my opinion on D is the Line Backers are not able to do their jobs ? Is this because they can’t ( no ability ? ) or because they are not prep ‘ed or coached properly. I will go with the line they just don’t have the ability. And I suppose the same thing goes with O Line, they just don;t have the ability.
    Coaches can’t be all that’s wrong, yes problems with maybe play calls and some game prep. The players are just not that good, so be it.
    QB Marchi did look good when he did a big time role out to his Right side in the second half and completed a nice pass.
    The question is what can be improved big time in 2 or 3 weeks ?
    We don’t look forward to the rest of this season. The shock of the steep drop off since last year’s team is so sad.

  4. When will Collins follow his own lead and play Sharga at linebacker and Kirkwood on 3rd down passing situations? Given the lb play, Sharga would add stability to the position. Was Collins full of it or has he forgotten what he pronounced?

  5. Temple fans seem to have their breakdowns earlier each year. I snap my twig around Game 7.

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