Editor’s Note: Fizz checks in on his thoughts about the Maryland game.
By Dave (Fizzy) Weinraub
In the original story, a lawyer named Gabriel Utterson investigates the prominent physician Dr. Jekyll, who transforms into the murderous Mr. Hyde. In this version of the story, I will take the place of lawyer Utterson. The dual personalities of Jekyll and Hyde will be played by Dave Patenaude, the Temple offensive coordinator.
Utterson (to Inspector Hodges):
“It was most remarkable. During the first three offensive possessions, Mr. Hyde was running the offense. It was the same old Broad Street Offense… handoffs up-the-gut on first down, followed by straight passes with no fakes from an open backfield. When the passes failed, it was up-the-gut on third and long.
Hodges (to Utterson):
“Then what happened?”
“From what I heard, there was a timeout and Mr. Hyde went to the men’s room. When he came back to the coaches’ box, he was most composed and dapper. He’d morphed into Dr. Jekyll, and the offense was completely different. All of a sudden there was deception in the backfield. Receivers and running backs were going in motion and coming back to QB before the snap, sometimes getting the ball and sometimes faking. There were even tight-end screens and the defense didn’t know what was happening. Then, QB Russo started to roll out which gave him plenty of time to look downfield and throw very accurate passes (except for the time when he looked directly at his receiver doing a sideline pattern and was intercepted for a pick six.) Amazingly, I saw what may be the best offensive call in Temple’s history.* On a fourth and two, Temple ran a fake punt and a reserve QB threw a touchdown pass that changed the game.”
“Wow! Was that all?”
“Not by any means. Russo threw a touchdown pass on a designed play where the wideout broke to the sideline and jumped up and down drawing his man and the safety. Meanwhile, the tight end ran a stop and go and was wide open down the sideline. This is the first time since this new coaching staff took over last year, that we’ve seen imaginative and deceptive play design.”
“So it was a cake walk after that?”
“Unfortunately, no! It was really strange. There was a TV timeout with six minutes left in the third quarter, and Dr. Jekyll’s assistant left the booth. When he came back, he was so startled he had to change his shorts because Mr. Hyde was once more looking at the field. Everything then reverted back to the Broad Street Offense. It seems that Mr. Hyde was once more playing not to lose. Two of the most curious play calls occurred on third and on long, deep in Maryland’s territory. On both occasions, he ran his famous up-the-gut play for no gain, and I thought he was trying to set-up a field goal. But no, he then threw deep from a straight drop-back on fourth down.”
“So what clinched the game?”
“Well, again it was weird. Maybe Mr. Hyde rubbed off some on the defense which had played so aggressively and outstandingly to that point and not allowed any points. The defense seemed to relax a little, used some three-man rushes, and Maryland began to be effective with both the run and the pass. The game was saved from being a nail-biter by linebacker Bradley who had an 83-yard interception return for a touchdown.”
“So what’s your conclusion in regards to the coaching staff?”
“Inspector, if you arrest Mr. Hyde and lock him in the basement of Conwell Hall, perhaps this coaching staff will finally learn to be aggressive at all times.”
* This author made mention that the fake punt on fourth and two was possibly the best offensive call in Temple’s history. Undoubtedly, the worst call was when I was handed the ball against Delaware in 1959, and lost three yards.
Tomorrow: What We’ve Learned