Fizzy’s Corner: Russo is the real deal


Temple fans react to the game-winning touchdown. Don’t know what the person with the sunglasses (lower right) is looking at, though.

Editor’s Note: Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub is a former Temple player and later, an educator, teacher, coach, and writer. His thoughts on Temple games appear periodically in this space.


                     By Dave (Fizzy) Weinraub

Sometimes the football gods even things out.  We played mediocre football for 57 minutes and 15 seconds, but then came back to win the game.  You should have taped the game because, based on performance, it was maybe the unlikeliest win in the last sixty years.   Cincy missed three field goals or the game would have never gone to overtime.  Kudos to our defense.  In the overtime, Cincy choked.  There was the snap before everyone was ready, and then the penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.  Game over!

For the first 57 minute and 15 seconds, watching Dave Patenaude call offensive plays was like watching an elephant dance with Royal Ballet.  Not that my friends are highbrow, but some couldn’t watch anymore and left with 5 minutes left in regulation.

 Anthony Russo looks to be the real deal with a big, accurate arm.  Our receivers are long and fast and very difficult to cover.  This team is a big play team and should be coached that way.  Throw the hell out of the ball from the get-go.

Other thoughts:

  1. With first and goal (the first time) – the first two plays were up-the-gut.
  2. With first and goal (the second time) – the first play was up-the-gut.
  3. A little later in the first quarter, with a first and fifteen, up-the-gut.
  4. At the end of the first half, we call a timeout to get the ball back with time on the clock and then run the ball the first two plays.  Cincy then had time to go downfield but missed the field goal.
  5. Every first down from the beginning of the second half until 9:57 left in the game was a running play.

Is it any wonder Cincy was blitzing inside the tackles on first and second down?  I know they saw that upstairs because they started to pitch outside.  Why didn’t Patenaude roll out or bootleg Russo, or have him run some RPO’s?  By the way, we rushed for a total of 80 yards on 30 carries. Do the math.   Also, we were stubbornly trying to run without Ryquell Armstead, our premier runner.  (Gee, was he injured or something?)

  1. In the fourth quarter, Russo quickly brings us downfield to another first and goal and he’s hot.  So coach Patenaude takes him out and puts Centeio in so he can run the ball.  When he comes in, everyone knows he’s going to run the ball.  Why can’t Russo run a keeper on first down where there would be deception?
  2. Then, there’s a slow developing reverse pass.  Well, that’s a beautiful play at midfield where there’s room for the receivers to get open, but not at the goal line.
  3. Two of Russo’s three interceptions, were seemingly miscommunications with the receiver, as was one last week.  What in the world is going on?
  4. Coach Collins gets called for a 15-yard penalty for losing his cool; unnecessary!

Yes, I know, I should be grateful for the win and not be such a wise ass.  But this is big-time college football and our coaches are getting paid a lot of money.  They need to earn it.  You and I are not disloyal if our constructive criticism brings improvement.

With better coaching, our woulda, coulda, shoulda record might be 7 – 1, or even 8 – 0.

Tomorrow: 5 Things That Should Be Addressed on Bye Week

Thursday: Shallow Owl

Saturday: Around The AAC

Monday: Game Week

Wednesday: UCF Preview


14 thoughts on “Fizzy’s Corner: Russo is the real deal

  1. Better coaching is a good benchmark. Not even great coaching. Just average coaching on the offensive side of the ball. Even Al Golden, not a great gameday coach (but a great recruiter), would be able to get more out of this team than the current OC who as Mike said is being enabled by Collins. At least Golden would have seen that he had a great fullback and would have utilized that fullback as an extra downfield blocker for the pretty good tailbacks (one great) Temple has. This guy is so anti pro set to the detriment of the entire organization. So disappointed that a lifetime football guy like Collins is not able to see that.

  2. Isaiah Wright should move to RB next season.

    outside of #7, he is the best RB on the team.

    and, this team has great depth at the WR position.

  3. Owls game was just like the Eagles really , but with wildly different outcomes.
    BTW, Mike, thanks for the intro to some of the vintage Owls FB players I meet with in ‘K’.

    And so Mr Fizz, was coaching good, bad or ‘ mezza-mezz ‘ on Saturday.
    Did the win in the end remove all the angst I had in quarters 2 and 3 where we did ‘nuttin honey’ ?
    All those bad interceptions on both teams was crazy

  4. A second reaction, this time as to Full Back running.
    After a few of the 0 gain runs by Ritrivato, a thought ca e to me and here is what the voice said : ‘You want me to run the FB ok I run the FB and you complaining fans see what you get’ .
    Yes that thought came to me as maybe Paten OC was punishing us purposely setting up those carries using FB only , which resulted in small gains.
    Crazy thoughts , maybe.
    I thought we wanted the FB to LEAD BLOCK for a runner ?

    • It was never to RUN the fullback it was ALWAYS using him as a lead blocker. Patenfraud simply does not embrace that concept. Run more blockers at the defense that are defenders in an area and see a one-cut runner like Rock take it and go. Not Rocket science. Patenfraude thinks he’s Stephen Hawking, though.

    • Not so crazy oh_well, I had the exact same thought when there were a few consecutive runs for awhile, but not smart ones. And when Jager-Gardener was doing ok he was yanked and Ritravato replaced him instead of using them together, plus Nitro got more carries (it appeared) when he was getting little gains. yes, it did seem spiteful to me too. I also wondered how the O all of a sudden started to click at the end – did Patenaude make those calls or not?

  5. It’ll be interesting to see if Patenfraud incorporates the reverse off the read option Carolina ran yesterday. Really great play and better than the same old double reverse pass play he continues to call. Every opponent knows it’s coming and you would thing he’d change it up. Not Patenfraud though.

  6. Great win by the Owls…..just win baby. However, winning gives a false sense that all is well…..great question by KJ….what is the identity? I hate to be negative with a big win but the Offensive situation is really unsettling….as a fan and I’m sure as a player. These wins really make those early losses standout….damn, could be ranked with this win if they won those other head scratchers.

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