Fizzy’s Corner: The Houston Win

By Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub

Lot’s of play-action on first down, QB keepers, and mostly pin-point passing kept Houston off-balance.  It was an aggressive Temple football team that immediately took charge against a very good Houston team.  Quickly, the coaching staff found that Houston’s Achilles heel was their missing all-American defensive tackle, Ed Oliver, and Ryquell Armstead went to work amassing 210 yards on 30 rushes, behind outstanding blocking.   Oh, I almost forgot, he scored six touchdowns, too.  Along the way, Ventell Bryant broke the Temple all-time receiving record and now has 2,277 yards.


Defensively, we contained the explosive Houston offense pretty well.  Blitzes from the get-go, a blocked punt, and an assertive man-to-man pass coverage kept award-winning Houston QB, D’eric King, as much under control as possible.  With 10:22 left in the game, we had a three-touchdown lead and it was time to relax; right?  Not on your life.

In previous weeks, we had great coaching for 30 minutes, last week for 45 minutes, and last night for 50 minutes.  We’re improving.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a marvelous win, one that should get us some top 25 votes.  If we win out, there’s a possibility we could end the season ranked.  (It’s one hell of a long way from when I thought we might not win a game after losing to Buffalo and Villanova.) That’s important because it would mean a good bowl slot against a power-five conference team, giving us tremendous recruiting exposure – instead of playing Sarah Palin University of Nome, Alaska, who’s premier win was against the Ute’s of Saskatchewan.  That bowl game, by the way, is scheduled to take place in Philadelphia, Mississippi, near the Choctaw Ridge. (Y’all remember Billy McAllister?)

So there are ten minutes left against Houston and we’re up 21 points.  On offense, there’s a dilemma.  Do we run the ball and the clock, or do we maintain our aggressive play calling and do some play-action on first down?  Well, we did throw some, but it was our run calls that got too conservative. They were mostly just straight down Broad Street, and then we’re giving the ball right back to Houston.

But it’s the defense I totally didn’t understand.  Why in the world were we still playing man-to-man pass coverage?  Our pass defenders were dog tired, and we lost one of our best to a dubious targeting call.  (The penalties mostly evened out, though.) In that situation, we should be rushing four, and playing various protective zones with the other seven guys, and there should always be a deep safety, last resort guy.  Instead, we got beat for two cheap touchdowns on thirty-some yard passes.  They should have been held to short-yardage gains which would have exhausted the clock.

Three other things as I nit-pick.  We still cover three wide-outs with two pass defenders and a half of a linebacker who cheats that way.  If I was throwing against that alignment, I’d go down the field with ten-yard passes.  (Don’t let South Florida see this write-up.)  Our coverage on the on-side kick was terrible, and we wasted time-outs on a field goal, punt, and kick-off.  (I’m so glad we didn’t need them.)

However, we’re 6 – 4, with a chance to go 8 -4.  The growth of this team has been remarkable and noticed by everyone connected to college football.  Tally-Ho!

Thursday: USF Kryptonite 

Saturday: Tribute To The Seniors


13 thoughts on “Fizzy’s Corner: The Houston Win

  1. Always enjoy your commentary, sir. I’m especially hopeful that the coaching improvement you’ve noted is real and continues through the end of this season and the bowl game.

    Mike: I voted for the Pinstripe Bowl. First, I’d love a Big 10 matchup against a former Big East team. Second, because it’s probably the only game I can make this year. (In fact, I could see some of my friends who are not TU fans making that trip to NYC.). Hotel room rates in Annapolis will probably be at a maximum. My point is that some voters like me will vote with an eye towards what works to allow attending the bowl game versus those those who are voting primarily on the matchup. Anyway, good idea to have the poll. Thanks for yet another way for making this blog so informative and entertaining.

  2. there is one thing this team could easily do and increase its chances to win dramatically, stop the stupid penalties!

    Does everyone realize Temple leads AAC in penalties? We give away 76 yards in penalties every game. That is clearly poor coaching.., you make a penalty in the red zone and you sit the next two possessions. You make a penalty that negates a TU score and you don’t start the next game.., technique and discipline are on the coaching staff – period.

    The only good news is USF is the second most penalized team in the conference, so we should expect to watch a sloppy game.

    Guaranteed the officials are aware and can’t wait to throw flags. You don’t get the benefit of the doubt when the officials know your team makes conscious decisions not to abide by the rules.

    CC should approach the officials before the next game and say forget the history, our guys will play a clean game. Make a commitment.

  3. USA Today projected Temple in
    Birmingham bowl vs army; they take army out of armed forces bowl and put smu in there against Baylor; if I’m pat Kraft I’m on the horn lobbying to put smu against army and grab Baylor as an opponent

  4. This season vs last year ?
    And what did Yogi Berra say – ‘Deja Vu all over again’.

  5. On Saturday, TU should use a play action move on every play. I believe that after the UCF game, Houston planned to stop the pass. Give coaches credit for sticking with the run and using tight ends to pull and block. This week, USF has to worry about both the pass and run. Using play action on every play will be like taking candy from a baby. USF has to be equally worried about both the pass and run so they can’t crowd the line but also must respect the run. Focus by Russo has to be on the safeties. If they hesitate on pass action, one of the receivers always will be open. If they stay back run is the way to go.

  6. How did this team ever lose to Villanova and Buffalo?

  7. My point posted above, cheeeze, what a lost chance at stardom we had.

    IF TU wins out these last 2, I say the Collins choo choo train will be at the station loaded and chugging out, but he will have done OK for himself and TU.

    • Only way they can screw up the next hire is by bringing in another unproven assistant coach

    • absolutely crazy if so, he has taken a championship program and made what significant improvements?

      the P5 must be really desperate.., CC stays untils he wins something, but I could be wrong, Daz left w/o doing sh*&

      • Low bar these days. Arkansas took SMU’s Chad Morris after a 6-6 season at SMU (his best there). I think an 8-win Collins is gone. Hell, the UCF coach could be a one-and-done.

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