Fizzy: The Bucknell Game

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Fizzy likes what he’s seen from coach Carey and staff so far.

Editor’s Note: Dave (Fizzy) Weinraub is one of the few ex-players we know at Temple who has actually played in a game against Bucknell. His review of the latest gridiron clash between the two schools follows.

By Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub

The day after Temple announced the hiring of Rod Carey, I got this message from a friend who lives in Boulder, Co.  “TEMPLE DID WHAT???”

Let me explain.

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Fizzy here at the Boca Raton Bowl with a few  friends

My friend Erik, in Boulder, was an alum of Northern Illinois University (NIU), and two of his college buddies still lived there and went to all their football games.  Erik would get a weekly message during football season from his buddies, who were not at all happy with Carey’s play calling.  Basically, they said he was a run-oriented guy who rarely did imaginative things.  Erik predicted I was going to go crazy watching and writing about Carey’s offense.  So all winter long, I was dreading Temple’s first game, expecting to see a boring offensive game plan that wouldn’t make use of all our inherent talent.

Just one more qualifier, please.  Long ago, a West Philly High student was asking me about my career.  When I got done a brief summary, he looked up and thoughtfully said, “Weinraub, you older than shit!”

That I am, and I’ve seen so many Philly football coaches at all levels, I couldn’t begin to list all their names.  In two weeks, I knew Andy Reid couldn’t call plays in the Pop Warner league.  I saw so many Temple coaches way over their heads and continually call time outs because they couldn’t get the plays in on time. Then, more often than not, run the ball up the middle. Many of these coaches didn’t make use of their talent and even had students carrying posters running up and down the sideline signaling in the plays.  Those coaches learned on-the-job and at our expense. Lots of times, Temple players won games despite their coaches.

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Well, that was then.  Yesterday, however, I was the most surprised fan at the LINC.  Yes, it was only an overwhelmed Bucknell team, but I saw a flawless offense.  There was no hesitation on play calls.  We started out throwing the ball and then mixed everything up continually.  The shovel pass for the first touchdown was a beautiful call.  Later, we went to an up-tempo, no-huddle scheme that rocked Bucknell’s defense.  And guess what?  After all my years of bitching, I saw an offense make excellent use of misdirections.  As promised, Carey got our all-American special teams player (Wright), the ball in every conceivable fashion.  I was thoroughly impressed because I saw an offense truly designed around the skills of our talented players.  Coach Carey and offensive coordinator Mike Uremovich, are to be congratulated.  The coaching staff showed how years of working together pay off.

I do have one coaching complaint. Can you explain to me why Russo and the first-team offense was on the field and risking injury into the fourth quarter?

The only player negatives revolve around Anthony Russo.  Many times, our outstanding quarterback looked directly at his primary receiver as soon as he got the snap.  Perhaps that had a hand in the pick-six interception?  Also, would someone please teach him how to slide?  (If we had a baseball team, that coach could do the job. Wait, maybe our baseball team is playing in our new 160 million dollar campus stadium. Duh!)

Today, I’m not going to get into the defense because I really want to see how they do against stiffer competition.  However, I believe it was only once they had to call a timeout to set the formation near our goal line.

To sum up, color me thrilled.  I hope yesterday wasn’t a mirage.

Thursday: The Newbies

Saturday: Things to Look for

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Fizzy: The Bucknell Game

  1. Fizzy is right !
    I thought Russo and most of the starters should have been pulled after the first offensive series in the 3rd quarter.
    Why risk an injury , when the game was basically over by the half.

    • not so fast.., Temple vs Bucknell was a scrimmage. What makes this offense so difficult to prepare for when every team in the AAC is doing the same thing?

      Embracing the brand is the only way Temple will win 10 or more games and finish in the Top 25.

      Pro set, QB under center 30 to 40% of the time, double TE 30 to 40%, FB, etc., etc.,,, that is the only way Temple will win the AAC and capture a NY6 bid. And, that does not necessarily mean vanilla football, or slow roll w/o tempo.

      Temple Tuff is a brand, you have to do it to embrace it. The Bucknell scrimmage, like the first half of last year’s game against UCF, was fools gold.

      Mike Uremovich has no idea what Temple Tuff means, nor does he care. Carey will suffer body blows before he bends.

      • My biggest objection is that they are making the same mistake Rhule and Collins made: Force-feeding a spread read option onto a team (and especially a quarterback) tailor made for a pro-set. Every time I see Anthony Russo tuck the ball away on a read-option and run, I cringe. That’s not his game nor ours.

      • Mike, I currently have no complaints with the RPO at this stage because, other than Russo, they have the receivers and backs to run it. As you recall, my main complaint when Rhule ran it in ’14 and ’15 was that the team lacked skill players to run it properly. Each of the current receivers and backs can make the first defender miss, which is a key part of the offense. Rhule In 2015, only had possession receivers who were tackled almost immediately after catching the ball. All Russo needs to do is get them the ball quickly and accurately, which he can do, and run enough to keep the defense honest. . The freshman back showed what he can do after catching a three yard swing pass. Wright and Blue can also make guys miss.

      • I don’t like the RPO with Anthony. I don’t think any team that has that “type” of quarterback (drop back, not run threat) should ever run a RPO. Seems to me they are doing it because they had running quarterbacks (Jordan Lynch, etc.) at NIU and that’s never a good enough reason to do it. If Bill Belichick coached a college football team and had Tom Brady as his QB, I doubt he’d have an RPO-based offense. Just because everybody else does it does not mean you should do it. Navy doesn’t do it and Tulane doesn’t do it and they’ve had recent success. Rhule said Temple did not become a hard team to stop until it dictated play-action off successful runs. To me, Russo would be much more effective if the team was able to establish the run and he threw off play-action. All that said, he risks getting killed every time he decides to tuck it away and run and that’s too big a risk for me.

  2. Had no problem with keeping Russo in the game because he missed two weeks of practice. The only way to reduce the effects of that was to play him a lot Saturday. It’s a good thing the team has a bye this week. His missing all of that practice prevented him from getting used to the hitting, which takes 3-4 days into practice to ignore. I was always the sorest I ever was during a season the first two-three days of contact. As far as complaints about Carey by NIU fans goes, without knowing whether he had the personnel to throw the ball more often it’s something we need to ignore. Most here criticized Collins for not playing Temple Tuff and running the ball more because we knew he had the personnel to do that but stubbornly refused to do so costing the team several losses.

  3. head and shoulders above the last few coaches debuts. No timeouts wasted. Minimal penalties. Minimal turnovers. No stupid mistakes/plays I’ve become accustomed to with temple football. Organized and looked like they knew what they were doing. Best coached temple team I’ve seen in a long time. Yes I know it was bucknell. But past coaches have looked lost compared to these guys even against the bad teams. And we have struggled in the past with these sure win games. There was never a doubt here

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