Fizz: Great win, but still work to be done


Ed Foley has consistently had the Temple special teams near the top of the NCAA stats but was sorely missed on Saturday.

Editor’s Note: Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub is a frequent contributor to this website and former Temple football player and, later, a high school coach. These are his observations on the 20-17 win over Maryland.


Fizzy here at the Boca Raton Bowl.

By Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub

In Texas, the sun is shining

In Waco the skies are blue,

But if your name’s Ed Foley

You’re really pissed off too.

Raising my right hand, I would like to forthrightly say I’m thrilled with the win over Maryland. Obviously, the defense was spectacular.  Four goal-line stands are the most I’ve ever seen and against a previously scintillating offense.  Defensive coordinator Jeff Knowles and every defensive coach and player deserve any and all the accolades you can muster.  It was a fantastic performance by very talented guys.


Boomer now kicking for Boston College while Connor Bowler is punting for UNC-Charlotte.

Now, let’s see where we can improve.  Wait, did someone mention special teams?

With the help of the Inquirer’s Mike Jensen, I totaled nine bad plays made by the not so special teams.  Besides the penalties, shanked kicks, bad snaps, missed field goals,  and a blocker running into a bouncing ball, there was some coach’s strategy I need to have explained.  After the bad snap which resulted in a safety, why would you kick-off and not punt where you’d get better hang time?  On some punts by Maryland, why did our receiving team do nothing?  I mean they didn’t try to block the punt nor try to set up a run back; they just stood around.

Now I know it’s Isaiah Wright, but common sense should tell you that when fielding a punt or kickoff on one side of the field, you don’t waste three or four seconds trying to get to the other side to find a lane. All that does is allow the defense to get further down the field.  straight upfield and one block could get the lane he’s looking for.  So before we leave the not so special teams, Coach Carey’s removal of Ed Foley as special team’s coach looks terrible right now.

Now, a few things regarding the offense.  One big negative is the four times Russo tried to throw a hook just over the first down marker, the same receiver never turned around.  How does that happen four times?  Why would you keep going back to that play?

In the first half, Wright would run a late-developing pattern across the middle.  It was open both times, but Russo didn’t make accurate throws.  Why didn’t they go back to that play in the second half?

Despite the fumble in the second half, Gardner looked to be the much stronger runner over Davis.  Why didn’t he get more carries?

On one of our drives down the field in the second quarter, we were chewing up the yardage on the ground, gaining nice chunks almost every play.  Suddenly, there was an incomplete first-down pass and the drive stalled.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

On a few fourth and ones, our play call was a handoff five yards deep against a stacked defense, allowing them penetration.  We have a 6′ 4″ quarterback who weighs around 230 pounds.  Certainly, a quarterback sneak is preferable.

I was surprised to learn from Jensen’s article that our two long bombs for touchdowns were from check-offs at the line of scrimmage by Russo.  Perhaps the coaches should let him call more of the plays.  It’s good, however, he’s allowed the freedom to change the plays.

With 2:25 left in the game and Maryland’s offense in disarray on fourth down, why would we call a time out?  It did turn out rather well though, didn’t it?

All in all, though, the offense is way more efficient than ever before.

So, Defense gets an A+, offense gets a B, and special teams an F.  Thank you Football Gods.  We should be among the top 25 this week.

Thursday: Questions and Answers

Saturday: Game Day


16 thoughts on “Fizz: Great win, but still work to be done

  1. I think Fizzy’s F rating for Special Teams play actually is generous. To go from what we had under Coach Foley to what we saw last Saturday is unbelievable. Fortunately that weakness in ST play showed itself in a game that was still won. Here’s hoping ST play can improve quickly to at least a B rating level for Buffalo.

    • The only thing I can say about the special teams is that the punter and snapper were both new and that no conclusions can be drawn based on one game. The one field goal should have been made. If he misses a couple additional make-able field goals TU has a problem. On punt returns, it appeared that TU was defending against fake punts. With Wright receiving punts, they better start working set returns into the play book. The defense against field goals was excellent. I think that’s being overlooked. I bet there will be a significant improvement this week.

      • Rightly so, Carey assumed responsibility for special teams. He will fix it. He must, he fired Foley.

        More time should be spent teaching our QBs to look off the LBs and SAFs. Staring down the primary receiver results in INTs. We are on the same path to 14 INTs, same as last season.

        Future opponents will figure out our QB does not run/run well on the RPOs….., then what?

        This OL may wind up being the best in TUFB history. The DL is just as stout.

      • Easy on the best OL in history stuff. 1985 was the best OL in school history. And it ain’t close.

      • During his press conference, Carey said that the scheme he took on punts after the turnover stemmed from the fact that when TU set up a return Maryland’s punter was intentionally squibbing the ball so that it might hit a TU player, which it did. Once that happened, TU adopted a wait and see plan and Maryland’s punter started booming the ball. Carey did not want another turnover so he kept his guys close to the line of scrimmage. Must say that this guy actually provides information during his press conference unlike Collins or Daz.

  2. Ditto! Good analysis by Wizzy and subsequent posts.

    Owl defense was the best I’ve seen in 55 years.

  3. Now, credit goes to the guys on the field for the effort and guts, but coach Foley presided over an unusual number of blocked kicks and electric returns. Our own kicking game can always be blamed on jitters or odd mishaps- so long as it evens out…
    But it looks pretty glaring that we’re missing our man Foley and we see lesser performance.
    KJ is on the money- best thing we could’ve heard from Carey is him taking responsibility.
    Regression to the mean is the most common statistical trend, and the mean for Temple has been nice for a few years. I figure we’ll see good things.

  4. Fizz is like every former high school football coach: Seeking perfection. His motives are good, although I agree with you mostly. I was thrilled with the win. Maryland will end up being the second-best team on our schedule. I think the Terps will prove to be better than Memphis and Cincy but not quite as good as UCF.

  5. ST play was definitely troubling.
    Not impressed with Mobley missing a 37yard FG. He doesn’t have the strongest leg. Last year, his longest FG was from 41. I`m probably spoiled from watching Boom & Austin Jones. Not sure Temple can count on Mobley too win a game.

    • Clarke is a self-serving a*%hole. What has he done for the community?

      He and Laurie need to be called out at every opportunity.

    • Great story. I submitted the same thing to the Inquirer/Daily News two years ago (not as well-written, but touching on all the points Jim made) and the editor wrote me an email saying she couldn’t publish it because I didn’t have the community point of view included. I wrote back that it was an OPINION piece and I did not need to articulate the OPINION of the community since there were already five OPINION pieces taking the community’s side that had been published and only one pro-stadium piece (by Pat Marion) published. Great to see Philly Mag publish something the Inquirer should have done.

      • Just read that story and I agree that is was a good read. I really think the only alternatives, and this is just my opinion, the University has at this point are:

        1. Come up with a suitable “tribute amount” for Clarke to get the site being proposed. Think the admin missed the boat not getting the construction unions vocally behind this project from the start.

        2. Sit down and work out a deal agreeable to both sides to stay at the Linc long term.

        3. Build a stadium at Ambler. I have never been a fan of this idea because I think you would still have one of the main issues folks don’t want to stay at the Linc, distance for students to travel. That being said, at least TU seems to have the space at Ambler for this project and to me it’s better than building in some of the other places people have tossed out on different boards.

  6. Good article. But English professors, ha. Just about the dopiest and most disconnected to the real world people that exist. The few that major in it and manage to get tenured positions are the luckiest airheads in the world. The reality of the College Industry (with the exception of maybe a few dozen very elite schools) is to entertain (i.e. upscale dorms, gyms, successful athletic teams, etc.) students. And then educate them. Maybe one tenth of one percent of students attending a college/university do so for for the quality of its English program. The success of the basketball program and building the Liacouras Center was a major component in the revitalization of the TU campus. Now the football program has given TU its highest national profile since the basketball team of the late 90’s and afterward. The national recognition of TU was not coming from the strength of the English program or the other generally worthless degree programs that probably produce the most determined opposition to building the stadium.

  7. The single biggest obstacle to building an OCS at the proposed location is blocking off 15th St. Also the university has shot itself in the foot on several other decisions: locating the multi-sport complex where the stadium could/should have been located with no neighborhood interference. and now allowing another building (for an outside group) to be built where a stadium could be sqeezed in otherwise. Poor planning, not having the necessary connections with city hall, politics, etc. have all played a role in this debacle. Ambler is even further away than old Temple Stadium was and would be much harder to get to for students than hopping on the subway to the LINC. It seems ridiculous that the BOT and administraion hasn’t been able to final the situation by now. All one can say is, as bad as the Lurie deal is, it would take many years to add up to the $130 million a new stadium will cost (probably more) and who knows where college football will be or if Temple’s program will stay successful into the future.

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