Fizzy: We’ve Come a long way, baby

Editor’s Note: Great job by Fizzy here. Made only one edit to change the name of Memphis running back Daniel Tyce to Kenny Gainwell.

By Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub

Late in the first quarter, I stood and slowly looked around the stadium at the sea of over thirty thousand people wearing cherry and white.  Finally, I thought, we got a perfect day for homecoming and just look at the crowd.  Then, I sort of merged the vision of the acres of cars and people happily tailgating in the vast open spaces in the parking lot and laughed to think the school had considered trying to shoe-horn a small stadium with no parking into North Philadelphia.  We were playing a ranked opponent, but our guys looked to be more than an even match on the field.  Wow!  If you couldn’t step back and smell the roses on this perfect Saturday in the fall, well, maybe you needed help.


Then I flashed back to a mere sixty years ago, 1959 to be exact, and we were getting ready to play Bucknell.  We were scrimmaging under the lights in the old Temple stadium when I tore up my knee.  The scrimmage couldn’t continue because I had been the twenty-second guy, and we didn’t have any more players.  On the field in front of me, on Saturday, however, there were about seventy guys dressed for the game and a host of others standing by.  We’ve come a long way baby!

Oh, I almost forgot.  Let’s talk about the Memphis game.  The wisp of nostalgia has blown away.

Screenshot 2019-10-14 at 9.08.27 PM

First, I want to congratulate the defense.  Each week, they stop the opponent on third and/or fourth and short, and each week a different hero emerges.  This week, it was Harrison Hand who was simply outstanding, supported by lots of other guys. Why would any coach playing Temple try to get a first down by going with a straight, up-the-gut handoff?  On the downside, there were lots of missed tackles vs. outstanding Memphis running back Daniel Tyce, and some miscommunications which left Memphis receivers wide open in key situations.

“Then I flashed back
to a mere sixty years
ago, 1959 to be exact,
and we were getting
ready to play Bucknell.
We were scrimmaging under
the lights in the old Temple
stadium when I tore up my knee.
The scrimmage couldn’t continue
because I had been
the twenty-second guy, and we
didn’t have any more players”
_ Fizzy Weinraub

Correspondingly, why would Temple go straight ahead with Davis, in a fourth and short situation?  Alternatives are a QB sneak with a 6-foot-4, 235-pound man:   A fake dive quick slant, a fake handoff, and pitch to the outside or inside reverse, etc. etc.  How about a hard count and then a play if it didn’t work.  C’mon coach Uremovich, open up the playbook in those situations.  However, Uremovich’s call for a pitch right – throwback left to QB Centeio, was a thing of beauty.  Centeio though, took his eye off the underthrown ball which resulted in a bobble and then a strip.  Also, we did a lot more pitches to the outside, some were sort of a half-reverse, and we saw Centeio playing some wide receiver which adds another offensive threat.

Next,  should it be two, or not be two, that is the question.  (See, I went to that English Lit class.)  After Temple scored its last touchdown, they were up eight points.  If Temple kicked the extra point, it would be nine points.  If they were successful going for two, they’d be up 10 points. If not, they’d still be up eight.

Throughout the last quarter, I thought we were going to lose the game by one point.  Memphis has an outstanding field goal kicker, and I didn’t think it was possible we’d keep him out of range.  There were two times this year when we needlessly went for two (my opinion), and this time we didn’t.

I would have gone for two, to make it a 10-point spread.  If we didn’t make it, Memphis would still have to make a successful two-point conversion to tie, after a TD.  What I’m trying to say is a Memphis TD and field goal could only tie us, not beat us.

As it turned out, the UNCATCH saved the day.  When I got home, I played the UNCATCH back ten times.  I thought the view from the backside showed a lack of control and the point of the ball forcing a bounce up and to the right.  So I thought the call was correct, but it could have gone either way.  This time we lucked out.  Remember back when Al was coaching and we scored a winning TD against Connecticut in the back of the end zone. The catch was disallowed because the replay didn’t show the receiver’s foot coming down.  Gee, lucky we were still playing at the Linc and had all those NFL cameras.

Now, after the UNCATCH, I thought our play calling was chicken shit.  We just ran straight ahead and tried to run the clock.  All we need was one first down to seal the game, but Memphis used their timeouts to force a punt.  This was the time when we needed an imaginative, but safe play to close out the game.  Memphis only needed to get to kick from our 45, to have a chance for the winning field goal.

Last, let’s talk about QB Anthony Russo.  I was asked before the game for a prediction.  I said if Russo has a great game. we’ll win.  Well, Russo had a good game, but he still missed two guys open for TD’s.  He has a terrific arm but I’m still waiting for that great game.   Also, I think bringing in Todd Centeio is a great changeup.  But I still ask the question why Russo can’t run sneaks, keepers and bootlegs.  There were times he could have scored using a walker.

Thursday: Reasons For Optimism Against SMU

Friday: Game Day Minus-1


23 thoughts on “Fizzy: We’ve Come a long way, baby

  1. I pretty much agree with everything Fizzy said except the bootleg and keepers part with Anthony. You don’t have classic dropback passers like Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, Sam Darnold and Anthony Russo run keepers and bootlegs. One, you don’t want to get them killed. Two, that’s not their strength. To me, you tailor you strengths to fit the ability of your personnel and not the other way–make your personnel run the system you ran elsewhere because that’s the only system you know. Russo would be MUCH more effective if they kept at least one back in for protection purposes. Nothing good happens when Temple goes to an empty backfield. Everybody knows it’s going to be a pass. Wish they would scrap that look entirely.

    • Whoops, make that two. Going for the extra point to make it 30-21 was the right call. First, you are taking Memphis out of a situation where it can TIE the game by scoring a touchdown and making the two-pointer themselves. They would have to score a touchdown AND kick a field goal. Any coach would make that call. Good job by Rod Careyl

  2. In all honesty, its really the first time 30,000 people came out just to see Temple Football without the draw of a national opponent. And if the published attendance figures are even remotely accurate, 35K were there. We will never, ever fit a 35K seat, suitable, comfortable and convenient stadium at the OCS Location. There simply is NO infrastructure to support it. Are people really going to advocate building a facility that cant accomodate 35K or worse, turns fans away ?

    Please remember, when Tulane built their stadium, Green Wave fans believed up until the week before it opened they had a 32K seat venue. Then they were informed it was actually 25K and was woefully found to be woefully inadequate. ESPN even informed Tulane they wouldnt broadcast games there. Temple is operating with even more restrictions in terms of price point, space, tailgating, parking, neighborhood opposition, lighting and safety concerns.

    Mike, as an OCS advocate, you and every other person who suggests it be built see a game for yourself at Tulane’s Yulman Stadium. You can examine the living, breathing model of the facility Temple will have to build due to restrictions. Then you can objectively answer whether or not you believe, diehard or even casual or curious Temple fans, after living in a half billion dollar NFL Stadium for the last decade and a half, are going to be entertained and satiated moving to a far inferior facility, just because its on campus.

    Temple University needs to end the OCS charade and commit to the Linc.

    Go Owls

    • I’m on OCS supporter in the way Matt Rhule was “if done right.” That crappy drawing of a glorified Northeast High Charlie Martin Stadium Field is not done right. Do it like NC State does or stay at the Linc forever. Matt probably saw that drawing and said “that’s wacko, so I’m headed to Waco.” Still, imagine that crowd in a 35-40K stadium and the Memphis quarterback motioning to his coach with his hands over his ears, “I can’t hear!!” Maybe one day long after I’m dead.

      • Since you’re back on the subject, do you prefer grass or a carpeted playing surface? Should the playing area be sized just for football, or have it larger so soccer can be played? If other sports are to use the field, please don’t do it in football season so it doesn’t look like Villanova’s field (gridiron, field hockey, lacrosse, and soccer lines in different colors).

      • 1) Soccer already has a nice facility that costs $22 million on campus;
        2) Grass
        3) No other sports
        4) 2 and 3 aren’t happening because Philadelphia is the only city in the history of the United States (maybe the world) that denied its major university a building project on its own property.

  3. RE: Bootleg. OK to do it in a big situation as a surprise to make a defense keep contain rather than jam everyone between tackles. Recall Joe Namath running one every four or so seasons on the goal line. Each time, he hobbled into the end zone and waved off a defender coming at him like a missile.

  4. Just read on espn: our man Walker is gonna be the qb for the Houston roughnecks of the xfl.

  5. The OCS is dead, dead, dead. TU administration doesn’t have the political will or support to get it done now that it’s a racial issue. Also, area has improved greatly so even if the minority objection to the stadium disappeared, the new resident, mostly gentrifiers, would object and file lawsuits that would delay construction for years. If I were an administrator I’d be lobbying powerful politicians to convince and pressure Lurie that it’s in his best interest to give TU a reasonable deal.

    • Nobody is writing any stories about negotiations with the eagles. I’m really concerned that nothing is signed yet

      • Mike, have the same concerns that you do regarding no news about extending the lease at the Linc. While this OCS topic has been covered “to death” on every board and page out there I think John Belli is spot on with his comment about the project being dead. That along with what I think is a realistic assessment of what TU seemed to be looking to build as spelled out by MH55 to me means there really is no alternative but to “do what needs to be done” to get a long term deal in place at the Linc. I don’t want to hear about Franklin Field, Talen Energy stadium in Chester, building in Ambler or some other location in Philly.

      • The whole point of an on campus stadium was to make it easy for the 12.5k students to walk to the game and have alumni involved in coming back. Building it anywhere else defeats those ideas.

    • I think Carey is the x-factor. Guy has Temple more disciplined than anybody since maybe Hardin. Plus, remember at this time last year nobody gave anybody other than buffalo a chance to win the mac and niu comes out of nowhere to win it all. Guy has made a career out of overachieving. Don’t really think sonny dykes is in his league. Think we win this weekend before the road gets bumpy. Carey knows how to drive a jeep though.

      • Without the comeback this time. These close games are killing me.

      • Wait a minute Mike. This team wasn’t disciplined until this last game against Memphis – remember all those penalties and mistakes especially against the one team that beat them? Hopefully they are now realizing how to focus and be disciplined for the remainder of the season.

      • When you really look at the penalties this team incurs a lot of it is targeting (judgment, half the time it’s the targeted guy ducking his head into the Temple guy’s helmet and the defender always gets called for that) or a call like the phantom “hold” (really a push from the front that has been a legal block since the beginning of time) on Ra’Mahn Davis’ 60-yard TD. What you don’t see under Carey that you did see (often) under Collins are things like three-straight offsides (Villanova game, 2017) by the defense and defense so out of position trying to get turnovers that it is susceptible to cutback runs. I maintain that Carey’s team is about 1,000 percent more disciplined that both of Collins’ teams.

  6. You go for two if you’re up 1 and you have a chance to go up 9. You don’t go for two when an XP puts you up 9 and a miss puts you up 8. 8 is one possession, 9 is two, always go up two possessions.

    Also, while I’ve always been a proponent of an OCS. I just don’t ever see that dream being a reality. And this school is going to continue to be fleeced by the Eagles.

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