Here is an example of Fritz’s double-option with a lead blocker at Ga. Southern
Among the many who still remember Wayne Hardin around here, the phrase used most about him was that he was many years ahead of his time.
The two games this weekend at Lincoln Financial Field will provide a very real time frame.
Tulane’s offense will show a lot of the same principles Hardin had with his veer this Saturday (noon, Lincoln Financial Field) against Temple.
Hardin liked to call his offense the “smorgasbord offense” and described it this way: “It’s like one of those food spreads, a little of this, a little of that.” Whatever Hardin liked from a number of offenses, including a lot of the veer and the triple option and the pro set, he would ‘borrow” and utilize all of those looks to fool defenses. In addition, he invented a whole lot of stuff that Bill Belichick uses in New England today.
Here is Fritz motioning the WR to the RB spot in a goal-line offense.
Temple ran all of those offenses so well other coaches thought the Owls were breaking the rules by practicing 24 hours a day. It drove defenses crazy. The Owls would line up in a Houston (Cougar, not Texan) Veer one series and a Dallas Cowboys’ pro set the next and, on a rare occasion, would use a Texas triple option.
Now that the NCAA limits practices to just 15 hours a week, coaches have utilize their time a lot better and no one does that more than Tulane head coach Willie Fritz.
To me, Fritz has to be
the coach of the year
in the AAC. Memphis, UCF,
Cincinnati and Temple have
been the established powers
in the league over the last
five years. Tulane breaking
into that group despite also
having Ivy League-type admission
standards is a tribute to Fritz’s
ability as a football coach
To me, Fritz has to be the coach of the year in the AAC. Memphis, UCF, Cincinnati and Temple have been the established powers in the league over the last five years. Tulane breaking into that group despite also having Ivy League-level admission standards is a tribute to Fritz’s ability as a football coach and recruiter. Put it this way: If Northwestern is the Harvard of the Big 10, Vandy the Harvard of the SEC, Stanford the Harvard of the PAC-12, Duke is the Harvard of the ACC then Tulane has to be the Harvard of the AAC. (Err, Harvard is the Harvard of the Ivy League.) So it’s hard to get kids admitted to that school. Since two Big 12 schools (Texas and Baylor) are tied for 79th academically, that conference has no elite school. Plus, Temple coach Rod Carey has paid tribute to Fritz for doing it “the right way.” That could be interpreted as a shot at people like Sonny “15 portal transfers” Dykes for doing it the “wrong way.”
Tulane is the clear-cut “Ivy League” type AAC school, though, and, as such, poses some admission problems that don’t exist elsewhere. All of that dictates Fritz adopts and perfects a unique offensive scheme and he has, just like Navy. Unlike at Navy, though, sophisticated passing concepts are built into the offense. Call it a “zone bluff” option.
Fritz says his quarterback’s mid-play read to the dive up the gut to the pitchman on the outside. However, Tulane’s quarterback is in the shotgun, receivers are scattered across the field and there are men in motion at the snap.
No one has stopped Tulane’s offense so far except Memphis and Auburn, which beat them, 47-17, and 24-6, respectively. The way the Tigers did it was not with defense per se, but with the offense. In that game, Kenny Gainwell had 18 carries for 104 yards and added nine receptions for 203 yards. Because of Gainwell, Memphis had the ball for 34 minutes and 10 seconds, while Tulane had it for 25:50. Three of those possessions resulted in interceptions so the damage the Green Wave could do was limited.
Does Temple has an offensive talent equal to Gainwell? No, but the Owls can dominate the time with a running game that features Jager Gardner and Ra’Mahn Davis and receivers like Jadan Blue, Branden Mack, and Kenny Yeboah. It would be nice if Isaiah Wright would join the party but returning punts instead of fair-catching them but that’s up to him. He certainly has the talent to flip the field a few times but so far his will hasn’t matched his talent. Maybe the switch will go on Saturday.
The point here is that you don’t stop an offense like Tulane with defense alone. It takes a whole lot of help from your own offense in addition to your defense winning at the point of attack.
If that’s going to look familiar to Temple, it should. The Owls faced a very similar “passing read” offense in UCF and the Knights scored 63 points on the Owls. That offense utilizes one back, though. Tulane runs two out there.
Unless the Owls take a more holistic approach than to stopping it than they did on that disastrous night, the results will not be a helluva lot different. Hopefully, one takeaway the Owls had from that night was the best way to stop a good offense is using your own to keep it off the field. Another takeaway is to get more than one takeaway like Memphis did against the Green Wave.
If Hardin was here, he’d tell you that but, since he’s not, we will do it for him.
Predictions: Last week was a perfect example of why logic doesn’t work sometimes. Logically, Florida State was in disarray after firing Willie Taggart and Boston College looking good after scoring 57 points at Syracuse. So I picked BC as a one-point favorite and lost, 38-31, bringing my record for the season to 28-23 against the spread and 32-21 straight up. (Steve Addazio’s head coaching career may be coming to an end.) More than one line strikes me as a “wrong” one as I like all underdogs this week: LOUISIANA TECH getting 2.5 at Marshall, GEORGIA TECH getting 5.5 to visiting Virginia Tech, USF getting 14 against visiting Cincy (it would really help Temple if USF won that game outright), and my pick of the week, NAVY getting 9.5 at Notre Dame to cover but not to win.
Saturday: A Song For Game Day