Fizzy Closes the Book on Tulane

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This is the Temple coverage page that was supposed to make it into the print editions but did not due to a “production glitz.”

By Dave (Fizzy) Weinraub

[Before we review, be advised that those who get the Inquirer found absolutely no coverage of the game. If you’d like to write a nasty letter, go to inquirer.letters@phillynews.com. My letter is already there.]

Before the season started, I was asked to predict our record for 2019. Looking over a tough schedule coupled with a new coaching staff, I thought 6-6 would be the final result. I’m so pleased to be wrong. We’re now 7-3 with the possibility of more wins.

However, does that mean we should do the mummer’s strut down Broad Street? Not yet!  There’s lots of room for improvement. And as the newspapers usually give an excellent account of what happened and who starred in the game, I like to take an in-depth look at the coaching decisions.

Obviously, our defense was terrific. The “Wild Boys,” as they call themselves, were the main reason we held on to the victory. Lead by Quincy Roche, they terrorized the very talented Tulane QB, who became quite nervous as the game continued. He was not only nervous but also quite agitated at the two or three times Temple should have been called for late hits, after he threw the ball. And that’s my first comment. If those penalties had been called, they might have affected the outcome of the game. Add to those uncalled penalties, were the three after the whistle unsportsmanlike calls for 15 yards apiece. One of our guys even reached over the shoulder of a ref to push his adversary. I don’t have any stats, but I’m sure we are among the most penalized teams in the league. The coaching staff has to find a way to tame the guys. This was the 10th game and the penalties haven’t stopped. Maybe our tough guys need some sensitivity training.

I try to stay away from criticizing the official’s calls, as they usually even out. They did on Saturday, as the referees who didn’t make the roughing the passer calls on Temple, also didn’t call the numerous ‘holding’ infractions by the Tulane offensive line. So there!

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I’ve previously been remiss in not mentioning our end-of the-half play calling. Yesterday was at least the second time, and possibly the third, we’ve had the ball in reasonably good field position with over two minutes left on the clock, and a small lead. And what did we do with these opportunities? Well, we basically got really conservative and ran out the clock. Yesterday, Tulane had enough time to get downfield and almost score. What is our offensive coordinator thinking? We had the wind. Throw the ball downfield and put the game away.

Similarly, we did the same chicken-shit play calling in our last possession and it almost led to a possible tying score by Tulane.

Now, back again to the first-and-goal calls. We had to kick three field goals because we couldn’t score. Two times we had first-and-goal. I would like to point out that first down in this situation is the only time you can truly fool the defense. That’s because the following calls are based on what happened on first down. So if you’re going to fool the defense, the first down play is most important. In the past, we’ve always run-up-the gut on one and sometimes two plays. Yesterday, we ran up-the-gut on the first occasion, but not on the second. However, all the passes on both series of downs were direct throws with no play fakes. That’s dumb. I could offer any number of terrific plays that make great use of faking to a running back in that situation, and they should happen on first down.

I still don’t understand why Russo doesn’t run more. He mentioned before the season started that he was thrilled with the offense because there were so many RPO’s attached to the plays. So why doesn’t he keep the ball? There were so many times he could have had considerable yardage.

I can’t stop without a defensive comment. Tulane walked in for a score based on two successive running plays. The first running play had a hole so big Santa Clause could have scored. So what did we do on the next play when they had first and goal? We lined up in the same defense – so they ran the same play and strolled into the end zone. How could we not go into a gap defense on the goal line?

This past week a local sports-writer called me grumpy. Okay, so here’s a story.

I was not paying attention while I was driving, and tapped a guy’s bumper at a red light. When he came out, I was embarrassed because he was a dwarf. When he saw a small dent, he said, “I’m not happy!” To which I replied, “Well which one are you?”

Thursday: Hazard Warning

25 thoughts on “Fizzy Closes the Book on Tulane

  1. Stupid penalties against Cincinnati will be disastrous.

    • Another thing is that the AAC doesn’t want Temple to win that game because Cincy is one of their only two hopes to get an NY6 bowl game. Unfortunately, the loss to Buffalo eliminated Temple from any NY6 bowl so this will be subconsciously in the back of the AAC refs’ minds if there is any question on a targeting call against them (no) or against us (yes). Will they go in thinking we’ve got to give Cincy all the calls? Probably not. Are they aware of all of this other stuff? Definitely yes.

  2. As far as Russo running, I don’t think it’s necessary for him to run in order to be successful. Is it necessary for Tom Brady to run? Matthew Stafford? Nick Foles? No. Got to design an offense around the strengths of your talent, not force your talent to play your conception of an offense.

    • It may not be necessary for him to be successful, but it is necessary for Temple to be successful. The QB for every top 10 team (LSU, OSU, GA, etc) in college football has the ability to extend plays and get the ball downfield.

      Every top team in the AAC has a QB (SMU, Cincy, Memphis, etc) with the ability to run or extend plays. Even Tom Brady has the ability to move the pocket and get the ball downfield.

      #15 stands in quicksand. Admit it.

      • Shane Buechele is not able to extend plays. He is exactly the same type of quarterback Anthony is; the difference is that sonny dykes doesn’t ask him to run.

  3. escape and make a play

  4. When Russo throws like Buechele, I won’t mention it again. . Right now Russo is just too erratic for him not to be able to run and his reluctance or inability to run leads to sacks and forced throws. That’s why he has to run sometimes just to prevent himself from making questionable throws, keep the defense honest, and prevent sacks.

    • If having a running QB is important to Temple’s O (whether it fits the player or not) why isn’t Centieo the starter? He runs better than Russo.

      • Because it’s absolutely painful to need a clutch completion on 3d and 5 and have him in the game. He’s a better runner than Anthony but Anthony is a far better passer. Need completions more from that position than you do 5 yard runs

  5. Narducci says in his article about today’s press conference that if UCF, TU, and Cinncy end up tied, the highest ranked team gets the first slot. I would have to think that would be TU at the present time because of UCF’s loss to Tulsa. If things do play out and there is a tie, be ready for critics to argue that TU doesn;t deserve it because of the blowout loss. By the way, I watched today’s press conference with Carey. on the athletic web site. It’s so frustrating because you can’t hear the questions. It’s 2019 for heaven’s sake, get that fixed. It seems that they go out of their way to annoy fans. It also shows that they just don’t care because I know that I’ve complained before about it and I can’t be the only one.

  6. The attendance for this game was actually embarrassing. I understand we have our troubles but it’s just honestly sad to see on tv. Especially with the green end zones and eagles logo.

    • Did u go to the game or watch on 📺

      • Watched on tv. This looked to be one of the emptiest games I can remember (maybe since playing stony brook). From the end zone shot, sideline, and various ground cameras all you could see was green seats. Do you feel differently?

      • To me, the people complaining most about Temple attendance are the people who don’t go to the games. If you don’t go and live within a couple of hours, you are a part of the problem, not part of the solution. I’m not saying you specifically but when I read a “game thread” (written by people ostensibly at home watching on TV with the chips in one hand and the remote in the other) containing about 20 comments about how bad our fans are, it burns me up. This is 99.9 percent of the people who complain about Temple attendance. I’ve only missed two home games in the last 30 years (ECU, 2014 and Bucknell this year). The way to ensure you get more than 30K per game for the final two home games of the season is not to lose 63-21, period, end of story. We always do something every year to screw up attendance (losing to Nova last year and Army in 2016) for the rest of the season and, this year, the two blowout losses in the middle of the season to teams not that much more significantly talented than us shook an already fragile belief system to the core. The hardcores like me and John were there. The people around the edges (a significant 10K roughly) fell off. Don’t blame them one bit.

      • I love living in Florida but it’s not so easy to get to games. I agree with you I do. It bothers me how flimsy our fan base is though. Really since 2014 we’ve entered into the golden years of Temple Football. The losses to army, nova, and most recently smu and ucf stink for sure. They let the air out of the bag. But we shouldn’t have to be undefeated to barely fill the lower bowl. We are not garbage anymore and people need to start appreciating what they have in front of them.

  7. Attendance look on TV somehow makes it more sparse than live, sort of like how on TV a little bit of rain is distorted by the camera lenses due to lack of ‘depth’.
    We go to most TU games this year, as always , and can gauge the crowd size. But the new thing is opening the 2nd level plus all those possible 1000 lucky devils who hide in Lux boxes and the like.
    IF those people were to sit on level 1 there would easily be 2000 +more occupied seats on the lower level. That would mean 3 more sections well filled out and looking good on TV.
    Does this mean TU would look better in a 40K seat stadium ? Yes it does to me.
    And that’s what ernie thinks….

    • You’re right. There were a lot more people there for the temperature and time of year that I thought there would be. Plus, being in a 70K stadium even makes a good crowd look sparse. The one time I was in the club boxes and would use the restroom during timeouts (USF two years ago) I was amazed there were about 1,000 people in the concourse (conservative estimate) who had no intention of going in their seats and watched on the big tvs either standing, or at the bar or in one of the many tables there. Couldn’t even move on that concourse level.

  8. Was there with a few of my Class of 78 classmates on Saturday. PA, MD, MA , NY were represented. Every year we pick a game or 2 when the schedule comes out and make a day of it: Shortest drive for any of us was 2 hrs (York, PA). Tailgate, game and Pat’s or Geno’s (whoever has the shortest line). Yes it was cold but it’s football. Come out and be part of the solution! This from a guy who sat thru Pitt 76 – Temple 0 in 1977!

  9. Fans in the club boxes, concourse and the big bar rooms with screens when every person not in a seat makes a visual impact on TV can makes a difference for Temple-size crowds. For the big programs not so much. I went to an FSU game awhile back when they were still one of the top programs. I went into the “party room” with the big monitors, people drinking and partying and not in the stadium seats (my son-in-law was a contributor and had passes to get in). But the stadium was still full, or at least appeared to be. And you’ve mentioned people still tailgating while the games are being played as another distraction. Seems like it is what it is and maybe how it looks on TV isn’t really that important. It also seems like increasing attendance at Temple is an uphill battle. Is the expense (and all the other problems associated with running such a facility) of building a stadium worth how it looks on TV? Seems questionable.

  10. What was the attendance Saturday? Is the attendance based on tickets sold or how many go thru the turnstiles? The reason I ask is I got my tickets thru Stub Hub below face value. I understand these aftermarket services buy blocks of tickets. If they sell at face value they don’t care because they make their money on the service charges. As long as the tickets are sold does it matter if the seats are occupied?

    • Steve, I asked the previous AD what attendance was based on and he said tickets sold. Re the 1977 Pitt game I think TU and Pitt had similar stats except for the score. My roommate, who was the punt snapper, had his knee blown out covering a punt, ending his career. The surgery then was brutal. That same day the Rice Owls lost 77-0 to LSU. Bad day to be an Owl.

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