Fizzy: The Good, Bad and Ugly

Editor’s Note: Fizzy says this is his last contribution of the season. If he changes his mind, we’ll have a spot for him but, for now, we will take him at his word and thank him for his outstanding contributions to this space.


By Dave “Fizzy” Weinraub

THE GOOD …. the Defense

         THE BAD… Short yardage play-calling

                  THE UGLY …. 16 inaccurate passes & 4 missed touchdowns

Well, gang, this is gonna be a mish-mash because this will be my last write-up for the season. I’m tired of saying the same things over and over.


With the unfortunate ending of last night’s game, it marks the end of the competitive segment of this year’s schedule. With a win vs. Connecticut we’ll end up 8 – 4, but the season could have been so much more. Unless you’re in a top bowl game or the championship series, bowl games are now just exhibition games and the main value is you can continue to practice for next year.

I thought the defense did a fine job. However, they were aided by at least six drops by Cincinnati receivers. Two of those were probable touchdowns. Things do seem to even out, don’t they?

The single most important reason we lost was the many inaccurate passes by QB Russo, and four of the misses were probable touchdowns. I hate to zero in on one player, but since Russo had an off-night, why not bring in the relief pitcher? I believe Centeio was only in for two series. I would have put him in for good after the first series of the second half. All in all, the design of the pass plays resulted in many open receivers.


Fizzy gives his highest grades to the defensive staff that includes, along with Fran Brown, imports from NIU (from left) Knowles, Rice and Stewart

As I look over my notes from last night, there are constant references to horrible short-yardage play calling. Except for one time near the end of the game, it was always an up-the-gut play. This has been going on the entire season. We’ve also got the short end of the stick on referee ball placements in some of these situations (two last night). Surely, one of the 23 coaches could be assigned to watch TV and let the sideline know if they should challenge. Then there was the no-targeting call – quite unbelievable.

Many times on third and long, Russo was hurried, harassed and sacked by the Cincinnati blitz. Why not roll out?

With 2:35 left in the game and only down by five points, we ran an Up-The-Gut play from our 25-yard line. Someone needs to explain that play call to me. Why would we keep the clock running? Did we expect a 75-yard run? We’ve done the same thing before.

Now I’m going to do my end of the year evaluation.

Coach Carey’s Grade (assuming an 8 – 4 record) — C+

Coach Carey’s biggest mistake was to take Coach Foley off the field and force him to leave. As a result, our special teams which had been top-ranked under Foley were only acceptable. Also, Isaiah Wright who got national recognition for his punt and kickoff returns last year has been a nonfactor this year. But even more important is who the hell is going to do the local recruiting? Foley has ties to most of the high school coaches in the region. I’m afraid a lot of local talent is going to end up in Waco.

We’ve had four losses and I believe we have more talent than Buffalo and probably equal talent to the three other teams that beat us. We should have won two of those games. In the three loses before last night, I thought the opposition adjusted in the second half of those games, and we didn’t.

Penalties have hurt us considerably throughout the year, although they were mostly cleaned up last night.

I’m going to rate the offensive and defensive coordinators separately, but everything is the responsibility of the head coach. I’m particularly upset that QB Russo has not dramatically improved over last year. Unfortunately, Russo had his best game when his receivers couldn’t catch the ball, and Isaiah Wright hasn’t contributed very much.

Co-Offensive Coordinator Uremovich’s Grade — D

I don’t like this vanilla offense. I know almost everyone runs the Spread, but there are lots of better ways to do it. We have almost nothing going back the other way, one reverse and one QB Russo bootleg all year, and our short-yardage plays have been a disaster. Russo hasn’t improved and probably three of our wins could be attributed to the defense. There’s hardly any imagination and we need a short-yardage formation like the Power I.

Defensive Coordinator Knowles’ Grade — B-

Now we have a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide’s situation. We had two losses when we were outscored by 66 points due to no pass rush and poor man-to-man coverage, and no half-time adjustment. And I don’t know how Buffalo scored as much as they did. On the flip side, we won at least three and maybe five games because of outstanding defense. We need to have effective zone coverage for the outstanding passing teams.

Thank you all for reading the thoughts of a frustrated and cranky old coach throughout this season. Hopefully, I’ll be in touch next year. Be safe and healthy.

Thursday: Giving Thanks for Perspective

Saturday: Two Proper Sendoffs



14 thoughts on “Fizzy: The Good, Bad and Ugly

  1. Amazing, same soup boiled over and over again – the OC is terrible. The Temple Defense has seven wins, and could have had nine wins with a competitive offense.

    Will Carey keep Uremovich? Or, will he blame the kids?

    As MR says, “you are what you tolerate”. Carey tolerates this offense and this OC. And it gets worse, Carey does not have the ability to recruit better players.

    On the bright side. Temple is in far better shape than Rutgers.

    Go Owls

  2. I’ve never met any of coaches since Arians departed, so can’t say how they are but believe Carey is loyal to the coaches he brought with him from DeKalb. A blatantly bad decision would have be made by one in order for Carey to dismiss.
    At some P-5 programs, AD’s get in the coach’s face and demand changes be made to the staff. Usually, the HC refuses and is canned. Doubtful there is that kind of concern coming from the AD here.

  3. Thanks again for excellent insight on classic football concepts, and you are the Fizz-Meister for sure.
    My open question, would QB Russo be a star within any modern O system as his is , or is his technique flawed and needs to be redone or, rebuilt ?

  4. Regarding the staff, its pretty much the same feedback NIU gave us. Knowles and the defense will be legit. Uremovich and the offense is plain, uninspired and ineffective. All came true. I love the idiots over on Facebook talking about how 8-4 will be a great season and going to a bowl is something to celebrate. No one cares about the Pop Tart bowl which is what we’re gonna get. With the exception of a small group of fans, no one holds this team, its coaches or larger fan base accountable. I dont know how to change that but a season is a failure if ur not playing in the AAC championship and vying for a NY6 bowl. Everything else is unacceptable in my opinion. The Facebook morons settle for “the kids try hard…we’re better than we used to be…getting into a bowl is a big deal, great season!” That mentality is bullshit and they should be ashamed. We’ll never take the next step accepting mediocrity because its better than where the program was. We should have beaten Buffalo, SMU and Cincy. We should be in the championship. We should be PISSED! -rant over-

    • I agree that this team should have done better but considering the level of talent on this team based on recruiting, a winning record and bowl eligibility is a miracle. Also, I take some solace in the fact that Diaz is not our coach. If you add up Miami’s recruiting rankings for the last three years it is less than our best ranking of 60 in the last three years. He lost to FIU and Georgia Tech with mostly four stars and some five stars. How is that possible? I also believe that it’s not fair to unload on Carey til the third year when he’s had two recruiting classes and two full years as the head coach. We’ll better know then how good a coach he is after he has had the time to put his stamp on the program.

    • One more thing. If Carey doesn’t want to go back to coaching NIU level teams, which is playing tonight in a deluge before 3000 people, he better get better.

  5. I’m concerned that he will be satisfied with recruiting the same level of player here that he had at NIU. That’s not going to work, Johnson. Golden got a Big 33 game MVP (Adrian Robinson) to de-commit from Pitt and a highly-rated running back (Kee-Ayre Griffin) to de-commit from Boston College pretty much right away to a school that was on its way to losing 20-straight games. Those are the types of players we need to recruit and get on the field. Not guys who are down to Northern Illinois, Buffalo and us. I see too many of those types on our recruiting list.

    • Carey is what he has always been. An honest decent man and coach.

      He is not a great recruiter, never has been. There is no magic recruiter button. He couldn’t recruit at ‘Northern’, so why do people believe all of a sudden he’ll be a great recruiter at Temple?

      The incoming 2020 class is a sign of more to come, meh.

      Best hope for next year is a new OC.

      BTW, ECU and USF getting 4 stars?

      • I agree with you 100% there KJ . I totally disagree with John , I think John is one of those guys that happy with the eight wins when we should I had 10 and he seems not to blame the head coach too much and I think that’s a mistake I think this is going to hurt Temple in years to come with this coach not making changes .

    • I’m curious to see how many players total – and especially from the offensive side of the ball – enter the transfer portal after the season is done.

      • We could use a few. The NIU RB who has had a couple of 1,000-yard seasons is in the portal. I hope none of our kids go in…also need Ed Foley to enter the assistant coaches portal.

  6. A few years back, Butch Jones attempted to deflect criticism of Tennessee’s lack luster performances by annointing his players as “life champions,” suggesting he was preparing young men to find their place in the world after college, SEC East title or not. That didn’t fly and now Butch is taking Saban’s Mercedes to get gas and to the car wash.
    Let us hope there’s more fire in the belly of the coaching staff at E-O.

  7. WE have learned the new coaches coming in almost always need their time to adjust, except The DAZ who go us to a bowl ASAP.
    He left after year 2 , right ?
    I bet Carey is sort of over his head this first year and will learn from it.
    He never played big time football or coached it, so how could he know it in year 1. For that I will give him a pass.
    Next year we will see what really gives with TUFB.
    As I like to post, this years was disappointing and we will still win 8, Eight, 8 Games. Damn but that’s a miracle compared to 20 years ago.
    WE still plan to attend Saturdays UCONN game, and I’ll be dressed for Winter cold. We hope to catch 1 or 2 tail gates there , if they invite us in.
    Looking at 8 wins, with hopes to get a near by bowl we can drive to, we may well go there too.

    Also I hope to catch up with Don Bitterlich there again in the K lot with JB, we both play the squeeze box I found out !!!
    I reviewed Don B’s History and found he was a pick of the new SEATLE team in their 1st year, fantastic.
    We remember he was an Ace Temple Kicker, but his NFL time is over looked I think. That alone makes him a top 1%’er, damn.

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