Russo could finish near top of all-time stat line

Despite an inordinate amount of what probably is underserved bashing on social media, the 2020 season could provide a clearer picture of Anthony Russo’s legacy as a Temple University quarterback.

People lie, but numbers don’t.


I’ve got to think Anthony Russo would have thrived more under Matt Rhule’s pro-set offense than under Carey’s RPO-based one. Maybe in Carolina in a couple of years.

Because P.J. (I still call him P.J. because I think it rolls off the tongue better than Phillip) Walker had four years to what will be three years as a starter for Russo, some of these career records he set here will never be broken:

  • Most passing yards=10,669
  • Most touchdowns=74

Walker had a terrific debut for Houston in the XFL with four touchdown passes against only one interception there but the crazy thought here is that Russo will be a better pro passer than Walker simply because his game is built for the NFL style (pocket passing, not RPOs). Sure, places like Buffalo and Baltimore run a lot of RPOs but the NFL is still a pocket passing league and that’s the kind of game where Russo can excel. I love P.J. and he can also make all of the throws, but his downfall in the NFL was that he was four inches shorter than Russo and could not see over 6-foot-5 defensive linemen with 41-inch vertical leaps. That metric changes in the XFL.

All of the other Temple University passing records, the apples to apples ones, will probably be picked off by Anthony Russo if he’s only able to duplicate his single-season of 2019 (21 touchdown passes, 11 interceptions, 2,861 yards) this season. You’ve got to think he will do better than that with Jadan Blue and Branden Mack as his two leading receivers. I think he will. I’m putting him down right now, if he’s injury-free, for 25 touchdowns, 3,000 yards, and 10 interceptions. (Feel free to snipe at me in December of this year if these predictions are wrong, but I think it will be pretty close to right.)

Those numbers would easily put him as the second-best, statistically, quarterback of all-time at Temple.


Anthony Russo congratulating P.J. Walker after throwing winning TD pass at UCF

What would Russo have to do to be No. 1? Just for fun, Anthony would have to throw 40 touchdown passes with 5,246 yards to be number one in all statistical categories. That would be close to a Joe Burrow-type improvement at LSU. In 2018, Burrow had 16 touchdown passes and five interceptions and 2,894 yards. In 2019: 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns, 8 interceptions. Not happening for Anthony, but a fun scenario to think about in a Matt Rhule-like pro-set offense. RPO? No chance.

So, Rod Carey, please think about a more sensible offense for this talent in 2020. There’s got to be a sensible offensive guy in that coaching room who can tailor an offense around the present QB and not a long-term future one.

Still, though, the 25-3,000-10 season we described would put him in second place in all the major Temple statistical categories. He would break the single-season touchdown record shared by Brian Broomell and P.J. Walker (22 apiece) and top Walker’s 2015 season for yardage (2,972).

You might have a different opinion of Russo but, to me, numbers don’t lie and they will be telling the more complete story than any eye test done by the amateurs soon enough.

Friday: What the New Stadium Deal Means


31 thoughts on “Russo could finish near top of all-time stat line

  1. Reality check.

    All stats aside, Walker’s touchdown winning drive against UCF at UCF set the standard for Temple QBs. Nobody else comes close. Best come from behind game winning drives?

    Russo is the seventh best QB in the eleven team AAC Conference behind Buechele (SMU), White (Memphis), Ahlers (ECU), Gabriel (UCF), Ridder (Cincy), and Smith (Tulsa). Russo is just a dude who wears the league leading 12 INT albatross.

    Temple would be wise to run the football much more in 2020.

  2. Liars figure…Figures don’t lie, Mike you can use that saying, lol

  3. Russo has the talent but i question the mental toughness. I don’t know how much of that is him and how much it comes from playing for coaches who like to rotate in another QB.
    I was really happy to see PJ on Saturday though. He can make the throws

    • Feel really bad for Anthony because Matt figured out the spread wasn’t working for pj and going with sharga the last two years as a fullback helped pj so much. Specifically, jump starting the running game then serving as an extra blocker on pass protection. If I had a dollar for every time sharga saved pj from a blindside blitz, I could probably use it to pay for my 2020 season tickets. Anthony has no such last line of defense and is forced into making decisions quicker than he would otherwise

  4. Since there is no Sharga blocking to help him out, AR needs to practice passing on the run a lot. Improving his accuracy more consistently in those key points during games, like 3rd and longs, would help too. Great stats can be misleading if the player can’t rise up in situations to win like PJ did in that UCF game.
    Also stats and records comparisons when there’s differences in numbers of seasons/games played isn’t a fair comparison – comparing Russo’s 3 year stats to PJ’s last 3 years would be fair. Being a Field & Track guy I liken that to pole vault records, stiff poles vs fiberglass. No comparison, should be 2 separate records, if you get my point. 3 seasons to 4 seasons not the same.

  5. Please post the LINC deal details – I don’t get the Inq. site. Thanks.

    • Just click on the Link above or go to sports and then college. You get a limited number of free articles every month.

      • Actually John I do get the site but it keeps telling me my article limit is used up – that’s why I asked for the details here, but thanks.

    • The deal essentially requires TU to pay about 3 million a year. POS Lurie gets all parking and 90% of concessions. In other words, the deal stinks and shows what a greedy pig Lurie is-a guy who has never done anything on his own having inherited a fortune and then hitting the marriage lottery by marrying someone richer than him.

  6. Quick, call Michigan State. Maybe another Temple HC can be poached.

    • I would slide al golden back in a heartbeat.

      • Golden is great in almost every way but there’s a reason he’s not a HC anymore – not very good game-day coaching.

      • I think that is more than offset by his mid-Atlantic recruiting contacts and his understanding of the Temple Tuff culture both significant advantages over Carey, who might be a slightly better gameday coach

      • Also got to ask if Carey wins 9 games with Stewart and Carlton as his quarterback. The answer would be no because he doesn’t know how to build a dominant running game.

      • The AG stat that resounds most (with me anyway) is that he never beat a winning MAC team. He had the best MAC recruiting but game day, came up short.

  7. AG recruited every position but QB. Are you a great recruiter if you can’t recruit a QB to lead the team you built?

    The chemistry between HC and QB defines the personality of the team. The chemistry between MR and PJ was tough and resilient.

    The chemistry between RC and AR does not exist.

  8. Jahsen L. Wint, former TU recruit and current Ohio State player accused of rape and kidnapping. Sad.

  9. According to my in-laws’ friend on the BOT, Temple recently purchased the land across from University Village on 12th and Cecil B. where the North Philly Blackhawks play and have been tentatively approved by the city to start building in 2022. No streets will be taken off line.

    In exchange, we will have to allow the Blackhawks to play and practice on Geasy Field. The current Linc deal doubles after the initial 5 year lease, after operations, to almost $8m per year, which would leave Temple homeless. Don Smolenski has told Temple that they should consider the 2nd 5 year lease a poison pill hour glass.

    • I like the idea. Hope it flies.

    • Yorktown residents are truly “neighbors” unlike the fakes that stopped the 15th Street site. They will fight this tooth and nail.

      • I delivered the Temple News every day for 2 years to the doorstep of the bulletin’s herm Rogul on 13th street between Columbia and Oxford. Yorktown was very pro-temple then. I guess things have changed.

      • Robert McMichael of the Yorktown Civic Association (look him up) has met with and confirmed the backing of the stadium with Temple officials, including Englert, Bergman, and Epps. This thing is really happening. Big news.

    • Checked it out from the train this morning, would be great if that site goes forward I can take the train to games :-). Probably not as much site preparation work since building wouldn’t be right next to the Broad Street line.

    • 8 mil is closer to triple the 3 mil rent ripoff for the 2nd 5 years. Anyway, I wonder if this is something they’ve been working on for awhile and is just now coming to fruition. 5 years should be plenty of time to finish a stadium but will people downtown get in the way? That 8 mil per year makes investing in a 140 mil OCS look like a better deal – 40 million right off the top. I’m not from Missouri but I’ll believe it when I see it since TU has a propensity to screw things up! lol.

    • I still think closing off 15th street was the biggest obstacle, bigger than the stompers. Really just a poor site choice right from the start for more than one reason.

  10. TUowls37: Hope you are right.

  11. please join hands. now, let us pray

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