As far as we could determine, this quote about numbers and people was first attributed to Matt Holloway, but we’re sure someone slipped it into a figure of speech sometime before then.
If the quarterback position
was meant for
a runner then we’d
still be playing
the single wing
“Numbers don’t lie, people do.”
The numbers for Anthony Russo to pass P.J. Walker as the consensus all-time best Temple quarterback were challenging coming into this season. Even with a full season this year, and that’s doubtful, Russo would have to pull 40 touchdown passes to knock off the toughest record ahead of him: Walker’s career touchdown list. Not impossible, since LSU’s Joe Burrow tossed 60 touchdowns last season, but not likely, either.
Now, though, with Russo stating in an OwlsDaily.com story quoting Anthony that he will be back for not only 2020 and 2021, all of Walker’s records become not only fair game but well within reach, especially his career yard total of 10,669. (OwlsDaily.com is well worth the subscription.)
That’s assuming a lot of things, though, among them that the current coaching staff is not so wedded to a read-option that it might ditch the better passer for the better runner. They do that to their own peril, though, and coaching staffs usually don’t commit career suicide. If the quarterback position was meant for a runner, then we’d still be playing the single wing.
The other assumption is that the Owls will get a minimum eight and a maximum dozen games in this season and that could be problematic considering the science, politics and general angst over public health in relation to big-time sports.
All that aside, though, all Russo will have to do the next two seasons is do what he did in the 2019 regular season in touchdown passes (21) and yards (2,861) and he will have two significant career quarterback records at a school that began playing football two centuries ago.
He already has 15 wins in nearly two full regular seasons (missing the first two and the final UConn game in 2018). Walker had four full seasons with two wins his first year, six his second and 10 each in his junior and senior seasons. If Russo goes 15-6 in the next two regular seasons (we’re not counting bowl games because only a handful of Temple quarterbacks have played in one), he beats what in my mind is the most important stat a quarterback can have.
The “people lying” part of this equation was on display on the same OwlsDaily board when someone wrote: “Russo had a better season in 2018 than 2019.”
He had 14 touchdowns against 14 interceptions in 2018 vs. 21 and 11 in 2019. The numbers said he got better, not worse.
Since people often lie when they move their lips and the numbers on the page always remain the same, I will take the latter over the former when discussing anyone’s legacy.
If Russo’s passing remains as on target the next two years as the last two, that legacy will be unsurpassed.
Friday: Projected Offensive Starters
Monday: Projected Defensive Starters