When he was the head coach at Temple, Bruce Arians had a saying:
“No risky, no bisky.”
That was shorthand for “No risk it, no biscuit” and, if there’s one thing consistent about his time at Temple was that Arians practiced what he preached on both sides of the ball.
Arians’ accomplishments at Temple were, in my view, extremely underrated. He was a terrific recruiter and a good enough head coach to post two winning seasons against what in both seasons was rated the No. 10 -toughest schedule in the country.
He produced a Heisman Trophy finalist in Paul Palmer and the “quarterback whisperer” had a trio of fine quarterbacks in Tim Riordan, Lee Saltz and Matty Baker in five years.
In a 35-30 win at Rutgers in 1988, defensive coordinator Nick Rapone followed the playbook of most DCs at that time and went to a prevent defense with 1 minute, 52 seconds left in the game and RU having no timeouts. A quarterback named Scott Erney carved up that prevent and the Scarlet Knights had the ball on the Temple 30.
This time, Arians used the timeout and got in the ear of Rapone and told him to rush eight and drop back three. Temple sacked Erney three times and the game ended with a defensive tackle named Swift Burch sitting on top of him. (That same Rutgers team won at Penn State, 21-16.)
“If I was going to lose, I was going down with my guns blazing,” Arians said afterward, holding the game ball. “We called jailbreak–which is an all-out blitz–on the final three plays and, fortunately, it worked. I’m a former quarterback. I know the best pass defense is putting the quarterback on his back side.”
No risky, no bisky.
In his final game, a 45-28 win over Boston College at the Vet, Arians called two flea-flickers that resulted in touchdown passes to Mike Palys that basically won that game. There seems to be an unwritten rule in college football that if you try one trick play in a game and it works you don’t try the same play in the same game again. Arians never believed in unwritten rules. He made defenses make quick decisions with lot of motion like on this play:
Meanwhile, we don’t see flea-flickers at Temple anymore even once in any game.
No risky, no bisky.
It is a philosophy Arians had at Temple and took with him throughout his NFL career.
Nobody really knows what will happen on Sunday night, but if it involves a risky decision, Arians knows what the call will be.
Here’s hoping when he gets home that biscuit will be the best tasting one of his life.