Editor’s Note: The following is an analysis of the game from Fizzy Weinraub, a former player in the pre-coach Hardin days. In the above video, he is fighting with his fellow Owls in a game against Gettysburg (hey, you play who was on the schedule). Literally, fighting in the final frame of this film.
By Dave (Fizzy) Weinraub
Defensively, we were not ready for prime time. Notre Dame pretty much did what they wanted, although they got more than a little help from their friends. Let me back-track.
Two weeks ago at the mostly closed scrimmage we had at Franklin Field, I had a chance to spend some time with Dr. Pat Kraft, our AD. Our conversation meandered about as I couldn’t resist the opportunity to tell some wonderful Temple football stories. Then Pat brought up the elephants in the room whenever you play Notre Dame. They are the officials, and how they had made some tenuous calls even when the game was here in 2015. We talked about the mystique that seemed to envelop the officials, especially in South Bend.
Don’t get me wrong. We lost yesterday because we couldn’t stop them, along with some questionable offensive strategies, which I’ll get too shortly. However, I saw three Notre Dame running touchdowns during which holding, shoulda, woulda, coulda been called. In addition, there was the very questionable roughing the passer called in our red zone after we had stopped them, and last but not least, the no-call when our receiver was clearly interfered with in the end zone. If you don’t believe me, come on over as I have it on tape. (If you come over, bring a bottle of Jack.)
Sometimes I wonder if all the offensive coordinators in college football get together over the winter and decide which plays they’re going to run. It’s like channel surfing and seeing the same Tom and Jerry cartoon on every channel.
Consider this, we’re behind by one, two, and then three touchdowns and mostly running the ball on first and second down. Yes, we were trying to establish the run and not altogether doing a bad job of it. But, you have to adapt to the situation. And if you’re using the ground game to eat the clock, then you should have stayed home.
Believe it or not, there was an outside chance of winning yesterday’s game. Notre Dame’s pass defense is only mediocre. Watch and see how they get beat in weeks to come, and I’m sure scouts will see what I saw. We shoulda thrown caution to the winds, opened up the offense and thrown the hell out of the ball.
One last comment. If I’m running the ball effectively, and want to go for the home run, I’m gonna do it from play action on an obvious running down. Why would you just drop back?
But there’s good news. We’ve got as much talent, or more, than anyone we’ll play for the next eleven games. Properly orchestrated, I look forward to being in the conference championship game once more.
Tomorrow: Above The Line
Thursday: Throwback Day