The “Philly Special” — running back Corey Clement handoff on a reverse to tight end Trey Burton, who then passed to quarterback Nick Foles in last year’s Super Bowl: This year, Princeton developed its own, slightly tweaked version.
The only problem? Every time the Princeton Tigers ran it in practice, something was off.
”Early in the week when we threw it, we weren’t leaving enough room for the receiver and it just kept going out of bounds,” Princeton head coach Bob Surace said. “The receiver might catch it, but he’s a yard — it just, this isn’t working and we’ve got to tweak it. The concept seemed right.”
Princeton broke it out in the first quarter of a November game against Cornell.
”We ran it and not only was the receiver wide open, but the guy who got the pitch, nobody took him on the reverse and he just walked in,” Bob Surace said. “Literally, just walked in. It was one of those rubber-stamp type plays where you feel really good.”
It was a play Gleeson felt good about all week, even if it wasn’t quite right yet. His head coach trusted him to modify it or leave it off the game plan — a trust built easier by an offense that scored 852 points in Gleeson’s 20 games as offensive coordinator.
”There’s a head coach-coordinator trust as well that I’m sure he and Mike will have as they get to develop a relationship,” Bob Surace said.