• Georgia Tech Offensive Breakdown Against Duke

    I watched the game again in slow motion and took a bunch of notes, many of which are not legible to me now. I have decided not to bore you with a bunch of play descriptions, but rather share some observations about what I saw on second view that I didn't see while following the ball during the live game like a normal fan.

    The offensive line showed up in a big way. They were ready to play and dominated from snap number one. They missed an assignment or two along the way, but generally speaking, they whipped the guy in front of them, pretty much all day. They were good in the trenches and good at the second level, so much so, that I am more impressed than I ever have been before.

    Duke's DL was the strength of their team. You can argue that "it's just Duke", but that Dook DL flat out dominated against Memphis and UNC Central. Both of those teams are below ACC level of play, for sure, but Duke proved themselves to be a dominant force against the AAC ( a BCS conference) team Memphis, especially. They were a clear level above that.

    We were a clear level above Dook on Saturday. It was at every position and not just a couple guys. Whatever has been going on in the S&C program and general maturing of the athletes, has come to fruition. Our OL can play. End of story. They are a physical, nasty bunch, who can stay low and really fire into the DL an sustain an advantage.

    Whoever expressed the desire for the offense to change, with the new QB corps, and wondered if CPJ was being genuine with the new recruits, your prayers have been answered. The offense we ran against Duke was tailored differently than in years past with JN and TW. We ran Diamond or Pistol formations as much or more than the std flexbone, often with tighter splits along the OL. VL was given a lot of space in the backfield to roam and more time with pass protection given the narrow splits. Our guys can indeed pass block when they aren't setting up so far from each other.

    Coach Johnson indicated that he wasn't happy with his play calling in the game. I couldn't disagree more. CPJ dialed up plays all day long that had people open etc. He was ahead of the Duke DC at every turn when they made an adjustment. Our execution was off, and there were a few drops, but the play calling was spot on for the situation, if you ask me. DUKe came out with 4 down DL and 3 LBs aligned in an umbrella at about 3 yards of depth and 2 safeties about 8 or 9 yards off the ball pushed towards the middle of the field. They often tried a cross charge with the MLB busting it towards the pitch lane and the OLB taking dive, but it didn't really matter. We may have run 4 TO plays all game. We gashed them out of the diamond with the sweep. The pulling guard and the two lead blockers created numbers on the edge in our favor, with the tighter splits also helping. They countered by pulling a safety up to the LOS on the field side when we lined up this way and we answered by running a bunch of counters the other way for great effect.

    Some random observations:

    Vad Lee, had a decent day, not great, despite the 5 TDs accounted for. He didn't get a lot of help either, from the skill guys, but there were some bad overthrows and forced, awkward pitches and a fumble. He missed a couple reads and especially had a bad one where he kept on a reverse pivot BB option for 3 yards that would have gone for at least 30 if he pitched to Sims. Despite the 50% completion rate he threw the ball mostly very well. His first pass sucked and his second was well overthrown when Waller had 5 yards of separation deep. He also made a bad throw by leading Waller too much on the pick when he was matched up alone with #6, who was a much smaller player. He should have thrown the BayBAy or patented CJ jump ball in that scenario. Waller had the inside position. It was money. Besides that he was spot on. Bostic had a drop on a sideline pass that was right in the basket. Summers failed to high point the football despite being in perfect position, Godhigh failed to lay out in the EZ on a very slight overthrow, and Smelter tried to catch a thigh high ball over the middle while standing up instead of ensuring and easy catch by leaving his feet. We left some points out there for sure. One thing is obvious, Vad has a way better feel for letting the QB follow play develop. His timing is better than TW and he can push through arm tackles better.

    The first missed FG was pulled and the blocked kick was low and left. It would have missed too. In neither case was the blocking bad. It was all on the kicker.

    Godhigh is a great player in his own right. His ability to change direction and make something out of nothing jumps out at you on film. We shouldn't be talking about him like he is a compromise. Despite not catching the first ball in the EZ, he had a great game. None of his runs were routine "system" like plays. He made a lot of that crap on his own.

    Blocking on the edge is better this year. I give special recognition to Corey Dennis and DeAndre Smelter. Both of those guys were aggressive and mean, often pushing their guys all the way to the sideline or worse. Smelter is a load out there. Think BayBay blocking. No joke. Much of this kind of action is out of the screen so I didn't catch it all.

    Laskey is a much better blocker this year. More physical. More confident. It is obvious.

    ABs blocked incredibly well, all of them. There were a lot of PUKEs on the ground in this game. I didn't count. I'm sure the staff does. It will be one of our better games in this regard.

    I like Snoddy out of the diamond formation more than the other BBs. He made a lot out of nothing with his speed Saturday in ways the other two simply wouldn't. When the action is slowed down, it is obvious. This kid can burn. With every stride he gains a lot of turf on his pursuers. When there is a MESH involved, sure, go with the other two, but when handing off in the diamond, Snoddy is your man.

    Vad is not that shifty as a runner (like JT), but when he sees a crease, he has a GREAT burst into the hole, very decisive. When the film is slowed down it is pretty impressive.

    In short, we won because we blocked the crap out of Duke in the trenches and at the second level. The skill guys were luke warm, at best, in terms of execution. The offense is very different than years past. There is a ton of stuff to get ready for if you are a DC preparing for the Institute. All the talk about the OL being the best since PJ got here is the truth, nuff said.

    I am anxious to look at the defensive series. That post will follow soon.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Offense against Duke started by Boomergump View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Jim Hart's Avatar
      Jim Hart -
      With the changes Johnson has made, the offense is starting to remind me a little bit of what Ralph Friedgen ran. Not the same sets, just a greater variety of sets and plays.

      Watching Ralph Friedgen's offense was probably the most enjoyment that I've had as a Georgia Tech fan. The way he would come into every game and have new sets, looks and plays that were custom selected to attack the specific defense was a thing of beauty.
    1. mack's Avatar
      mack -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hart View Post
      With the changes Johnson has made, the offense is starting to remind me a little bit of what Ralph Friedgen ran. Not the same sets, just a greater variety of sets and plays.

      Watching Ralph Friedgen's offense was probably the most enjoyment that I've had as a Georgia Tech fan. The way he would come into every game and have new sets, looks and plays that were custom selected to attack the specific defense was a thing of beauty.
      Yep Ralphie was fun to watch.......liked his offense and pass calling .I like anything other than the option and the diamond is fun to watch.I also like tech unis which look good.........I didnt see any of this saturday.............guess they dont give a damn about us old farts anyway.HWGA