• Film Study: GT Offense vs Miami

    I watched every Georgia Tech series on offense against Miami in slow motion and probably saw every play 5 times. I didn't take notes, but in retrospect, I probably should have, because there is a lot of stuff I want to comment on. I am sure I probably will forget some stuff. Sorry.

    Miami lined up on defense pretty much like the other teams we have played as of late. They were aggressive and stacked the line some, but not nearly as much as VT. They ran a lot of the same stuff, but chose to trust the strength of their DL, and speed of their LBs, more than Bud Foster did.

    The Hurricanes too blitzed heavily on the pass, most of the time. They cheated on AB motion some, but in a very controlled manner, and rarely tried to beat the snap count like VT. You could see that their kids were very aware of their assignments, by watching LBs scrape right past our BB on a zone blocked dive, looking to take the QB on the option.

    The Jackets got many extra yards on the day waltzing right past an LB who wasn't looking for the ball. I thought Miami played well on defense, and I have very high respect for their DTs and #52 (Perryman) and #51 (can't remember his name). I have to believe that Perryman is an early pick at LB. He is the best LB we have seen yet and it isn't close.

    It is funny how you get one perspective of the game watching live, then you watch the film. When the game was over Saturday, I was deflated and felt like we got whipped. However, watching this game again made me realize that, however poorly the defense played, in terms of yards per play, we were set up nicely to win this game.

    I mean, it was middle of Q3 and we had the ball in their end in a tie game. It was well into Q4 and we tie the game (minus the XP) with a good drive. Even later in Q4, we have the ball deep in their end with a chance to tie. This one just went sideways in a hurry at the end.

    We had our chances and were probably a favorite to win at the 40 minute mark. Overall, I have to say that the offense played well. There were far fewer outright gaffes and penalties. At times we executed very well and at times we made bad reads or missed untimely blocks.

    We missed some huge chances to score or sustain drives, but I will outline those more clearly as I discuss each position group. We hit them with some unbalanced line for great effect, sealing off the edge, and did some damage from the diamond too. IMHO there was a great mix of plays as we confused them a bit.

    At the QB position group I thought we got some really good, inspired play for sustained periods, but there were lapses too. Vad came out smoking and was on a roll with his reads (both MESH and pitch) and got balls out to the perimeter. He ran right at guys and forced them to commit when the situation required it and he got rid of the pitch quickly when needed and we gained gobs of yards.

    On the drive where we settled for FG, Vad missed a pretty obvious pitch to Perkins that may have gone to the house. I am sure Coach Johnson saw this and talked to Vad about the play, because the next drive, we ran the same play, blocked it the same as Miami basically defended it the same, and it did go to the house, just like clock work.

    In the pass game, I felt Vad was just OK. The smoke routes to Smelter, he kind of floated those balls out there, giving their D a chance to close on the play. Those passes need to be zipped. Vad also continues to struggle with his footwork and balance stepping into throws. He doesn't have a lot of time, but there is time enough to do it, he just isn't.

    Vad also wasn't helped much by his receiver corps (more on that later), but he missed a major opportunity over-throwing Robbie Godhigh on the sideline heading to the EZ late in Q3. That play was right there and Godhigh had his guy burned after Vad started to scramble.

    I thought Justin Thomas played quite well in his first series. He made one heck of an athletic play on the scramble, outrunning #51 (who was fast as hell AND had a pretty good angle) to get the edge and about 11 yards. He made correct reads, got the ball pitched, and worked the team down the field for 3 first downs before something stalled the drive (sorry I can't remember what, dooh!). To me, he looked confident and capable.

    I think there was one missed read on a pistol zone read, and he turned into his tacklers once into the interior, instead of hitting a slight crease to the outside. I have no idea what he saw on the pick 6 later in the game. Maybe he had his bell rung the play before after getting PLANTED by #51 coming off the edge.

    Byerly also played well. Don't think it was against the #2s because most of the starters were still in. However, by that time, their LBs had backed up about 4 yards deeper just trying to contain the action and prevent big plays. However, there is one thing I liked about what Byerly was doing. He rode the MESH on the diamond options much longer than either Vad or JT, giving the play a chance to develop before making up his mind, in effect, forcing his read to commit. Fundamentally he was better in this regard. He was also the beneficiary of better blocking angles at the second level due to the increased depth of the LBs.

    The BBs played well for the most part. There were some good runs in there. However, Laskey made a flat out bonehead play that may have cost us the game, because the timing of it was critical. We ran a little roll out with Vad to his throwing side. Zach was leading the play as a blocker. He got whipped by the player who flushed Vad a little. The ball ends up being thrown away because Vad had no options.

    After the guy beat him, Zach continued to chase him from behind towards Vad in the futile hopes of what? I don't know. If he just does the fundamental thing of turning himself into a dump off safety valve, by squatting in the flat looking for the throw after his rusher passes him, the easy completion goes for at least 40 yards. The camera followed the throw out of bounds and there was NOBODY and I mean NOBODY within 40 yards on that side of the field. The WRs had all gone deep and brought the coverage with them. All LBs had blitzed past. It was wide open! Vad threw his pick 2 plays later.

    The ABs had some very good runs. Godhigh continues to be a punishing blocker inside and outside. That kid deserves a medal. He continues to make plays. Days continues to block well on the edge if not on the interior. I just question what we are really getting out of Zenon right now. He just seems to barely be able to get out of his own way.

    There are a lot of plays to talk about, but a real crusher was him running to the wrong side of a block on the edge to the left in Q3 that resulted in a loss of 5, putting us way behind the sticks and stalling a very important drive. If he cuts inside the block, he gets maybe 3 or 4 yards and we stay on schedule. Little decisions like that will kill you. Deon Hill is still getting his legs back but he was the beneficiary of some pitches on well blocked plays. Andrews still looks good.

    The WRs had a mixed bag of results. Summers gets on my list now as he shied away from a very very catchable deep ball from Vad around the 5 yard line. I am sorry, but that catch has to be made for a big play. The ball was dropped right in there. It made it all the way to his hands even though he did NOTHING to try and win it. I guess BayBay spoiled me because that catch was a no brainer for him. I have no idea what Summers was thinking about. You only get so many chances like that for big plays. Go up there and make a positive move for the ball! It almost looked like he was hoping it would be picked.

    Waller blocked a little better from what I could see on the boundary. However, he completely whiffed a guy on a blind crack back. He could have knocked the guy into the next world if he wanted to and, if I didn't know better, shied away from the contact. Guess who was in on the tackle? That made me angry. Summers turned a few guys loose on the boundary looking like the "want to" was missing.

    On the whole, I would say the OL did pretty well. They were a tough defensive unit. We made some great blocks springing good plays and they made some great plays defeating blocks too. It was a war in there.

    We lost Beno fairly early. When that happened, we pushed Jackson out to tackle and had Braun at LG. He seemed to play much better than against VT. He won some and lost some, but eventually went down too, or was removed for some reason.

    When that happened, we pushed Jackson back to LG and got Morgan Bailey on the field at LT. He did OK. It was good to see him out there, but I really don't think he is 100%. In the end we went with Chase Roberts. He did OK, but that left side wasn't as productive after Beno went out.

    Also, we just have to find somebody to push Chamberlain to the bench. When we stalled in Q3, you can go back to pretty much every negative or unproductive play and it was Chamberlain getting beat, whether in pass protection or just failing to slow a guy in run block. I love the kid, but he is just hurting us right now. We need Bailey healthy. End of rant.

    Mason, who is usually money blocking on the interior, had a sub par day, IMHO. He was far from the worst guy we had on the line, but not really at his usual level. One casual observation that isn't really focused on one individual, but we seem to have a lot of defensive players, who are just chipped at the LOS by OLs heading to the second level, making tackles against us for little or no gain. I don't really know what to think about that, but it seems to me that if they are the ones making plays, we either need to put a hat on them, or do a better job of estimating their abilities to get to a certain gap.

    I am not talking about about poor QB reads here, or at least I don't think I am. It just seems to happen too much. If you chip a guy, you are basically saying that all you need to do is slow him down and he won't be able to make the tackle on the designed play in question. He won't be able to get there. Well, a lot of times, they ARE getting there. We may be screwing up our assignments there.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: GT Offense vs Miami started by Boomergump View original post
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