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Game Film Review: Georgia Tech

Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

I'm going to go through the tape from BC, FSU, and GT again this offseason to call out some specific plays. Its possble we do some in the BYE week.

ESPN Play-by-Play

CU from 25 -WR screen to SW for 7...IZ for 5...End around fake, throw deep to Nuk incomplete. Good coverage by Rod Sweeting...Thrown over Sammy's head in the flats, another WR screen...Tajh sacked by Attaochu, Boyd held onto that ball too long. Timothy wasn't moving his feet well either. 5 plays 5 yards

Why did we throw so much here? This defense was ripped against MTSU. They are bringing pressure, I think we could hit something up the middle with AE. Its primarily 2 high safety look.

GT from 28 -Counter toss for loss of 3. Corey Crawford nice play, made his blocker miss..Belly keeper for 5...Dump lob pass to a WB for 7...TO GT on 4th & 1...QB Sneak stopped. 4 plays 9 yards, 01:57

The Sneak was not the call by PJ, he wanted something else. Tevin Washington choked. We had twin 2-techs and every gap inside was covered. Williams is really the one who dove through and disrupted it.

We had two LBs blitzing on the lob pass, SA and Christian. Willard did not get there quickly enough from the weakside, but this would be the safety's job (Blanks), and he made the tackle.

CU from GT 37 - IZ for 2, left side did not do a good job...PA rollout pass to Jaron Brown for 13 coming back on an Out. Great catch. If Tajh had set his feet, looked like we had Nuk on a Go route open deep...Jet sweep for 7...OZ for 2. Took a bit long to hit the line there...IV jet fake, Tajh keeps it for 3 and a 1st down...iZ for 1...Sammy sitting in the flat from the Jet fake, 8 yard gain...IV jet fake, Tajh keeps for the TD. 7-0 Clemson. 8 plays 37 yards, 3:18.

This power read/IV jet is consistently successful for Tajh when Sammy is going in the jet.

Pace is off. Not doing well up front that drive.

GT from 17 - Autry up the sideline for 53 after Meeks shows that he has no arms to tackle...Dive for 2...Same play to Darren Waller for 12, tackle gets made this time by Blanks...Same play to Greene for 16 yard TD, Meeks not there to make the tackle. 7-7, 4 plays 83 yards, 01:25

Same play 3 times gives them a TD.

So what happened? Clemson was bringing the CBs hard on any pitch option, and Johnson adjusted. We sent Brewer hard on the belly keeper on the first drive. GT was bringing the WB opposite around and the CB cheated by blitzing to stop that pitch/toss. That counter toss looks the same to the CB initially. The Safety has to get over to make the play and he wasn't.

CU from 24 - Zone read, loss of 3. Timothy got whipped outside...Thrown over Charone Peake's head on an Out...Empty, Nuk over the middle for 19 on a Deep Cross...IZ for 9...Tajh forces a ball into triple coverage to Brown, incomplete. Had an outlet underneath. Shouldnt have thrown that...IV jet keeper for 3...Humphries quick slant for 10...Tossed to a wide open Peake on a zone read/pass option for 27...IZ for no gain. Rod McDowell should've kept moving upfield, did not hit the A-gap hole...Coverage forces dump to Sammy in flats for 5...Thrown behind Nuk into traffic incomplete on a rollout. Should not have thrown that across his body. probably should've dumped it to Ford for a few yards. 23 yd FG. 10-7 Clemson, 12 plays 70 yards, 03:28

Two passes there should not have been thrown. They are bringing someone on every play. Their blitz on the zone pass option play cost them bigtime because their safeties didn't get over to pick up Peake.

GT from 25 - Counter keep for 9. Goodman cutblocked by Pulling Guard out of this one, poor technique. Christian did his job, Anthony was little slow getting to the QB but evaded his blocker...Belly option pitch for 23. Christian had the QB dead to rights and hesitated, but his job was the pitch, and he didn't trust SA coming inside him...Counter option keep for 25, same play as the 1st. Goodman cut, SA cut, nobody using their hands to get off the cut. Christian kept his pitchman...Dive for 5...Dive for no gain. Christian and Watson blew it up...Counter toss for 13 yard TD. Willard blitzed and no one was left on the edge. Blanks crackblocked, and Brewer took a bad angle but wouldn't have stopped it. 14-10 GT. 6 plays 75 yards 2:34.

Still can't play cut blocks properly, can't play the proper assignment.

CU from 25 - Ford on a slant for 13, illegal targeting called for 15 yards...Bucksweep for 6, but holding on Brown downfield...Boyd on a called draw for 10...End 1st QTR...TWO PLAYS MISSED...QB Power for 3..Empty, thrown 2 feet over Ford's head in the flat on a stop route..TWO MISSED...ZR keep for 6...Toss sweep for 5...IZ for 6, Hot Rod...Toss sweep for 2 yd TD. 17-14 Clemson. 13 plays 75 yards, 3:29.

Our pace is actually not that great. We're getting a lot of plays in, but the play clock is being run down a good bit longer than normal.

GT from 25 - Go route to Autry down the sideline incomplete, Breeland right with him...Dive for 3. Barnes did a pretty good job. Breeland went out here...Grady Jarrett penetrates into the option and stops the option keep for loss of 1. Punt.

Great play by Jarrett. RG went to cut him and he sidestepped it, penetrated and pushed the QB back deep enough so that the pursuit covered everyone outside.

CU from 32 - Quick slant to Ford for 8...Deep throw to Sammy incomplete, well covered though...Rollout, hits Peake behind the coverage for 16 on a Corner route...Too high to Nuk on the boundary...AE swing route, makes one miss and gets 40. Nice block by Jaron downfield...Fade route to Nuk, he's well covered. Nuk did a good job to not let him pick that off. Its not PI...IZ for 1..Reverse pass from Nuk to Ford incomplete, hate that call. TO Clemson. 20 yd FG. 20-14 Clemson. 9 plays 65 yards, 1:55.

Pace was better on this drive, but still seems off.

Tajh's footwork on the high boundary throws doesnt stand out as being bad, but it seems like he's sidearming it a little. Maybe a grip issue?

The trick play shit didn't need to get called. I don't like that call at this spot on the field. We're at the GT 3 yard line, just run the regular offense. Try the trick somewhere else. That said, Ford was open and Nuk missed him.

GT from 25 - Counter option for 14. Christian had blitzed in the B-gap, SA was way late on the pitch...Dive for 3...Orwin Smith gets 38 because Christian hesitates on his job. He did not get wide enough to play the pitch man, he decided to read the option instead of attack it....Dive for 7...Dive for 7...Dive for 3...Dive for 2...TO GT...QB Isolation for the TD, basically followed the Belly. 21-20 GT 8 plays 75 yards, 03:45

Clemson is stunting a little more up front, and pushing ourselves out of the plays inside. Jarrett is doing well to avoid a cut by the RG.

If you read the option, it kills you.

CU from 25 - WR screen to SW for 9...Boyd bootleg right into a sack, Attaochu missed him and Boyd gets 4 scrambling....Slant to AH for 4...Boyd scrambles, steps out of the pocket and sees Nuk all alone on the sideline, goes for 58 yard TD. 27-21 Clemson. 4 plays 75 yards, 1:24.

Ball was thrown high. That one may have more to do with footwork, but he was scrambling. Safety #1 was no where near his man.

GT from 25 - Pitch strung out on the sideline by Willard and Brewer, no gain. Brewer did a pretty good job with the blocker...QB draw for 7...Option pitch to Smith for 33. Willard did not get wide enough to play the pitch man. Willard was reading the QB instead of attacking the pitch back. He should let Shuey handle the QB per his assignment. CB blocked right OOB...QB draw for 1...PJ wastes 30-40 sec, Skigun crossing route for 7...Skigun, Washington throws into double coverage incomplete. 45 yard FG missed. 6 plays 48 yards, 3:16

PJ messed that up. They did not need to go Skigun formation. They dont look like they know what to do in that formation, and take far too long to get a play in and snap the ball. 3rd & 2 and you won't run the Dive play? Why?

Strange calls.

Clemson kneels on it.


We're reading the option instead of attacking it, and that has resulted in 2 big plays by itself. It put them in scoring position twice.

PJ beat us because we cheated with the CBs for one score. Thats just the chess match.

The counter kills us because we hesitate and overpursue on the same play. DE hesitates to kill the QB when he comes free. They should run the counter to Goodman every time because he doesn't attack the cut blocker. I think Tavaris Barnes was in more late in the half as a result of that.

Look at the Dive. We didn't do a great job stopping it: 2, 5, 3, 3, 7, 7, 2. They do well running it behind the RG Uzzi. I'm surprised they aren't running that more, but with the way we get killed on the perimeter I can't say I blame him.

We don't run the ball well because we don't handle the NG. Freeman barely holds his own in the run game with that guy. We're not getting to the 2nd level at all.

Tajh was 16/26 for 251 and 2 TDs in the 1st half.

Start 3rd QTR

GT from 25 - Option keep, no gain...Keeper for 3...Washington hits a Wing on a little option/out route for the 1st down, I think they got a beneficial spot by almost half a yard...Pitch for 6, two guys got cut by one man...Dive for 5...Wheel route down the sideline caught out of bounds over Hall. That was a nice catch...Dive for 7...Washington takes it up the gut for 43 on an Isolation, Meeks tries to make a tackle and swats at him like a girl....QB Isolation for 4 yard TD. Reader got pushed back. 28-27 GT. 9 plays 75 yards 4:02.

They are not Midline, these are simple QB Iso into the A-gap. There is no option of the DT. He fakes to the B-back, pulls it, and follows him right up the middle. I'd sit Meeks and he'd never see the field for me again after that sissy ass tackle.

CU from 18 - Empty, WR screen to Watkins for 6...Screen to AH for 8...Boyd throws a bit too hard to Brown, can't pull it in over the middle. Catchable though...Slant to Nuk for 15...IZ for 1. Botched blocking up front...Boyd throws a INT to the NG, didn't even see him on a loop stunt. Needed to let that develop more. 6 plays 30 yards, 01:21

Really should've been a killer INT here. Usually if you lose the first 5 minutes of the 3rd like this you lose the game.

GT from CU 26 - Power for 8...Power for 2 to the other side...QB Iso again, Williams slipped into the hole and stopped it...Dive for 3...Blitz, Washington dumps it off for 5 over the middle...4th & 1. Fumbled snap, recovered by Jarrett at the 7.

They choked.

Williams lined up right in the A-gap, and the Center screwed up the snap. Uzzi went out after pulling on the 2nd Power O call. After that, Williams whipped his replacement.

CU from 7 - Power for 1, backside edge pursuer tackled him from behind. They sent one more than we had blockers...Basically a Jet/Power play for 2...Empty, Dig route to Nuk, tackles miss and he goes 37....Power for 13...Coverage sack, Boyd held that too long...Hot Rod IZ for 4...Hot Rod for 23 on a little swing route, the receivers completely cleared the coverage to that side...Power for 2..Bootleg, Tajh runs into a sack. Ford twists his ankle...IZ for 15....OZ for loss of 2, too much penetration on the right side...Cooper out of the backfield for 4...Slant to Cooper nearly intercepted. Forced that ball. He had to throw it over Cooper's head and didnt. 21 yd FG. 30-28 Clemson. 14 plays 90 yards, 5:27.

Thats 3 passes that definitely should not have been thrown, otherwise this is a great drive. 14 plays, 90 yards and 5 minutes off? SIgn me up.

GT is really tired up front.

GT from 25 - Pitch, Meeks misses the tackle, WB reverses field and goes 25. Brewer also had him at the LOS and missed the 2nd tackle attempt on the backside. Terrible angles and pursuit....Power for 1...Start 4th QTR...Pitch for 38. Again, WIllard does not get wide enough to have a chance at the pitch man. Too busy watching the QB...Dive for no gain...Counter pitch, too much penetration from Crawford and Shuey for them to handle. ..Half-roll, toss to the WB, ball is too late and Willard is there to knock it away. 26 yd FG. 31-30 Georgia Tech, 7 plays 66 yards 2:50

Washington just isn't comfortable throwing the ball. He holds onto it until he's sure the receiver is open, and it bites him.

We can't tackle and can't play the pitch, nothing new.

CU from 25 - Sammy on a slant/in, thrown too far inside incomplete...called QB Draw for 11...IZ for 5...Thomas beat off the edge, Boyd scrambles for 1...Threads a needle to Nuk on a slant, he fights for 8. I don't see how that ball was completed. He took it from Attaochu's hands..Power read for 7..IZ hot rod for 8...Nuk on a 9 route, pump fake made the Safety bite and Nuk was open by 3-4 steps. 35 yard TD. Clemson goes for 2, throwback pass to Tajh from a Wildcat snap to AE. That was really well executed. 38-31 Clemson. 8 plays 75 yards 2:34

Better pace on that drive as well.

Clemson pins them at the 2 yard line on the kickoff, returner slipped and fell to one knee.

GT from 2 -Christian comes on a blitz up the B-gap, while Crawford is backed out playing containment and not rushing. He batted the ball down...Option, Corey Crawford really set it up. He blew right into the backfield, forced the pitch early, and Shuey cut over the Tackle's veer block into the backfield for the Safety. 40-31 Clemson.

CU from 47 - IZ for 2...Rollout, Nuk on a cross/out route for a 1st down, called back for illegal man downfield. This was because we were not lined up properly...Boyd sees his reads covered and pulls it for 11...Slant pass tipped and intercepted by Drummond. Its borderline PI committed against Cooper, but I don't think it should be called here.

GT from 45 - Rollout, Peters leaves Orwin Smith for 32...Penetration everywhere, QB loses 2 on an option call...Skigun, pass was tipped by Crawford but completed for 6...Belly option pitch, Brewer blew up the outside blocker and Godhigh slowed, Willard is there for once. 37 yd FG BLOCKED by Josh Watson, but the push was from several guys including Tony Steward.

Why did PJ go to that Ski-gun formation again? Why? 2nd and 12, just run two belly option plays or one belly and a counter and he's probably getting the 12 in two downs, certainly if he goes for it on 4th and short.

PJ does some dumb shit in Death Valley.

CU from 20 - IZ for 3....Hitch to Cooper for 9....We run an option handoff on a zone, no gain.Blitz, WR screen and not much. Poor blocking, throw was off and behind Nuk...TO GT...Boyd scrambles for 13, made one man miss a tackle completely...Power for no gain...IZ for 1..TO GT...QB Draw for 13...Inv. Wishbone, zone for 2...Power, they blitzed right into it, loss of 4. Just a good call by Groh...TO GT...Zone handoff, Hot Rod takes it for 26, then a horse collar for 8...Same play again for 7..Power for the TD. 47-31 Clemson, 13 plays 80 yards, 5:26.

Tech gets two plays off, one a loss and a scramble.


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Summarizing Thoughts

Clemson's scheme was pretty straightforward, even if there were alignment tweaks from last year. It is essentially the exact same scheme that Steele used, which other teams also use against them. Notice that the OLB on the field vs. boundary (strong/weak has no meaning here really) are in different staggered alignments. The MLB is either a 00 or shifted Fieldside, in what looks like a 20/30. Its 4 across Man coverage, same as Steele used.

All 4 DL have Dive-first responsibilities. DE has Dive-to-QB. Looks like the MLB playing from 7 yards depth has QB force, and OLB has pitch. Occasionally the CB outside has secondary pitch. It is the same as we've run before.

The primary problem was just that guys were not doing their jobs and did not trust the scheme. The outside man with pitch responsibilities was not taking the pitch, and tried to read the option. If you read the option, it kills you.

I do not see why everyone is thinking about how well our defense played in the 4th. We had only stopped them the once at the 2. PJ stopped his own self at the end of the 1st half with some bonehead stuff and again there on the last drive. We had good penetration in the 1st and again in the 4th, but everywhere in between we were on our heels.

Malliciah Goodman should sit. Tavaris Barnes is more productive per snap.

Grady Jarrett had a good day, Williams did a pretty good job too. However, they were being handled by Uzzi on any play where he could line up and fire across. Most Dive plays were over RG.

Crawford, while not doing much, certainly did more than Goodman.

Christian does not always trust the assignment. He feels alone, and that no one is filling inside of him to take the QB if he turns upfield, and so he does not take the pitch man. The end result is that he's nowhere in position to make his play on the pitch when the ball does get pitched. If you have the pitch you must have outside leverage on the Wingback, or at least even with his hips. Could say the same about Willard.

Jonathan Meeks should sit after that kind of tackling performance. That was awful.

Stephone Anthony did not attack or evade his blocker well. It was not that he was making busts, but he was not getting to the force position quickly enough in the alley. This is because the Veer option is designed to veer the tackles inside, and the tackle is meant to take the MLB out.

We still do not handle cut blocks well, and in some parts of the game we look like we haven't faced them, but I don't think this Tech team was as good at delivering them as before. The Wings just weren't getting those arc blocks and cuts done. We missed the pitch because of ourselves, not as much because of what they were doing on the edges. However, our DBs still got cracked and stalk blocked too easily.

On offense, I can see where the F+/- says we're getting worse.

Tajh had a great game overall and a good 2nd half in particular, but has had more and more of the lapses in judgement in forcing balls. I see more forced balls now than I have all season. He's just getting away with them more now than he did last year. He is at least able to pull it down and get some good yardage on the ground more often. If he keeps that weight down then I don't see anything stopping him from improving.

Andre Ellington still doesn't seem quite himself, but the OL still cannot handle an Odd front for him. We suck at it. They give you bubbles over the Guards and we don't do much with them. They stunt and twist to make up for it sometimes, but Freeman's inability to ever dominate a 0-technique shows every time we play an Odd front team.

It was nice to see Hot Rod pick up some yards to spell Andre, but you can still see the reason why he's a backup in his ability to see and hit a hole. He hit some straight on, but he hesitated 2 or 3 times and ended up getting nothing. I wish D.J. Howard was healthy enough to get some carries.

As usual Zac Brooks did not and may not the rest of the year, meaning we waste another redshirt. Steward ended up with 7 snaps as well, on pace for a Justin Parker-like snap total.