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Five Plays: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 01 Aflac Kickoff Game - Louisville vs Georgia Tech Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It is time once again for the Five Plays series where I will clip five plays from the previous game that I felt had an impact on the outcome. You’re in for a treat this week as I got carried away and clipped a bunch of plays.

Louisville didn’t play a clean game by any means, but it stood out to me that they simplified things in the second half and started to see some success. The talent at the skill positions on offense started to show out and the comeback was on.

One of the things about this team that never seemed to be in question was Ashton Gillotte’s ability to rush the passer. On one of the first plays of the game, he showed that not only does he have the skills but he also has some pass rushing moves that will help him produce this season.

The left tackle gets too wide here and Ashton utilizes the space well. He starts with a simple hesitation with footwork to make the tackle guess. He follows that up with a very quick swim move inside and a straight track to the quarterback. This is the type of thing I’d hope to see from him in the new scheme.

I really love this play design. Everything moves to the right and Georgia Tech’s defense flows in that direction. Kevin Coleman runs a terrific route that was so subtle it took me a few replays to fully appreciate it. He starts his route as if he is running a seam route but he then starts shading to the right hash. Towards the stem of his route, he gives a quick shoulder shake and breaks left. The defender on him falls over trying to keep up and Coleman is wide open.

This was a solid throw from Jack Plummer in comparison to the misses he had on other throws, but this throw could’ve been better. He should be leading Coleman down the field more and in stride so that he can continue to run after the catch.

Things started to go bad for Louisivlle’s defenes when alignment miscues started to pop up. This play is a good example of that. Georgia Tech has four eligible receivers to the right side of the formation. Louisville only has three defenders on that side of the ball. Math wins on this one as the three defenders get blocked and the runner is into the secondary pretty easily.

The next issue in this play is the poor angle by Jackson Hamilton followed by a loaf. He runs where the runner is instead of angling downfield for some reason. Then he has to chase the back and he starts jogging even though the runner is not going out of bounds. Just an odd play by him. Josh Minkins also needs to take on this blocker instead of trying to avoid him.

Misdirection kills Louisville here as you can see the second-level players all flow to the running back out of the backfield. Kudos to GT’s offensive coordinator for dropping this play after the big play on the previous drive. Everything is the same here except for the target of the pass. Their offense had to work a bit to get into the end zone but I’d imagine they’re happy with the big plays they got out of these calls.

This was another really nice design to occupy players and give Coleman a one-on-one matchup. The motion seems to give the play away but the play action with a pulling blocker forces the safety and linebacker to diagnose the play. The safety takes a few steps forward and that leaves Coleman to make a play on the one defender left. The simple hesitation works and Coleman has the speed to get around the edge.

Louisville is misaligned again here. TJ Quinn is shaded either to the outside of the right guard or heads up with him. That leaves no linebacker on the other side of the formation. In other words, there is no one on the backside of the play other than Devin Neal who walks up. It may be by design, but I’d call it a bad design if so.

Not only is Quinn shaded, but he also takes an aggressive angle at the snap and puts himself outside of the tackle box by the time the ball gets to the line of scrimmage. Josh Minkins takes a terrible angle here but in his defense, he found himself as the only defender within five yards of the ball carrier far too many times last week.

UofL has the numbers right this time but this is just poor effort in my opinion. Storm Duck is the unblocked defender and he doesn’t even get close enough to the runner to force him to make a move. I believe it is Antonio Watts who engages the blocker but doesn’t get off the block. Tawfiq Thomas is the only player on the defense that appears to be straining to get to the runner and I really wish he would’ve laid out to try to trip up the runner. Not knocking his effort at all but it looks like a missed opportunity to stop this touchdown.

I felt that this was Plummer’s best throw of the day. Coverage is really good on Trhash so the throw has to be in a pretty precise spot. Plummer’s mechanics are still not good with him fading backward and not planting his feet but he puts this ball up and above the defender and lets his playmaker make a play.

Jamari Thrash is ultra fun. This is what I mean by Plummer letting his talent help him. He gets this ball out with perfect timing and it hits Thrash with space between himself and the defender. Thrash does the rest as he knows the defender will be headed towards his outside shoulder. He whips around and picks up chunk yardage.

I watched this play a handful of times trying to figure out if this was an audible or something because of the corner blitz and my final guess is that they just lucked out. The reason I think that is that it didn’t seem like anyone particularly noted the blitzer at the snap. Isaac Guerendo blocks him but doesn’t initially eye him. Also, Plummer looks off the coverage when he drops back. That’s not really necessary with no safety in the middle of the field.

None of that really matters as I think this play would’ve worked even if the corner was in coverage. They set this up with a bevy of quick stop routes in the third quarter and it paid off for them as they were able to go with a double move after Georgia Tech tightened up their coverage. Another smart play call by Brohm.

Dez Tell had a career year as a junior and I was looking forward to seeing what he would be able to do this year when he wouldn’t always see double teams. Well, he showed pretty clearly throughout this game that he can make plays as an interior defender against the run and as a pass rusher.

Tell does such a great job here to pull the linemen down by his pads (I call this a “rip” but I’m not too sure if that’s correct). Then he gets width so that he can get his shoulders around the lineman. After that, it’s a clear path to the quarterback and he gets the job done on the sack/fumble. A huge play for a guy who’s been doing all of the dirty work since he was a freshman.

Eric Miller puts on a clinic tape on how to block this play. He starts it off by feeling for the defense as opposed to firing off to the second level. If a GT linebacker were playing downhill he would want to catch him so he doesn’t blow up the play. He then scrapes up to the linebacker and drives him back three yards into the safety who takes a proper angle to head off Jawhar Jordan. Miller’s work here is just as important as Jordan’s tough run.

And for Jordan. He still runs as if he hates anyone trying to tackle him. This is exactly the type of play that the Cards need from him. He hits the hole and takes on the second-level defender as if he knew he just needed to make one guy miss to hit a big run. He did just that and there aren’t many defenses that will catch him once he breaks loose.