Posted: 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
By Matt Mills
This year I am taking part in Football Study Hall's game charting project. Each week a number of us chart select games around the country to take an in depth look at each play in a game to track certain factors. For instance on passing plays we look at the number of blockers, number of rushers, the depth of each throw, and many other items. Here are some of my observations after watching the film.
Everyone has seemed to make a big deal out of the multiple formations we were running this week, so I wanted to take a deeper look at what we were running and how often we ran them. So here is a table showing how often we ran each formation.
|Formation||Number of plays run|
|Full House (Diamond)||25|
|Flexbone - Twins||11|
|Flexbone - Tight||7|
|Flexbone - Pistol||3|
So Georgia Tech primarily ran their new Full House formation (Vad in the Pistol, a B-back behind him, and two A-backs standing next to him in the backfield) as well as our traditional flexbone formation with an A-back on each side and Vad under center. But this is From The Rumble Seat, You know we are going to do a more in depth analysis than just that. The following table shows how often Georgia Tech ran or threw the ball out of each formation, as well as the average yards gained out of each.
Num of Runs /
Num of Passes
Avg Yards Gained
(Run / Pass)
|Full House||20 / 5||7.8 / 5.2|
|Flexbone||25 / 0||4.6 / NA|
|Flexbone - Twins||7 / 4||5.14 / 7.0|
|Flexbone - Tight||5 / 2||6.0 / 9.5|
|Flexbone - Pistol||0 / 3||NA / 17.33|
So we like to run the ball in our base flexbone set; we did not attempt a pass out of that formation this week. Woh. In addition our Full House formation was our most successful formation, averaging nearly 8 yards per carry on running plays out of that formation. Out of those 20 runs, 10 of them were the zone read with Vad reading the defensive end and either handing the ball to the outside, or cutting it up the middle. The long run to Robbie Godhigh was an example of this play. Anything else you guys are interested in when it comes to formations?
The ESPN box score will tell you that Vad Lee was 8-16 for 125 yards and 4 touchdowns, with only 1 interception. After looking in depth at the game its clear this understates how well Vad played this weekend.
Guys, its not good. A good measure of defensive line strength is the amount of tackles for loss a defense forces. Out of 32 rushes by Duke we only had two tackles for loss. We did a good job of limiting big plays (only 4 rushes went for 10 yards or more, with a long of 16), but against a QB who couldn't pass the ball we should do better. As you saw in our Advanced Box Score we did a better-than-average job defending Duke rushing plays, but with a backup QB in who can't read a defense, shouldn't we? This has officially become my biggest area of worry in the future. I am just worried that we will face an offense that will be able to run the ball for solid yardage at will, and they will just march up and down the field on our defense. Like I said, we did a good job this week, but it made me even less confident than I was before this week, and ask Chas, I was already pessimistic.
I actually thought they did pretty well this week. We had one long kickoff return but other than that shut them down (18 yards per return on the others). We allowed too much on the punt return. But we also nearly blocked a punt, had a HUGE punt by Sean Poole. Harrison Butker only had two touchbacks but it seemed like he was trying to get the ball as close as he could to the endzone without giving the return team the option of taking a touchback. I personally would like him to just boot the thing out the back of the endzone every time, but if you can accurately place it at the 1 or 2 yardline then you are actually better off forcing the team to return it. And on the missed field goals he barely missed one and the other was blocked (although I am inclined to blame the block on Butker, that kick needs to be unblockable with how close they were). But did you see how far he kicked it on the 49 yards field goal? would have been good from 55.