Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech Film Study

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Presenting the results of this week's charting project

This year I am taking part in Football Study Hall's Game Charting Project where each week I take a closer look at Georgia Tech's game film, charting how many rushers and blockers there are on pass plays, how far a pass travels in the air, and many more little tidbits. Here are the results of that charting. You can view all of this year's game charting in the Advanced Stats and Analysis Story Stream.

This one was tough. On one hand, we had a million and a half mental mistakes in a huge game against a conference rival. On the other hand, we were one or two plays away from actually winning the game. I'm going to try and save my opinions after watching the game until the end, so here are a couple of observations from watching the game.

Defense

Logan Thomas

The dude has talent, no doubt, but man is he inconsistent. After starting the game on fire Logan just shut off and couldn't complete a pass:

Quarter Completed Pass / Incompletions Yards / Passing Play
1 6 / 0 13.67
2 5 / 3 8.375
3 5 / 2 3.86
4 3 / 3 7.5

Alright it looked a lot worse while watching the game. But still, the defense did a good job of limiting the passing plays after the first two drives. When Logan Thomas ran the ball though, it was another story.

Runner Yards / Run # of Carries
Logan Thomas 5.27 15
Trey Edmunds 0.17 6
Chris Mangus -1.00 2
Demitri Knowles 2.00 1

And here is the breakdown from Logan's runs. Every single carry was up the middle. Every.Single.One.

Run Type Yards / Run # of Carries
Zone Read 6.4 10
QB Draw 3.33 3
Scramble 2.5 2

I'm not saying this is bad, but damnit this was all they did!! It's so frustrating to see Logan Thomas get 3, 4, 5 yards at a time running the zone read. AND THESE WERE ALL UP THE MIDDLE. Gah. Whatever, our run defense did a great job limiting everyone else, I'm shocked at how well they played.

Tackling in the Secondary

It sucked. Virginia Tech's receivers averaged 5.1 yards after the catch. And its not like they were being hit in stride on posts and slants where they could run with the ball easily. These were missed tackles all over the place. Our defensive backs have missed tackles all year and this week was the worst I have seen so far this season. They did a great job coming up on running plays when our front seven wasn't swallowing everything up, but man we missed way too many tackles on short passes and allowed the receivers to get yards after the catch.

That was pretty much it on defense, we played kind of awesome. I think this was one of the most impressive defensive performances we have seen in a long time by our defense. AM I MORE CONFIDENT ABOUT THE DEFENSE THAN THE OFFENSE?? WHAT IS THIS I DONT EVEN.

Offense

Run Blocking

It wasn't good. Our offense does not work when the defensive line gets penetration on backside scoop blocks. Go watch the 3rd down play in the fourth quarter before we went for it on fourth down. The backside guard gets beat to the point of the attack and the backside defensive tackle is able to trip up David Sims before he gets running. This can't happen if we are going to sustain drives and make plays on offense.

Our playside blocking wasn't anything to brag about either. I head a lot of talks about Vad missing reads and not making the right decision. Well it is tough to read the defensive end when the line isn't blocking well enough to stop the linebacker and defensive tackle from getting to Vad before he even reads the pitch man. It is not a bad read when David Sims gets tackled by 2 defenders at the line of scrimmage and Vad also gets hit; he read the right guy but there was no hole there. Virginia Tech's defense is great and fast, and our line is not good enough to block a team like this that is flying around. That is pretty much what it comes down to, our offensive line can't block defensive lines that are this fast. It happens, we just need to do a better job of doing something about it.

Passing Game

Vad consistently had pressure in his face and could not step in to throws to make them accurately. Vad is a good passer but he needs time and space to set his feet and throw the ball accurately. Virginia Tech brought a ton of pressure this week, bringing 5 rushers 13 times and 6 rushers 9 times while only bringing 4 rushers 4 times. Our line, and Vad, was unprepared to handle this amount of blitzes. And they weren't complicated zone blitzes meant to confuse Vad, they simply wanted to put pressure in his face and got it just about every time. This has got to get better

Formations

We only ran 5 formations this week:

Formation # of runs # of passes
Flexbone 26 6
Flexbone - 3 WRs 10 8
Pistol - 3 WRs 2 9
Flexbone - Twins 3 2

I'm not sure why we didn't see the full house more often, but its not like we needed more diversity. The plays were there, we just didn't execute. Thats what this game came down to, we just did not play up to our potential and didn't do the little things necessary to win. Vad really didn't make many bad reads, we just didn't block well enough at all.

Turnovers and Penalties

Am I the only one who couldn't believe they upheld the "interception" in the first quarter? In what game is that called a pick? The defender got one hand on the side of the ball, I honestly can't believe they called that and then upheld it. Using Brian Fremau's Game Splits tool we can analyze the effect of each facet of the game on the final scoring margin. In this game Georgia Tech lost 8.4 points due to turnovers; we only lost by 7. Take away the stupid stupid penalties and turnovers and this game turns out much better for Georgia Tech. You obviously can't take those away, however it is just frustrating to have something so silly play such a big deal.

What do you guys think? Here is the dropbox link for the excel file that contains all the information I collected, feel free to chime in with your own observations.

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