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Georgia Tech vs UNC Film Review

Taking a deeper look at last week's game

Mike Zarrilli

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.

The Formations

Against UNC we added a few new formations, but generally stuck to the "vanilla" flexbone look that is the staple of the offense.

Formation Number of plays run
Flexbone 46
Flexbone - Tight 14
Flexbone - 3 WR 6
Flexbone - Twins 6
Full House (Diamond) 5
Flexbone - 1 WR, 1 Extra OL 4
Flexbone - Pistol 3

UNC saw a heavy dose of the standard flexbone formation, but they also saw a few new looks in a 3 WR formation, 2 split out to one side and 1 to the other (although one of these WR's was actually an A-back.) We also ran some goal line or short yardage formation with the one of the standard personnel WR's swapped out for an extra offensive lineman. We did not run much pistol/full house this game, 8 snaps combined. I think the weather may have had a pretty large influence on this.


Num of Runs /

Num of Passes

Avg Yards Gained

(Run / Pass)

Flexbone 43 / 3 4.1 / 19.7
Flexbone - Tight 11 / 3 7.3 / 2.0
Flexbone - 3 WR 4 / 2 6.0 / 3.5
Flexbone - Twins 6 / 0 7.0 / NA
Full House (Diamond) 3 / 2 3.3 / 5.5
Flexbone - 1 WR, 1 Extra OL 4 / 0 0.75 / NA
Flexbone - Pistol 0 / 3 NA / 5.3

I think the trend we see here is that the game was played in bad weather. Last week, against Duke, GT ran the ball 80% of the time, even though we were ahead for a majority of the game. This week, against UNC, despite trailing for a substantial portion of the game, 85% of the plays were running plays.

The production we get in the running game in the tight flexbone formation is really starting to interest me. Against Duke, we got 6.0 yards per running play out of this formation, this week we see a 7.3 yards per run play.  If we combine both games' numbers, we see a 6.9 yard per run play out of this formation. From my unscientific eye/memory test, I think we actually run wide a lot out of this formation, and the tight set of the wide receivers and the blocking running back allows us to seal the second level of the defense to the inside to spring the ball carrier. When we run the standard triple option play out of the unadjusted flexbone, the WR seals to the outside while the A back seals to the inside, leaving chance for the ball carrier to misread a block or cut. Perhaps simplifying this scheme by sealing everyone in one direction is helping out our ball carriers.


The obvious observation everyone made was the shutdown by the defense in the second half.  The spark for this, in my opinion was the incredible work done by Jeremiah Attaochu on the first drive of the second half. UNC threw a skinny post for an 82 yard TD that was called back for an obvious holding call on the RT for grabbing Jerry's shoulder as he sped right by. After a 10 yard pickup on a draw play, it was 3rd and 4. Attaochu switched sides to attack the LT, and this time used a combination of speed and power to beat his blocker for a sack. You could see the way this fired up the rest of the defense for the rest of the half and demonstrates that he is the undoubted leader of this unit.

On the negative side, we got burnt down the seam/hash for much of the game by the UNC offense. On the hopeful side, our late interception came on a play in this area of the field.

Quick Hits

  • Waller and Smelter are really coming along, I think. Look for CPJ to attack the outside with the traditional VT defense setting their corners up to play 1v1.
  • Lots of dives. They were mostly successful, too. It was good to see Vad not get bored handing it off and instead just continuing to just take whatever the defense was offering.
  • Some of the running around the edges was disjointed both by poor outside blocking and some guys not using their blockers correctly. There were a couple of plays where the ball carrier would get too close to their blocker, allowing the defender to come off and make the tackle or set the block up wrong to allow the defender to come free. Hopefully the guys were able to take a look at this during the week and can correct it for the Poly game.

Here is the dropbox link for the charting file itself. Feel free to take a look and see if there is anything you notice about our performance.