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Film Observations: Elon

Dissecting the Game Film from this week

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

This year I will be charting each Georgia Tech game for Football Study Hall's game charting project. Each week I will post some of my observations and try to identify some trends in the analysis. This week I will just be posting my general observations form the film review, as well as the charting file itself. Lets get to it


  • The first thing I want to say before I get started is lets keep some perspective on our opponent. All respect to Elon, but they aren't very good. On some run plays there were some misreads but our QBs or A-Backs could just run around the defender, which we would not be able to do against a top FBS team. There just isn't much to gain from this game film in terms of things Georgia Tech did really well. Actually the one thing we did really well is limit mistakes. No fumbles, no picks, few penalties, overall we did the little things right.
  • I was super impressed with Broderick Snoddy. I thought he ran the hardest of any running back, A or B, and made some great cuts and ran through tackles. I really hope he can pick up the rest of the position (mesh point, pass blocking, holding onto the ball) because the guy can RUN.
  • Michael Summers made some good moves catching hitches, although I worry about being able to make good defenders miss consistently. Of Vad Lee's incompletions 1 was thrown out of bounds on a streak that was well covered, 2 were bad passes, and 1 was a throwaway. In addition the 54 yard pass to Summers really should not be considered a good throw, Vad was running towards the line and just kind threw the ball up there, it should be a lot tighter of a throw and with the receiver running away from the defender he really could afford to let Summers run under it more. A good defender makes a play on the ball, and a better throw could have been a touchdown. Overall Vad had 12 drop backs, 1 scramble because of pressure, 7 completions, 3 missed throws, 1 throwaway because of pressure, and 1 completion that probably would not be completed against another opponent. I'd count that as 7 positive plays out of 12 drop backs. Good start but Vad can do better.
  • No drops by the receivers, which is always a positive, and I saw some good blocks too.
  • I wasn't happy with pass protection. 3 out of 12 drop backs Vad had to leave the pocket to avoid pressure, and it wasn't like he was holding onto the ball forever. We only used a design rollout once and I would like to see more of that.
  • But really, what can you say when you gain 557 yards on 61 plays (9.13 yards per play)?


  • We played the most Vanilla defense I have ever seen, like, not "Publix brand" Vanilla, I'm talking "Blue Bell Vanilla Bean" Vanilla. Elon dropped back to pass 36 times. Of those 36 pass drops Georgia Tech brought more than 4 rushers only five times. Every other time we just ran a base 4-3. I'm ok with this for now obviously, but I don't think we are talented enough to run that many base plays against better opponents.
  • Elon's goal was to throw the ball out quickly and of the 35 passes they threw (one sack, so 36 dropbacks - 1 sack = 35 passes) only 9 traveled farther than 10 yards. (This doesn't consider yards after the catch, 9 out of the 35 passes literally traveled through the air farther than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage). Of those 9 "long" passes 6 of them were incomplete, either from a bad pass or good defense. That is great pass coverage downfield, something we should expect all year.
  • There were only two runs allowed for more than 10 yards, and one was towards the end of the half when GT just wanted to prevent a long pass. Overall I am very happy with our run defense, especially the defensive line.
  • However, we got no pressure. Like at all. We had one sack on the game but other than that did not force a single bad throw, I don't even think we hit the QB. This has got to get better, even with only rushing four D-lineman we should be able to force some pressure. Actually I forgot we got pressure on the long interception return, they had a left tackle blocking Attachou and our DT, so he pretty much blocked no one. But the QB threw it before they got there on a quick slant that our linebacker read perfectly.
  • But again, we had two pick sixes and only allowed 253 yards on 69 plays (3.67 yards per play, wow).
  • Louis Young had two bad missed tackles, stop that.

Special Teams

  • Harrison Butker had 9 kickoffs and 7 touchbacks. Last year only 25% of our kickoffs went for touchbacks, I like the improvement. And the one that went out of bounds was freshman jitters, thats fine. No missed extra points either. I'm not sure what is happening, do we have a good kicking game or something??
Overall we won 70-0. I mean, this is all nitpicking, and I know that. These were just the observations I gained from charting the game. If you are interested in what I am looking at when I chart games here is a Google Doc with all of the information. And here is a dropbox link for the actual file, the Doc was a little messy.