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Georgia Tech Football: Reading Report Card - Week 1 Tennessee

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How did Marshall do in his first game as a starter?

NCAA Football: Tennessee at Georgia Tech Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the reading report card, a feature I will be writing each week to track the progress of the new starting quarterback’s reads. We were all able to witness TaQuon Marshall put up video game numbers against Tennessee, but was he “playing within the system?” I took a look at every one of his option plays, and determined if he made the correct read. As a reminder, here are there the option plays in the offense, along with the options they have(Mesh, Pitch, or Both).

  • Veer Option: Both
  • Counter Option: Pitch
  • Speed Option: Pitch
  • Counter Speed Option: Pitch
  • Midline: Mesh
  • Midline Triple: Both
  • Belly Option: Pitch

Report Card

Reading Report Card - Tenn.csv

Play Times Called Correct Mesh % Correct Pitch %
Play Times Called Correct Mesh % Correct Pitch %
Veer Option 3 33% 100%
Counter Option 2 X 100%
Speed Option 1 X 100%
Counter Speed Option 2 X 50%
Belly Option 12 X 100%
Totals 20 33% 95%

You may now refer to me as Nostradamus. A few days after predicting that we’d see more Belly series plays this year, 12/20 option plays were Belly Option. Marshall was perfect on these reads, punishing the Vols for chunk yardage. There was only one dicey read where there was a blocking assignment breakdown, and he tucked it. I graded that as correct.

Marshall went 1 for 3 on Mesh reads, and will need to work on that aspect of his game in the future. Tennessee was cross-charging the mesh(blitzing the OLB) early to test Marshall. These are usually pull reads, but at least one was so delayed that I graded it the wrong read to pull. On multiple occasions, UT defenders tried to play halfway between the reads instead of committing, which gave Marshall some difficulty. CPJ responded by going to only pitches after the 3rd Veer of the game. Most of the “meshes” seen during this game were not reads, just fakes or called gives.

Overall, a 86% grade on reads earns TaQuon Marshall a solid B on this exam. He played within the system and turned in one of the best single game performances in the Paul Johnson era. And to think, there’s still room for improvement!

Caveats and Observations

  • There were 3 plays called with Midline blocking. For 2 of them, I felt it was clear that Marshall wasn’t really making a read, and was always supposed to pull it. I wasn’t sure on the other, but given the other 2 I assumed there were 0 true Midline reads this game. Marshall ran a ton of standard follows, which have blocking based on the zone dive, and not the Midline. CPJ seemed to see something that dictated a switch up for 3 plays.
  • Shamire Devine was a stud this game. I had given up on him at the end of last year. I was wrong.
  • Benson impressed me much more than I expected. He ran behind his pads more than he did in the spring.
  • Offensive Tackle was a bit of an adventure for a lot of the game.
  • I thought the Illegal block below the waist call on Cooper was a weak, ticky-tack call. Major call in the game too.
  • Marshall’s only incorrect pitch read was the 2 point conversion. It was his only missed read of the half. However, Will Bryan blocked the wrong guy, and the whole timing of the play was off. It was the correct play call. It was there.