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Georgia Tech Football Top Plays: #6 - Vad to Waller

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Vad and Waller had several great connections in 2013, and this play against UNC is no exception.

We'll miss the guy in the middle, but the other two are ours for at least one more season.
We'll miss the guy in the middle, but the other two are ours for at least one more season.
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s top play takes us back to a more orthodox and traditional football play, some good ole-fashioned pitch ‘n catch from a QB in the pocket to a prototypical wide receiver. It’s nothing like you young people’s high-falutin’, fancy-pancy, Justin-Thomas-street-ballin’ option nonsense from yesterday’s top play. This is football, not basketball.

That being said, this play is a great example of a situation where we’re forced to throw the ball, the defense pretty much knows it’s coming, and yet we’re still successful. This play would probably be broken down a lot further than it’s going to be if the guy throwing the ball hadn’t left the team. But instead, we’ll just reminisce on a great play and a huge turning moment in an ACC divisional matchup against a team we aren’t particularly fond of on this blog right now.

The Situation: It is absolutely monsooning in Atlanta. It has been pouring nonstop since well before both Georgia Tech and UNC hit the field a couple of hours before kickoff. Fans are taking pictures and getting married next to the Niagara Falls that has formed beneath the North endzone upper deck. Bottom line, it is wet.

This doesn’t bode well for any type of play involving the ball being thrown or tossed. The ball is slippery and so are the players’ hands. Combine that with an early-season option team and a new starting QB, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

UNC has jumped out to a 20-7 lead going towards the final minutes of the first half. Tech has shown little on offense, except on one successful drive early in the second quarter. Luckily, they’ve managed to string together a nice five-minute drive down to the UNC 21, but there are only 36 seconds left on the clock. Vad Lee’s got a hot arm at the moment; after starting the game 1-5, he’s completed three passes in a row on this drive for 35 yards. Can he do it again?

The Play: Vad is lined up in the gun with first and ten from the UNC 21. He’s got Darren Waller out wide left, DeAndre Smelter wide right, and A-backs BJ Bostic and Robbie Godhigh both looking to run routes as well – no shortage of receiving talent here. He takes the snap and a quick three-step drop-back, but the pressure is on him already.

Vad_to_waller_unc_medium

Fortunately, Bostic is running a wheel out to the left, pulling the linebacker underneath Waller. This leaves Waller with a one-on-one with an undersized corner. He turns it slightly infield, running a post, and Vad delivers with a strike right before getting drilled. It’s high, but Waller climbs the ladder and snags it out of the air easily for the score. A well-drawn up play, and perfectly executed. It cuts the UNC lead in half, sending the good guys to the locker room with momentum and a much more manageable deficit heading into the second half, in which they would shut out UNC and take the W, 28-20.

In your opinion, who made the better play – Vad’s well-placed ball or Smelter’s good route and leaping grab? Nothing controversial here, just some good pigskin!