The 30th ranked (per SP+) Miami Hurricanes are 3-3 on the 2019 season and will be hosting the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday at noon on the ACC Network. The Jackets are struggling with a 1-5 record and are 86th per the SP+.
The Hurricanes have the 50th ranked offense, 24th ranked defense, and 101st ranked kicking game per the SP+. The Jackets have the 106th ranked offense, 51st ranked defense, and 100th ranked kicking game per the same metric.
In their attempt at a complete rebuild, Geoff Collins and the GT staff are in year zero if not year -1. They have gone through a three quarterback system with James Graham, Lucas Johnson, and Tobias Oliver. All three QB’s were really recruited to run the old flexbone triple option and none have NFL size. They’ve combined to throw five touchdowns and six interceptions.
Running back Jordan Mason has looked good but not great, he’s averaged 5.7 yards per carry with five touchdowns. Their biggest deep threat has been Ahmarean Brown who is averaging 22.2 yards per catch with two scores. On defense linebacker Charlie Thomas has eight tackles for loss and two sacks.
The Jackets are obviously a long-term rebuilding project that needs to hit the recruiting trail hard by offering playing time for freshmen and a chance to be a three-year starter in Atlanta. The Jackets want to be a spread-to-run offensive system but need to land a big time quarterback and center in order to make that happen.
I’m a huge fan of and wheel concepts. They’re really hard to defend, especially when it’s a running back out of the backfield. Here the Jackets use the slant as a pick and the back floats out between the number and sideline to haul in the go-ahead score.
Mike Leach likes using mesh with a wheel tag to his back inside the 20 yard line, too. It’s a great red zone play where it takes less time to get the back down and out in space and a field zone where many defensive coordinators will use man coverage and even cover 0. This allows a running back to trail out and be ignored by linebackers.
Inside Zone Read
This is a look that Miami has to take advantage of, and N’Kosi Perry can do that. Perry back at QB running inside zone read with Deejay Dallas at the running back spot will be deadly against a 2-high safety, 5-in-the-box look. The Jackets aren’t strong enough up front to play a 5-man box against the Blue Devils. Duke’s offensive line isn’t exactly a world beater, either. Their backs are running for 4.6 and 3.7 yards per carry (counting Quentin Harris) while Dallas is averaging 6.7 yards per carry with six scores.
Adding the QB to the run game, plus a pre-snap RPO look at the top of the screen allows Duke to break this run on 2nd and 10. Coach Enos would prefer to go under center and run a slow developing play-action pass, I say go to inside zone read from trips in 10 personnel and spread the Yellow Jackets out. Force their defensive line to be put in a bind and let the Miami bad but not that damn bad offensive line try to use five to block four, and read the defensive end that’s standing up.
Georgia Tech Offense
The Yellow Jackets are an 11 personnel, spread-to-run, NCAA offense team. Dave Patenaude’s offense might be struggling with an FCS-level offensive line and flexbone quarterbacks but he’s made chicken salad from chicken poop before. Once the scheme is really installed and Tech can find three-star players, the Jackets will start competing for the Coastal. Maybe even as soon as next season with how down the Coastal really is.
What do I really like here to hurt Miami’s defense?
Double screen is one of my favorite plays. The quarterback will first read the defensive end on the running back’s side. If he “blurs” into the picture (if his color goes after the back) the QB will flip back and throw the tunnel to the solo receiver. As you can see, on the RB’s side the receivers are cracking down inside, the offensive tackle is coming down the line for the cornerback, and the guard is coming up to the alley player.
On the back side- the tackle goes for the CB, the guard goes to the alley and the center is wrapping back in case a defensive lineman peels off after the tunnel. It’s a great play and works really well for us where I’m the offensive coordinator and is a staple of the Dana Holgorsen playbook.
Sprint out smash
One of my favorite concepts is sprint out smash. It’s a 2-man concept with a back side “gift” option (ex. if you have a corner 7 yards off an outside leverage, tag your WR on a slant and go for it). It’s a really good concept on 1st and 10, it’s great against an aggressive defense that likes inside pressure, and works well for teams that play cover 2.
If I’m trying to beat Miami I’m trying to go at the inexperience of the safeties who have seemed lost all season. I’m going to get rid of the cornerback with the whip route and hit the corner to Jeff Thomas after an inside out move from Thomas in the slot.
The Yellow Jackets just aren’t ready to compete yet and their center being out doesn’t help. I like the talent they have in the wide receiver Brown and their running back Mason. But without a legit offensive line the Hurricanes defensive ends should be able to tee off on the quarterbacks. This should be a huge game for Trevon Hill, Gregory Rousseau and Jonathan Garvin not to mention Nesta Silvera and Jordan Miller. Anyone with speed should out run and out power the Jackets line.
Prediction: Miami by 17.