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Film Room: Way too early preview of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Year one of the Geoff Collins era begins in 2019

Villanova v Temple Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Geoff Collins has taken over at Georgia Tech and brings most of his Temple staff on board (I’ve written about the Jackets staff in detail here). The offense will have to transition from a flexbone triple option system to the NCAA offense. The defense will transition from a 3-4 defense to a 4-2-5. That’s a lot of change for a young Georgia Tech roster and a head coach that’s in his first season as a Power 5 boss.

Luckily Temple, Collins old team, played an ACC squad in Boston College in 2018. This gives us a realistic preview of what Coach Collins and his staff should do in Atlanta this fall. The Jackets are ranked 89th in the S&P+ pre-season poll and that’s without counting the staff turnover in Atlanta.

Inside Zone

There are many ways to skin the cat when running inside zone. Some programs, like Clemson, will often run inside zone away from the h-back or tight end and towards the 1-technique (nose tackle). This allows for two different “combo” blocks (double teams) to take place, but, the back will cut back to A-gap. I don’t allow my center and backside guard to combo unless the guard is unable to scoop (basically take a horizontal series of steps to cut off the 1-technique) without penetration. My center can jab at the nose tackle on his way out, but he can’t step backwards away from the play design.

In the inside zone from Temple pictured above, the Owls combo the 1-technique while running towards the 3-technique (defensive tackle). My issue with the image below is that the guard turns his shoulders which is an instant read key for the linebacker to fill that hole. Having only one inside linebacker is a mistake by BC.

They’re outnumbered in the box because the quarterback can pull. The linebacker is slow to fill the gap and that allows the guard to come all the way off his combo block and make the block on the linebacker.

In the GIF below, you can see how the running back is reading the linebacker. The back felt like if he went to the left side the linebacker could have easily avoided the guard coming off the combo block so he stays to the right, which shields himself using the guard.

Tight ends vs. a 4-2-5

Miami may not run a ton of stuff under center, but that’s beyond the point. The ‘Canes can still run 21 personnel (two running backs, one tight end) from the shotgun or pistol and get the same result. Temple’s 4-2-5 alignment puts the defensive end inside of the tight end and BC takes advantage.

Above, the TE gets a hand on the defensive end which allows the play side tackle to put up the block easily. The tight end can then work his way up field to a 2nd level defender (linebacker). He’s followed by the fullback who will block the most dangerous man (MDM) he sees. The RB’s path is right off the fullbacks outside butt cheek.

The blockers won’t force their block, they’ll go with the flow of the defenders. When the defenders committed to the outside running path it gave the tight end and fullback the cue to turn their butts and push the defenders to the sideline. The cue here is the fullback’s back side. Since it’s turned inside and his shoulders are facing the sideline, the back knows to cut inside of him and run through the lane provided.


The transition at Georgia Tech will gives Geoff Collins a year zero in Atlanta. I don’t think anyone is anticipating more than 3-4 wins for the Yellow Jackets in 2019. However, GT is already hot on the recruiting trail and they’ll be much improved by 2021, if not 2020.

Miami needs to take advantage of the young Tech defensive line, and the fact that the GT offense is a completely new entity learning the scheme and each other. The depth isn’t there for GT and they’ll have a hot 1st quarter and fall flat by the 2nd half.

Prediction: Miami wins