Image Credit: Georgia Tech Athletics
The first year of the Geoff Collins era at Georgia Tech had its highs and lows. The average football fan might think Georgia Tech is in disarray after a 3-win season and completely changing its offensive identity. The educated college football fan knows that’s not the case. As the Editor-in-Chief at Fifth Quarter, I am definitely not your average fan. I played small college football and am a film junkie. The Georgia Tech coaches definitely put their guys in the correct positions last year. More time and more able personnel is required. This series is going to be long and slow, but I hope you learn a little of what the offensive staff at Georgia Tech wants to accomplish.
The counter is a beautiful, timeless play that the majority of football coaches use. The offense Dave Patenaude (OC) and Geoff Collins put together fit the players they had, not necessarily any one scheme. Since the counter is vanilla, it can fit any type player. The beauty of the way Patenaude ran it is the variety of looks out of which he ran it. In the above gif you see trips, but they can run counter out of many different formations and add different wrinkles.
Blocking Assignments with Crappy Paint
- Play: Counter Right
- Formation: Trips Left
- 10 Personnel
As you can see (terribly) drawn above is the blocking assignments for all five offensive lineman, and the running lane for the running back. This is a freeze frame of the play above in GIF form. This was a great play call from Patenaude, as it gave the Yellow Jackets leverage against the six-man Miami box.
Every block is important, but your two most important blocks are the play-side double team and the pull from the back-side guard. The blocking scheme on this play is for the play-side tackle and guard to double the Miami three technique (DT) and the guard will climb up to the backside LB. The center will then need to block back on the Miami one technique (DT) to clear the play-side area.
Then you get to the pulling guard, who will go after Miami’s play-side DE. The guard uses a “log” technique. Instead of kicking him out towards the sideline, he pulls and flips his hips on the DE’s outside shoulder. This leads to a great read from the running back, who cuts outside around his guard instead of forcing it inside (as is typical). The back-side tackle is last with his pull, as he wraps for play-side LB.
Georgia Tech struggled with execution a lot in 2019, but the coaching and schemes were there. Look at the success when all five men are on their blocks.
QB Counter “The Wrinkle”
When James Graham is at quarterback, you have to utilize his legs. The Tech offensive staff does well here. One of the bonuses of having designed quarterback run plays is having either an extra blocker or a decoy for the defense to key on. In the GIF above, we see Graham (QB) ride out his fake, influencing the DE to the RB. There is now no reason for that defender to be blocked. Notice how Miami blitzed two defenders (A-gap play side, and back-side C-gap), which took them out of the play.
Blocking Assignments with Crappy Paint
Click to enlarge
- Play: QB Counter Left
- Formation: Split Set
- 20 Personnel
When you can involve your QB in the run game, it’s a thing of beauty. It adds a layer of versatility for your offense while making the defensive reads more complex. You have all the same blocking rules as the original counter above. The blitz changes one thing – instead of climbing to the LB, he simply doesn’t let the blitzing ‘backer cross his face. The back-side pulling guard never has to touch his man, as the Miami defensive end plays undisciplined and goes upfield. When your five offensive lineman execute and get their bodies on someone, you are going to have a successful play.
I am excited to keep doing this series with you guys. Georgia Tech is #2 in the nation with returning production, and year two under Collins should show a lot of improvement. If you guys like the content, please give us a follow. Also consider joining our free college football message board, we currently have 300+ passionate fans there.