Film Study - Defense vs Wofford

Boomergump

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It was almost surreal to watch us line up against an offense that has so many similar features to our own. If I gained an appreciation for anything, it is how our scheme, or maybe I should say Wofford's, takes away your aggressiveness and forces you to stay home, read, or possibly even run away from the ball and be doing the right thing. Our guys appeared not to be themselves. In fact, I would say they weren't even using some of the aggressive tactics I saw in scrimmages this fall camp. Obviously, we felt we had the upper hand and didn't need to take chances. CTR was proved to be right in the end.

Although our schemes were very similar on offense, each DC chose to defend them in very different ways. Where Wofford stacked the middle with 9 players inside 9 yards of depth and within the tackle box in an effort to take away the dive and force us to make decisions and get the ball to the edge, GT did the exact opposite. We played our safeties much deeper, used 4 along the line instead of 5, and floated a nickel and a safety (at times) into the flats, well outside the box and gave a little cushion with the corners. This alignment resulted in having 6 or 7 players in the box most of the time. It seemed we wanted to shut down the edge and stay behind the guys on the boundary eliminating any chance of them hitting a big play. We, pretty overtly, tried to funnel them into the middle of the field. I would say we got exactly what you would expect with this alignment. When you think about it, Wofford got the vast majority of their yards right up the gut. They had little success on the edge or deep down field. Obviously, we won't be able to play this way against most teams. On to the position groups:

DL - I am sorry but I remain worried. Without the support from behind (the thin box) our guys up front were not really able to CONTROL things on the inside. Gotsis fared poorly against the double teams, which happened fairly often. When he was one - on - one he usually made an impact on the play, but he was far from dominant. If you ask me Green is the only guy we have in there with a legit burst off the ball, violent hands, and the ability to penetrate with low leverage. He was pretty disruptive in there shucking OLs with relative frequency, but when he was out it was a different story. Gamble, Gotsis, and Green rotated on even terms from what I could see. Gamble managed to knock a ball loose and make a couple tackles, but their OL was able to get a lot of movement out of him. Run fits aren't easy when one of the guys up front is getting pushed into the next zip code. When you focus on him alone, you can see a lot, and to be truthful, it isn't great. He is just one of those guys that looks good standing in his uniform, but when put into action, he really doesn't know where his weight is and consequently can't get leverage. His use of hands is substandard for a guy who plays that much. We need better. I guess it tells you where Kallon is at the moment if he can't take at least some time from Gamble. There was some decent stuff happening at DE, but with the O they run, they were unblocked a lot anyway and they were forced to read at the point of attack. I was satisfied with how they played their role but it is hard to discern how they will fare against a conventional attack. Merriweather showed me something as did Freeman, but they both seem like they are a year away from being the kind of players we ultimately need. Rook-Chungong can use his hands some and he is pretty active. I am concerned because I don't really see a pass rusher in the bunch. Maybe they were so surprised by the pass that it affected their move off the snap.

LB - these guys had a tough game. I feel for them because they couldn't play aggressively and they were left essentially alone (2 of them) in the middle to handle a lot of space. CTR was asking a lot of them in this alignment IMHO. I think having to read took some of the starch out of them in the tackling department. It wasn't really noteworthy. They were often 1/4 step late and just enough so that they weren't in good enough position to put a hat on a guy. Lots of grabbing and not much hitting. Give the Wofford QB credit though, he made this happen by running the offense so well.

DB - didn't have to cover much, so it was all about run support and filling assignments. If there are props to go around, I would say that we never blew an assignment badly that I could see. Pitch guys were never left alone for a big run out or that kind of thing. Tackling wasn't that great with this group either. IMHO we let them FINISH too many runs with extra yards. I want to give you specific reports on individual players, but there isn't that much to say. I think the Austin kids play really really hard. I'll say that much. They are tough little guys.

All in all the results are about what we were scheming for. If we don't call the time outs at the end of H1 and let them run out the clock like they wanted to, the big run never happens and the flavor of the game changes along with the final results. They did what option teams do, make you look like you are shooting free throws with the wrong hand. Personally, I am writing this one off and I will withhold further judgement until our guys can play aggressively against a conventional offense. The soft belly we are looking at in the middle remains a huge concern for me. I hope to be proven wrong.
 

Longestday

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I think the first series was defended very well. The second series a little less, but the middle opened up. At half time Roof fixed the issue with the middle/QB draw.

We kept the deep/long play covered and left the 7 in the middle to make the play based on FBS to FCS talent. Most people need 8 to 9 people to cover the option, GT still scores, and that is what we did in spring game. Other teams have not needed a lot to cover the pass due to the lack of GT's completion abilities. They will have to pick their poison this year!
 

yellojello

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I was waiting for this one. Thanks Boom.

When I watched the tape, it seemed like the DL was mostly occupying the OL, leaving the LBs to make the tackle. They weren't able to get much penetration.
 

AE 87

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Nice, @Boomergump
Last year, we played depth early that did fine but not well enough to be trusted late. I suspect this year will be similar. Need Gotsis and Green to stay healthy.
 

33jacket

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Can we get the good teams on our schedule off the field? Right now, No!

yeah, i don't see this defense being any better than last years. D is simple...it starts with your front and you go from there. I have seen it time and time again, great secondary's with no front 4 and it doesn't matter.

right now we have a front 4 unit issue...a couple of nice players but you need 4 plus another 3
 

Techster

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yeah, i don't see this defense being any better than last years. D is simple...it starts with your front and you go from there. I have seen it time and time again, great secondary's with no front 4 and it doesn't matter.

right now we have a front 4 unit issue...a couple of nice players but you need 4 plus another 3

If you think about it, every CB to start for us the past 4-5 years was either drafted, spent atleast a year in the NFL, or made a roster this year (Jemea Thomas, Louis Young, Mario Butler, Rod Sweeting)...makes you wonder how much more effective we could have been with a better DL (like the 2008 DL).

Last year's DL with Attaochou and Gotsis (and to an extent Dieke who was in camp with the Giants and may be signed to their practice squad once his injury is healed) was the best DL play we've had since that 2008 season. Attaochou is gone, so we definitely need someone to step up outside of Gotsis to help the secondary.

I thought Chungong flashed a lot of potential even though he was inconsistent at times.

Agree with most on here...DL will be a problem if guys don't step up.
 

33jacket

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If you think about it, every CB to start for us the past 4-5 years was either drafted, spent atleast a year in the NFL, or made a roster this year (Jemea Thomas, Louis Young, Mario Butler, Rod Sweeting)...makes you wonder how much more effective we could have been with a better DL (like the 2008 DL).

Last year's DL with Attaochou and Gotsis (and to an extent Dieke who was in camp with the Giants and may be signed to their practice squad once his injury is healed) was the best DL play we've had since that 2008 season. Attaochou is gone, so we definitely need someone to step up outside of Gotsis to help the secondary.

I thought Chungong flashed a lot of potential even though he was inconsistent at times.

Agree with most on here...DL will be a problem if guys don't step up.


I know its spilt milk. But Commissiong was a HUGE loss at DT rotation. He was ahead of gamble. And would pushed to start. Then you add no pass rush specialists on obvious pass downs like whitehead, and add it loss of Robbins and Atkins two guys the staff was high on for SDE ...and bam we are where we are.

If we had those guys, although young, i feel like the DL had good rotational depth and woulda been probably ok....
 

Techster

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I know its spilt milk. But Commissiong was a HUGE loss at DT rotation. He was ahead of gamble. And would pushed to start. Then you add no pass rush specialists on obvious pass downs like whitehead, and add it loss of Robbins and Atkins two guys the staff was high on for SDE ...and bam we are where we are.

If we had those guys, although young, i feel like the DL had good rotational depth and woulda been probably ok....

Agree. Commissiong was probably one of the biggest losses this offseason. Robbins and Akins (who moved to DT) would have provided quality depth as opposed to just a body.

We basically lost a two deep this offseason at DL. Whitehead and Hunt-Days are still here, but they can't play this year which really doesn't do us any good for the near term. If we're having DL problems against Wofford...it may get ugly once the meat of the schedule comes around.

Players just need to step up.
 

33jacket

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Agree. Commissiong was probably one of the biggest losses this offseason. Robbins and Akins (who moved to DT) would have provided quality depth as opposed to just a body.

We basically lost a two deep this offseason at DL. Whitehead and Hunt-Days are still here, but they can't play this year which really doesn't do us any good for the near term. If we're having DL problems against Wofford...it may get ugly once the meat of the schedule comes around.

Players just need to step up.

Listen I follow you...but...i a 6' 2".....if you asked me to guard Shaq in basketball, and tell me I just need to step up...I'll let you know how that will work out....

point being is, sometimes, no matter what you just don't got it; either in talent, size or whatever....so for me that is where I am parked. The kids are playing their butts off...but zach laskey is no tod gurley. Stargel is no vic beasley. It just is what it is.

Ted Roofs best move he can do on D is what we did in the past. We asked the whole DL to occupy and spill runners and let the LB's clean up. Manufacture pressure with LB's. But ask the DL to shade gaps and occupy OL and not worry about stats. For me, that is what we can do without superior talent

If we try to win playing straight up 4 and defeat blocks, while rushing and covering the gaps with 4...we are in trouble...

If you ask Green and Gotsis on many, not all, but many plays to cross face and try to occupy two OL, and not get up field, and let the LB and DE do the rest...its fine...we need to do it more. Gotsis was upfield way to much for my liking last game and it exposed the rest of the line
 
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Can we get the good teams on our schedule off the field? Right now, No!

I think you are probaby right. But give Wofford some credit. As an option team, they took away what CTR has been trying to instill. On the 92 yard run, we looked just like FSU did when Dwyer blew through them in 2008. Backers going away from the ball, safety grossly out of position. And you know that wasn't Mickey Andrew's first rodeo. There is a reason less physically gifted teams have some success using a well executed option scheme.
 

Techster

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Listen I follow you...but...i a 6' 2".....if you asked me to guard Shaq in basketball, and tell me I just need to step up...I'll let you know how that will work out....

point being is, sometimes, no matter what you just don't got it; either in talent, size or whatever....so for me that is where I am parked. The kids are playing their butts off...but zach laskey is no tod gurley. Stargel is no vic beasley. It just is what it is.

Ted Roofs best move he can do on D is what we did in the past. We asked the whole DL to occupy and spill runners and let the LB's clean up. Manufacture pressure with LB's. But ask the DL to shade gaps and occupy OL and not worry about stats. For me, that is what we can do without superior talent

If we try to win playing straight up 4 and defeat blocks, while rushing and covering the gaps with 4...we are in trouble...

If you ask Green and Gotsis on many, not all, but many plays to cross face and try to occupy two OL, and not get up field, and let the LB and DE do the rest...its fine...we need to do it more. Gotsis was upfield way to much for my liking last game and it exposed the rest of the line

I actually said "Players need to step up" more to stay positive.

I agree. Hard to overcome size and talent disparities now matter how hard some of us want to believe all it takes is effort and heart. Real football ain't Rudy.
 

sidewalkGTfan

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I think we all knew the D was gonna be a struggle this year. I'm just hoping the offense AND special teams can more than make up for the difference.
 

redmule

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Didn't really expect the D to be in mid-season form the first game. Was disappointed that some players with a lot of games under their belt had subpar performances. Before I write off the new guys, though, I have to look back at the first games of some of our better players. We saw a lot of improvement last year from the first game to the last game for Gotsis, Davis, White, even Jemea Thomas stepped it up as the year went on. Think Smelter, Godhigh, and Braun on Offense. My impression Saturday was that the Defense was playing tentatively. Hopefully that was first game jitters against an option team. I think it showed in the tackling and like Boomer said being a 1/4 step late to the hole. If, if, if we stay reasonably healthy, get some experience and improvement in a couple of DLs, let Johnson, Golden, and Green knock off the rust, and tackle some better, we should have a defense good enough to win us most games. I know other teams will improve also, but not all. Some will take a step back as the year goes on due to injuries, gut wrenching losses, untimely penalties and turnovers. When you play a team makes a lot of difference. Look at Miami and VT ast year.

It is not a one dimensional game. The Offense is gonna hurt some people this year. We have seen games in the past where it clicked, and there was just no stopping it. VL seemed to get worse (at the least he didn't improve) as the year went on. I think JT's second half Saturday was as good as any half VL played last year. Improvement at QB as the year unfolds will have more leverage on wins than improvement on the DL as badly as we need it. Shoot outs are fine with me as long as we win. The game the last time we went to Chapel Hill was one of the more enjoyable for me in the last few years. Special Teams will win us a game this year I think. The trick will be to have two of the O, D, ST bring their A game (or at least B+) every week. I still believe we win the next two, but both will be harder than most are thinking right now. That will make the VT game less of a struggle.
 

gtg936g

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I want to see how we play this weekend, but we are going to have to compensate our lack of depth on the line with speed and creativity. I would think we will start seeing a 3-3-5 scheme with more pressure coming from the safety/LB spots to compensate for the lack of a pass rush. We are going to see teams try to run it down our throats this year, so we better start getting creative with some run blitz schemes. If we are as soft in the belly as most fear, we might as well swap one of the linemen for speed and take some chances.
 
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I want to see how we play this weekend, but we are going to have to compensate our lack of depth on the line with speed and creativity. I would think we will start seeing a 3-3-5 scheme with more pressure coming from the safety/LB spots to compensate for the lack of a pass rush. We are going to see teams try to run it down our throats this year, so we better start getting creative with some run blitz schemes. If we are as soft in the belly as most fear, we might as well swap one of the linemen for speed and take some chances.
If our offense scores often, placing "must-score" pressure on Tulane's offense on every possession, our defense will feast. I am hoping for two defensive scores by Roof's charges.
 

IronJacket7

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Looking at solely the Wofford game, the defense needs the most work. However, Offense and Special Teams will need to clean up a little as well.
 

UgaBlows

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Yall got me worried sick about our d line now, i wonder how much difference it will make getting Marcordes in at MLB to help stop the run?
 
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