Opponents Strengths & Weaknesses: GSU

jchens_GT

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Would any of you fine gentlemen be willing and have the time to post some strengths and weaknesses for our opponent this weekend? What is Georgia Southern's strongest unit? What is the weakest? Which players are considered their difference makers at this point? What aspects of the team are still unkowns at this point in the season? How do their offensive and defensive schemes differ under the new coaching staff?

I would love to hear some of your thoughts so that we might get an idea of how GT matches up against GSU. I may try to take a stab at this myself if I can find the time, but I've got an extremely busy week with work stuff and personal stuff. Any takers?
 

GTech63

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GS can put together an OL the size of Tulane with more experience, couple of seniors and couple of Jrs. Size is not the most important thing. I see this game as one that could be an upset only if we don't show up.

I hope they are tough so we can use it as a true tune up for Vpisu. I am looking for us not to make the turn over mistakes of last week, continue to improve on both sides of the ball, get to evaluate a few more inexperienced guys, Give Tim B some playing time.

Because it is Southern, and our guys know the embarrassment of losing to them, I don't see how they will be looking past GS to the turkeys except to know that this game is a dress rehearsal of sorts for the rest of the season. This is game we need to get it all together and be ready for Blacksburg. Go Jackets!!! Pluck the Eagles!!
 

jchens_GT

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Here are some initial thoughts, mainly just based on box scores, stats, and some highlights.

Unit in Order of Greatest Strength
  1. Offense - Effective run first attack. Few passing attempts so far, but have been efficient for big plays.
  2. Special Teams - Return game seems fairly average. Coverage seems pretty good, but allowed one big punt return against NC State. Kickoffs and punter seem to be very good. FG kicker has been accurate thus far.
  3. Defense - Probably the weakest unit, with pass defense being the worst. I haven't watched film, so I don't know if this is more due to coverage or pass rush. Gave up significant passing yards to NC State and also Savannah State (but I'm not sure what that really tells you). Seem ok against the rush, but they still gave up 150+ yards to NC State.
Unkowns
  • Can they sustain an efficient passing attack as they did in game 1?
  • Will depth catch up to them late in the 3rd and in the 4th quarter?
I only spent about 20 minutes or so on this. Who has something to add?
 

GTJason

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Some of those throws reminded me of Clemson last year, they were right on the money and the coverage wasn't all that bad
 

jchens_GT

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Some of those throws reminded me of Clemson last year, they were right on the money and the coverage wasn't all that bad

That's one reason why I am wondering if they can sustain that kind of success. I guess we shall see. I'm not sure if anyone knows for certain whether Ellison is that good or if he just had a hot hand that day.
 

GSUJacket

Georgia Tech Fan
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5
Here are some initial thoughts, mainly just based on box scores, stats, and some highlights.

Unit in Order of Greatest Strength
  1. Offense - Effective run first attack. Few passing attempts so far, but have been efficient for big plays.
  2. Special Teams - Return game seems fairly average. Coverage seems pretty good, but allowed one big punt return against NC State. Kickoffs and punter seem to be very good. FG kicker has been accurate thus far.
  3. Defense - Probably the weakest unit, with pass defense being the worst. I haven't watched film, so I don't know if this is more due to coverage or pass rush. Gave up significant passing yards to NC State and also Savannah State (but I'm not sure what that really tells you). Seem ok against the rush, but they still gave up 150+ yards to NC State.
Unkowns
  • Can they sustain an efficient passing attack as they did in game 1?
  • Will depth catch up to them late in the 3rd and in the 4th quarter?
I only spent about 20 minutes or so on this. Who has something to add?


I agree on the order of strengths.
  1. Offense - They've done well with the dive and the QB keeping the ball on the option on the perimeter. They haven't pitched the ball much on the option, and I think they'll need that in order to keep this game close.
  2. ST - FG kicker is doing better this year, but was terrible over the past two years.
  3. Defense - The pass defense gave up a ton of yards in the 2nd half when NCST went to a no huddle hurry up offense. Southern had linemen standing up staring at the sidelines when the ball was being snapped on many occasions. Most of the pass completions were shorts passes that went for 10-15 yards; nothing over the top that I can recall.

Unknowns:
  1. Not sure on this one. They've completed passes when they needed them. I would keep an eye on #9 Zach Walker; he not the fastest guy on the field, but he seems to come up with big catches when they need them.
  2. I think so. Depth was an issue with NCST, and the heat also got to them. Guys were cramping up all over the place. Lower temps could help, but if Tech sustains long drives throughout the game, I could easily see Southern running into depth issues again.
 

GT Man

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I know PJ was not happy with our lack of a pass rush vs Tulane, so hopefully Roof sends an extra guy after the QB a few times.
 

jchens_GT

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I agree on the order of strengths.
  1. Offense - They've done well with the dive and the QB keeping the ball on the option on the perimeter. They haven't pitched the ball much on the option, and I think they'll need that in order to keep this game close.
  2. ST - FG kicker is doing better this year, but was terrible over the past two years.
  3. Defense - The pass defense gave up a ton of yards in the 2nd half when NCST went to a no huddle hurry up offense. Southern had linemen standing up staring at the sidelines when the ball was being snapped on many occasions. Most of the pass completions were shorts passes that went for 10-15 yards; nothing over the top that I can recall.

Unknowns:
  1. Not sure on this one. They've completed passes when they needed them. I would keep an eye on #9 Zach Walker; he not the fastest guy on the field, but he seems to come up with big catches when they need them.
  2. I think so. Depth was an issue with NCST, and the heat also got to them. Guys were cramping up all over the place. Lower temps could help, but if Tech sustains long drives throughout the game, I could easily see Southern running into depth issues again.

Cool, thanks for that @GSUJacket. Who would you say are some of GSU's playmakers on offense and defense?
 

iceeater1969

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I know PJ was not happy with our lack of a pass rush vs Tulane, so hopefully Roof sends an extra guy after the QB a few times.
This is one of my disappointments with during game coaching adjustments. Since coach thinks he has take so much contol of play calling, it takes away from his during game managment. Comments like the above make you wonder .
 

GSUJacket

Georgia Tech Fan
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5
Cool, thanks for that @GSUJacket. Who would you say are some of GSU's playmakers on offense and defense?

Offense:
QB - Ellison #4 - Seems to make good decisions. Can run well with decent speed, and has done fine with passing so far this year.
Backup QB - Upshaw #13 - Not a playmaker since he's the backup, but he's extremely fast and could be a playmaker if Ellison gets hurt. Might get one series in the first half.
RB - Matt Breida #36 - Good speed. Had a long TD vs NCST.
RB - Alfred Ramsby #1 - Will get some carries. Bigger than Breida, but seems a little hesitant.
WR - Kentrellis Showers #80 - I don't have much info on him, but he will be a go to guy.
WR - Zach Walker #9 - Same as Showers, but he has a knack for making circus catches (one handed\diving catches).
OL - Senior line - They'll ultimately determine how well the others do on offense.

Defense:
LB - Edwin Jackson #40 - Leader of the defense. Not huge, but makes a lot of tackles.
CB - Valdon Cooper #30(might be injured) - Good CB. Southern will need him if Tech decides to pass the ball.
S - Matt Dobson #7 - Fast and always seems to be close to the plays.
DL – Not sure of their names\numbers, but there are a couple beefcakes.

Wildcards -
TE\H Back - Nardo Govan – Hasn’t really been used so far, but did well last year as a B-back. 6-2\250. Not easy to bring down.
WR – Tray Butler #26 and Ryan Longoria #31 – Both have big play capabilities.

Other Notes:
Nick Sewak - Mike's son plays for Southern
3rd string SR QB - Ezayi Youyoute #11 - Doubt he will play, but he is a former starter with a good arm. Shaky running the option and injuries have sidelined him for a while.
 

Bruce Wayne

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This is one of my disappointments with during game coaching adjustments. Since coach thinks he has take so much contol of play calling, it takes away from his during game managment. Comments like the above make you wonder .
But what plays is CPJ calling when the Tech defense is on the field? I think it is more a product of his letting his assistants do their jobs. What CPJ misses out on doing when the offense is on the field and he is consumed with getting play calls in is making any changes to the players sent in on the line.
 

str8shooter

Georgia Tech Fan
Messages
22
Pretty good assessment. As a long time GT and Eagle fan, let me with my first post on this site provide a bit more info on these guys and more.

QB - Ellison took over the QB duties last season after Jerick McKinnon (now with the Minnesota Vikings) got injured mid-season. He has gotten much better at running the option over time. Has sub 4.5 speed and a better than anyone expected ability to throw the ball. He tends to manage the game well, and will likely be called on to throw 15-20 passes on Saturday while running the GS spread option. Hasn't pitched the ball a lot, but really hasn't had to. Reads the mesh really well and knows when to turn the ball upfield or to pitch it.
QB - Upshaw is taller and faster (timed at 4.34) than Ellison, but had to sit out last season as a transfer from FIU, so he has limited game reps. Throws a nice ball, but his real asset is his speed running the GS spread attack.
RB - Matt Breida has emerged as a first option for Fritz in the GS run game. He's only about 185 pounds, but has sprinter's speed. Lots of quickness and is much tougher to tackle than his size would leave you to believe.
RB - Alfred Ramsby was moved to RB (signed as a QB) in the spring. Had a ACL injury last year that slowed his development, and many thought he might actually be the starting QB for GS this season. GS had a need at RB, so coaches switched him to that role. 6'0", 210 frame. He's a load to bring down, but does need to hit the hole with power instead of looking to dance around. Has 4.5 speed.
WR - Kentrellis Showers has become the GS deep threat. Has excellent hands and speed and has shown the ability to get behind opposing DB. Had a deep TD against NC State and two against Sav.State.
WR - Zach Walker is a possession receiver with sneaky speed. Not the fastest guy in the 40, but finds ways to get open. Has great hands.
OL is experienced and talented. They average around 290-310 depending on who is in the game. Had to make a change to more of a zone blocking scheme under Fritz. All of them were taught the same blocking schemes as GT uses when Monken was there. GS has good depth on the OL.

Defense
LB Edwin Jackson plays in the middle and at 230 pounds makes double digit tackles every game. Has good speed and can cover sideline to sideline.
LB - 2012 starter Antwoine Williams sat out last season with an arm injury, but at 6'3", 235 is a prototype LB for GS 4-2-5 scheme. Has excellent speed. Actually has played safety too, so the speed is evident.
GS has other LB with experience and in their scheme, LB Gallon (4.40 speed but not big in size) can be disruptive.
CB - Valdon Cooper transferred from Illinois a couple of years ago and has been a starter since he got on campus. Has had some injuries and missed the NC State game. Will likely start on Saturday. Has good speed and ball skills and is a threat for a pick anytime you throw his way.
DL - The defensive line at GS has good weight but not a lot of height. DT are 290-320 pounds, but most are 6'1". Three of the DT were three star recruits and two of them were recruited by GT. They have ability.
TE - Nardo Govan has so far been under used as a pass receiver. He is a converted fullback who runs a legit 4.6 at 6'2", 250. Has show the ability to make catches and run with the ball. Due for a breakout as a receiver.

Bottom line
GS has a lot of very skilled players, especially on the two deep. Most can play at the P5 level, and many of them had P5 offers. The depth issue at NC State was apparent because the Wolfpack went totally to a no huddle in the fourth quarter. GS had that game well in hand, and Ellison's fumble on the NC State 1 yard line was a backbreaker. GS had just stopped the Wolfpack on four downs inside the Eagle 10 and took the ball right back down the field quickly. GS also opted to kick a short FG when they had the ball inside the Wolfpack 15 and 4th and 2. The no huddle offense put GS in a no substitute mode and with field temps over 100, the big guys up front simply got tired. That was a game where GS dominated and what should have been a win slipped away with less than two minutes left in the game. Rest assured that the GS coaching staff learned a lot about their team in that defeat.

By the way. GS also has a no huddle package. You might see it Saturday.
 

swampsting

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Offense:
QB - Ellison #4 - Seems to make good decisions. Can run well with decent speed, and has done fine with passing so far this year.
Backup QB - Upshaw #13 - Not a playmaker since he's the backup, but he's extremely fast and could be a playmaker if Ellison gets hurt. Might get one series in the first half.
RB - Matt Breida #36 - Good speed. Had a long TD vs NCST.
RB - Alfred Ramsby #1 - Will get some carries. Bigger than Breida, but seems a little hesitant.
WR - Kentrellis Showers #80 - I don't have much info on him, but he will be a go to guy.
WR - Zach Walker #9 - Same as Showers, but he has a knack for making circus catches (one handed\diving catches).
OL - Senior line - They'll ultimately determine how well the others do on offense.

Defense:
LB - Edwin Jackson #40 - Leader of the defense. Not huge, but makes a lot of tackles.
CB - Valdon Cooper #30(might be injured) - Good CB. Southern will need him if Tech decides to pass the ball.
S - Matt Dobson #7 - Fast and always seems to be close to the plays.
DL – Not sure of their names\numbers, but there are a couple beefcakes.

Wildcards -
TE\H Back - Nardo Govan – Hasn’t really been used so far, but did well last year as a B-back. 6-2\250. Not easy to bring down.
WR – Tray Butler #26 and Ryan Longoria #31 – Both have big play capabilities.

Other Notes:
Nick Sewak - Mike's son plays for Southern
3rd string SR QB - Ezayi Youyoute #11 - Doubt he will play, but he is a former starter with a good arm. Shaky running the option and injuries have sidelined him for a while.

Agree on Ellison, and kid has already been in big situations (NC State, Florida). Upshaw can fly, but Ellison seems to have a good handle on the offense.
I'd put their O line as their next biggest playmakers. Very veteran group. Still getting used to the new blocking schemes, but it's a very good unit. One of the best Southern has had in a while.
Showers is probably their biggest receiving threat. Walker has unbelievable hands (if Stephen Hill could catch anywhere close to Zach Walker ... oy) but I don't think he's much of a breakaway threat.
Ramsby was going to be the QB before he got hurt last year. Got recruited to play QB with Southern's intention to move up to FBS.

Defense, I'd go Jackson, who was a walk-on, I believe, and then Antwoine Williams, who missed last year. Jay Ellison was a three-star recruit at DT but I don't know how much he's really done.
Secondary ... ugh. My memory of Cooper will forever be him looking like he's swatting butterflies while the App State receiver three yards in front of him in the end zone is catching the game-winning pass at Paulson two years ago. Dobson got moved from QB before last season. Made a game-saving play against the Gators. Has potential at safety.
They are very thin on D.

Place kicking is better this year. Had to be. Could not have gotten worse. It was abysmal the previous two years. Very un GSU like not to have at least a competent kicker. And there have been some good ones there.

Youyoute can turn on the jets in a hurry. Dude can motor. Govan was a big time player at Savannah Christian but hasn't really done much - yet - as an Eagle. Hasn't been asked to do much this year so far, other than block.
 

alaguy

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I think after seeing the ncst game UP THERE that we need to treat this game like a CONF opponent.If we scruff around with TOs like last wk it could be bad--.24 pt favorites,can't see it at all
 

Stonewall

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Unkowns
  • Can they sustain an efficient passing attack as they did in game 1?
  • Will depth catch up to them late in the 3rd and in the 4th quarter?
I only spent about 20 minutes or so on this. Who has something to add?
  • so far, passing has looked great. ellison and upshaw have been on the money for the most part. big, big plus.
  • when the eagles got their speed outside versus NC state and Sav state they burned up yards. ellison hasn't had to pitch much at all. i still wished they'd gone wide versus NC state more because state wasn't fast enough to get out there, really.
  • with temps in low 80s and even a potential for some clouds and rain, that will help the eagle D stay cool compared to the oven at NC state. i know GT supposedly practiced some no huddle. might not be a bad time to use it. of course, we've seen before that stupid penalties seem to litter the field when GT tries to do something outside the ordinary. DL depth does concern me. but, it should concern GT as well.
  • GS has installed no huddle and used it with extreme effectiveness versus Sav st. didn't use it so much at NC state. it'll be interesting to see what fritz does this weekend. HUNH looked really good last saturday.
 

Stonewall

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Place kicking is better this year. Had to be. Could not have gotten worse. It was abysmal the previous two years. Very un GSU like not to have at least a competent kicker. And there have been some good ones there.
huge improvement over last season so far! hanks was lights out at NC state. all touchbacks. hit every FG and PAT. he did have an overzealous leg on the first KO last saturday at an amped paulson stadium and it went outta bounds. missed a PAT i think as well. koo relieved him during game and had some extremely high well placed KOs. i mean skying the ball.
 

Em_Jae20

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That's one reason why I am wondering if they can sustain that kind of success. I guess we shall see. I'm not sure if anyone knows for certain whether Ellison is that good or if he just had a hot hand that day.

There's always a regression toward the mean
 

swampsting

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  • so far, passing has looked great. ellison and upshaw have been on the money for the most part. big, big plus.
  • when the eagles got their speed outside versus NC state and Sav state they burned up yards. ellison hasn't had to pitch much at all. i still wished they'd gone wide versus NC state more because state wasn't fast enough to get out there, really.
  • with temps in low 80s and even a potential for some clouds and rain, that will help the eagle D stay cool compared to the oven at NC state. i know GT supposedly practiced some no huddle. might not be a bad time to use it. of course, we've seen before that stupid penalties seem to litter the field when GT tries to do something outside the ordinary. DL depth does concern me. but, it should concern GT as well.
  • GS has installed no huddle and used it with extreme effectiveness versus Sav st. didn't use it so much at NC state. it'll be interesting to see what fritz does this weekend. HUNH looked really good last saturday.

You really can't use Savannah State as any kind of measuring stick because they are just that bad. Fritz could have had them line up backwards and they would have put up 60 on SSU. They have no business being in Division I. And they keep proving it. That may be the worst football team at any level I've ever seen.
 
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