Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Play Diagram of Malcolm Mitchell's 71-Yarder

Although Aaron Murray missed on many of his deep throws last weekend, he was able to hit a big one in the third quarter. The 71-yard bomb led to UGA's second touchdown (just two plays later) which allowed the Dawgs to get up 20-6. It was a gutsy call on first down from our own 7-yard line, but Mitchell was able to get behind the defense and Murray placed it perfectly.

So what exactly happened to Tennessee's defense? Derek Dooley addressed this play in his post-game press conference, and stated that Tennessee was in a "Quarters Coverage". Basically, this is when all four defensive backs (two corners and two safeties) each have one "quarter" of the field in coverage. This reduced area for each player to cover (as opposed to deep halves in a Cover-2 defense) allows the two safeties to be more aggressive in run support, which Dooley points out in his press conference. Also, Dooley points out that the corner on Mitchell's side was supposed to stay "high and inside". This was supposed to squeeze MM to the sideline but instead, Mitchell cuts inside, and the corner, Marsalis Teague, gets turned around and ends up getting behind Mitchell. Meanwhile, the safety on Teague's side is no help for two reasons:
  1. He was sucked in by the play action 
  2. He ends up chasing Aron White who cuts in front on him on the crossing route (the backside safety ALSO chases White)
This leaves Teague by his lonesome and...we all know what happened. 

Here is the play diagram (forgive the poor artwork):

Here is the video from ESPN. You can really see Mitchell's speed on the replay when Teague just can't close in time (right up until Michell pulls his hammy):

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