Monday, November 28, 2011

H2H Playbook: Breaking Down Murray's 1st TD Pass

There were plenty of great moments from this past weekend's game if you are a Bulldog fan. Maybe it was the fact that Tech's student section was not even full. Maybe it was Paul Johnson incorrectly calling a timeout before Walsh's end-of-half field goal attempt. Personally, I enjoyed the very end of the game...when the clock read 0:00.

One great moment that helped set the tone for the game was Georgia's very first touchdown, a 15-yard pass from Murray to Michael Bennett toward the end of the 1st quarter. The play Georgia ran is something that has been a staple in Richt's offense for years: the "shallow cross" route. How do I know the shallow cross is a staple? Well, for starters, Richt once gave a 40-minute coaching seminar speaking ONLY about the shallow cross. He likes it because it is useful against a man or zone coverage, is easy to run, and allows athletic players to run after the catch.

Anyway, here is a diagram of the play (I'll explain all the arrows and colors below):
Obviously, the black lines are the offensive players' routes, and the red is where the defensive players went after the snap. The linebacker in green, #40 Julian Burnett, is the key in my opinion. Tech appears to be in man coverage on the two outside receivers, Malcolm Mitchell and Tavarres King. Every other defender appears to be playing a zone. Burnett seems to make a mistake when he, along with the outside linebacker who starts on the line, both go toward Carlton Thomas, who is running an out route from the backfield. When Burnett realizes that CT is already covered, he tries to scamper back to his apparent zone, never picks up Bennett crossing over the middle, and completely over runs the play (it will make more sense once you see the video below). Bennett simply runs underneath him, catches the pass (the path of Murray's pass is the blue dotted line), and runs into the end zone. Another thing that helps the play turn into a touchdown is the fact that both safeties converge on Orson, who is running a post route from the inside slot. Thus, the safety closest to the catch is still a long way off and can't chase down Bennett in time to make the tackle.

Here is the replay of the touchdown:

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