Georgia Tech A-back Broderick Snoddy is the fastest player on the Yellow Jackets’ roster. As such, opportunities to give him the ball in the open field can be big plays waiting to happen. It happened Saturday in Tech’s 38-19 win over Wofford, when Snoddy took a pitch from quarterback Justin Thomas and dashed 65 yards down the sideline, setting up the Jackets’ final touchdown. You can find a clip of it here. An examination of how it happened:
Offense in a standard alignment, with A-back Broderick Snoddy at the left wingback spot and Charles Perkins to the right. Wofford is lined up with three down linemen and four linebackers.
Right tackle Chris Griffin collapses the left end. Left guard Shaquille Mason wipes out the blitzing play-side linebacker, and center Freddie Burden does likewise with the nose tackle. Quarterback Justin Thomas pivots right to begin a double option with Snoddy.
Perkins takes aim on the play-side cornerback as wide receiver Corey Dennis runs past. Griffin (at the 36, right on the hashmark) continues to close down the end, sealing off the line with Mason and Burden. Thomas runs towards the play-side linebacker, Travis Thomas (on the ACC logo). Just to Travis Thomas’ right, left guard Trey Braun pulls, on a course with the middle linebacker running parallel to the line of scrimmage at the 28-yard line (No. 9 Drake Michaelson).
Perkins has sent cornerback Brion Anderson flying with a cut block, but Anderson lands in Snoddy’s path, and he is forced to close his gap with Thomas. Thomas keeps until the last moment, but with Snoddy closer to him than expected, has a tough pitch to make. At the 31, Braun doesn’t make contact with Michaelson, but forces him to break his stride and go upfield.
Like a relay runner, Snoddy waits to receive the pitch, officially a forward pass. Thomas stutter steps the linebacker, then flips the ball at the last instant with his right hand to Snoddy, a nice piece of improvisation by both. Michaelson, at the 32, has run around Braun (at the 30) but has little chance to catch Tech’s school record holder in the 60-meter dash. At the 34, safety Jaleen Green, No. 11, angles towards Snoddy, a critical (if understandable) error.
Green, who began the play stationed at the 33 between the hashmarks, has now altered his angle to keep up with Snoddy. Michaelson is a half-step behind Snoddy. On the sideline at the 36, Dennis has sealed off safety Zack Cole.
In full sprint, Snoddy slips Green with a stiff-arm. As Cole tries to disengage from Dennis, the wide receiver appears to grab a fistful of Cole’s jersey as Snoddy flies by.
Cornerback Chris Armfield, who began the play on the far side opposite wide receiver Micheal Summers, knocks Snoddy out at the 11-yard line. Armfield had given Summers a considerable cushion, not giving Summers much of a chance to block him as the play progressed.
The play was nearly foiled by Perkins’ block. With Snoddy out of position to take a pitch, Thomas might have been wise to just eat the ball to avoid a potential turnover, but attempted the pitch.
Griffin threw a huge block to seal off any penetration and also create a logjam to deter pursuit from behind the play as the option played out.
Aided by a too-shallow pursuit angle, Snoddy’s speed turned the play from a mere first-down run (technically pass) into a 65-yarder.