The THERSday After – Louisiana

For our Patrons this week, here is our in-depth look at what happened in Georgia State’s tough 21-17 loss on the road to #24 Louisiana:

1st Quarter Observations: 

  • Louisiana mixed up their looks early to find ways to spread out and confuse Georgia State. 
  • Their passing attack mirrored a lot of the heavy formations that Georgia State uses. 
  • They used motion frequently, but mostly to distract or provide window dressing. Most of the runs were off tackle and didn’t use the motion man.  
  • On the first 4th down stop, there were only a few routes being run. Levi Lewis didn’t have anywhere to throw the ball and just threw it away. Back side was a screen that was covered at the snap and the front side was a drag across the back of the end zone that never developed. 
  • Panthers playcalling in the passing game doesn’t help them out early. Motioning Tucker Gregg into the QB’s hip against a 4-man box and still pass towards an outside screen doesn’t result in much. Get 6 yards as Sam Pinckney muscles his way forward, but a better block on the in blocker or a pick play to cut inside opens up the field more. 
  • Panthers don’t recognize Louisiana loading the box with 6 guys, run on it anyways even without adequate numbers to block. 
  • Qua White stands at the line of scrimmage which forces a bit of an overthrow as the timing is messed up. Panthers do a good job on 3rd down forcing longer down and distances in the quarter. 
  • Later on, the linebackers stay too shallow and allow the receivers to sneak behind for a big gain. 
  • Defense covers receivers downfield, and Blake Carroll comes in and forces Lewis to throw it away.

2nd Quarter Observations: 

  • Receivers not really getting separation. Roger Carter the only Panther able to get open consistently. 
  • Grainger threw too low here. Needed to throw sooner to get Credle on the deep slant.
  • Shamar McCollum with a QB hurry off the edge. Linebackers were the best pass rushers each down.
  • Jordan Veneziale coming down and making plays after the bluffed coverage. Veneziale better going to the QB and RBs than baking up in coverage. 
  • Previously in the 1st quarter, State ran this bubble screen from a stacked look and didn’t have numbers to gain much. Sam Pinckney was the recipient but the play was almost blown up due to a 3-2 situation in favor of Louisiana.
  • Here, Terrance Dixon is the receiver and has guys in front of him. Gain of 5 but the potential was there for more since Louisiana was forced to spread out. 
  • Another great 3rd down run where the TE runs across behind a motion receiver this time and Grainger exploited the open field. 
  • Both TE’s feature in the passing game and do a good job getting open short and intermediate distance 
  • Same TE drag block but Carter doesn’t see it to stunt it. ULL just dials up a good back side blitz. 
  • Michale Hayes does not help out field position and just shanks a punt. 
  • Linebackers defend to the sticks and do not continue to defend.
  • On this play, it is Carroll’s job to pick up the free runner or at least switch with Moore. Both end up defending no one and it leaves a large hole in the middle of the field. Another poor display from the linebackers in coverage.
  • Qua White won’t get a PBU for the 1st down incompletion he was a part of, but Carroll’s late release forced him to cover deeper than he otherwise would and his footsteps affected the receiver’s ability to catch the ball. 
  • Panthers get the stop on the drive and go into halftime, but the defense didn’t do a good job to make the task easier.
  • This play is a designed screen to the bottom looking to catch Georgia State in the pick play. Carroll’s read forces Lewis to scramble, but the box was already way too full of Panthers. Georgia State easily comes away with the sack. 

3rd Quarter Observations: 

  • The Grainger to Lewis deep ball was a few inches from being a catch, but this play should be run with almost every receiver on the Panthers. It can beat man coverage which is what Louisiana is defending it with, and it should create a 1 on 1 down the sideline away from any help. 
  • Louisiana started identifying how State’s secondary is playing them and attacked it with curls and flats. State gave a lot of cushion underneath on most passing routes. 
  • The Antavious Lane interception was a great illustration of what happens when a defender sticks with his man. Lewis throws the ball just too far for his receiver and Lane being right there allows him to make the play. 
  • Again, Carter being the only player on State to create consistent separation. While most of this yardage on this TD came after the catch, Louisiana also abandons the middle side of the seam and Grainger puts a perfect pass away from the outside leverage. Carter makes it work and scores. 
  • The big adjustment for Louisiana was simply to throw hash-to-hash or run with more numbers in the box. 
  • The Georgia State offensive line started to get beat by the end of the quarter. Johnathan Bass got pushed back into Grainger and led to a sack. 

4th Quarter Observations: 

  • Initial touchdown of the quarter for Louisiana was a result of good blocking and a RB who could cut back. 
  • The 16-play (16-rush) 75 yard touchdown drive for Georgia State in the 4th to retake the lead: The Panthers O-line dominated, and when Grainger needed to find ways to keep the drive going, he used his feet to add more on the ground. Nothing special on the drive, just Georgia State football and a touchdown. 
  • Lewis and company are still working deep outside the hashes towards the numbers on passing plays. Montrell Johnson going right up the middle and the offensive line finally gives him a hole to do so.
  • In the 4th specifically, the Louisiana offensive line and running backs finally created holes and used cuts to gain yards on the ground. Georgia State kept adequate numbers in the box, but the blocking from Louisiana would shift in tandem and keep everything on time. 
  • The final drive for Georgia State was emblematic of all of the things they did wrong during the game. Poor blocking off the edge created no running lanes for Jam on a 2nd-and-10 run, which created a 3rd-and-10. And on 3rd and 4th down, Louisiana defensive backs made plays and prevented Sam Pinckney from picking up the reception. Ball game. 
  • State had their chances to stop Louisiana or get the go-ahead score. The passing game still needs work. A more robust aerial attack likely makes the final drive more of a contest. 

Before and After

And finally, here’s a look at how Georgia State’s stats stacked up in the Sun Belt before and after the Louisiana loss:

  • Scoring offense: 23.9 (7th in Sun Belt) > 23.1 (7th)
  • Rushing offense: 220.63 ypg (3rd in Sun Belt) > 219.33 ypg (3rd) – 17th-best in FBS
  • Passing offense: 163.5 ypg (9th in Sun Belt) > 156.2 ypg (9th)
  • Total offense: 384.1 ypg (6th in Sun Belt) > 375.6 ypg (6th)
  • Scoring defense: 30.1 ppg (6th in Sun Belt) > 29.1 ppg (6th)
  • Total defense: 422.6 ppg (6th in Sun Belt) > 423.4 ppg (7th)
  • Rushing defense: 169.5 ypg (7th in Sun Belt) > 166.56 ypg (7th)
  • Passing defense: 253.1 ypg (7th in Sun Belt) > 256.9 ypg (7th)
  • 3rd down conversion rate: 40% (3rd in Sun Belt) > 40.91% (3rd)
  • Opponents’ 3rd down conversion rate: 42.98% (7th in Sun Belt) > 44.4% (8th)
  • Sacks: 15 (8th in Sun Belt) > 17 (8th)
  • Sacks allowed: 13 (4th in Sun Belt) > 18 (5th)
  • Turnover margin: 0 (T-6th in Sun Belt) > 1 (6th)

Source: cfbstats.com / georgiastatesports.com

David Salmon

Contributing Content Manager at THERSday Night

David Salmon has 75 posts and counting. See all posts by David Salmon

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