Georgia Tech took advantage of a busted coverage on its first offensive play of the game. UNC safety Darien Rankin is lined up just off the line of scrimmage on the left side. A-back Orwin Smith is lined up on the right side of the formation set off the line of scrimmage.
A-back Robert Godhigh goes in motion at the snap, working from left to right behind Washington as a toss sweep option. Rankin blitzes, while cornerback Tim Scott keeps his eye on Godhigh running in his direction.
Rankin closes in as Washington drops back. Linebacker Kevin Reddick is working his way to Godhigh while Scott prepares to help in support as he hands off his wide receiver to Ram Sam Smiley. Smith, however, is running straight up the field.
This shot tells you all you need to know. Cornerback Jabari Price (top) and Smiley (bottom) are occupied, Reddick and Scott are focused on the swing pass, leaving safety Tre Boston to cover Smith.
North Carolina's only chance on this play is Rankin or end Kareem Martin getting to Washington before he can throw the ball. Smith is level with Boston, who still hasn't turned his body. A perfect throw results in a likely 75-yard touchdown pass.
Rankin hits Washington as he throws the ball, changing the trajectory into wounded duck territory. Smith has to slam on the brakes and come back to the ball.
Good shot here of how Smith has to make a complete 180-degree turn just to catch the ball, and yet still has plenty of time to make the catch.
Smith turns and picks up another 15 yards before being tackled for a 39-yard gain.
With the score tied at 21-21, Georgia Tech lines up in its traditional set on first down. The Yellow Jackets had begun having success running the toss sweep, so UNC called a corner blitz to counter the running play. A-back Synjyn Days is lined up off the LOS on the left side of the formation. Price is at the top of the screen lined up across from wide receiver Darren Waller, while Kam Jackson is the safety on that side of the field.
As soon as Days begins his motion to the boundary side, Price charges to the line of scrimmage.
As Price runs past, Waller runs his route up the sideline. Jackson turns to cover Waller, while UNC's second line of defense, as well as Boston, bite on Vad Lee's fake toss to Days.
It appears as though Jackson runs himself out of position just enough that Waller is able to make the inside cut on his post route and put the safety on his outside hip. With no deep safety help, Waller has the inside position and just needs a good pass to pick up substantial yardage. Note how well Georgia Tech's offensive line is protecting Lee.
Here's a better photo of how Waller has the entire middle of the field at his disposal.
Waller begins to separate from Jackson in this frame as Lee has released the ball...
And hauls in the catch for a 63-yard gain to UNC's 10-yard line.
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