It was 3rd and 8 with 1:05 left in the first half. With Wofford unwilling to try anything risky deep in its own end, it appeared Georgia Tech was about to get the ball back. And then the picture changed a little bit.
The Yellow Jackets, who have made a battery of big plays out of their option offense, suffered the same fate. Wofford running back Ray Smith exploded for a 92-yard touchdown run on a simple option play. You can find a clip of it here. A look at what happened.
Credit to Demond Smith and D.J. White for not giving up on the play. With the angle, White closed hard and might have caught Ray Smith with another 10 yards.
The remarkable thing about this play is that it doesn’t seem like it took that much for it to hit for Wofford. For it to be a successful play, it would seem that Jacks had to read it properly, Shawn Green had to be defeated by a double team and Quayshawn Nealy had to get taken out of the play by a 290-pound offensive tackle, none of which would seem unexpected results. Without knowing the defense’s design, it would appear two things in particular made the play go all the way. Demond Smith got lost behind Green and Jamal Golden appeared to be mirroring the pulling tight end, which took him out of the play when Ray Smith got the ball and sped up the middle. With Smith and Golden out of the way and Isaiah Johnson playing down in the box – as defenses playing against Tech often do with safeties – Ray Smith had a clear track.
It’s the nature of option plays. There were three (possibly four) potential ball-carriers, and each had to be tracked. When Tech got caught tracking the wrong one (or ones) and a couple blocks were executed well, a simple run up the middle went the distance.