How Todd Monken’s mesh play opened Georgia’s offense up against Tennessee

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No. 1 Georgia (10-0, 8-0 SEC) totaled 487 yards in its 41-17 victory at Tennessee (5-5, 3-4 SEC) Saturday.

Georgia’s offense totaled 84 yards in the first quarter and was able to utilize its personnel with motion for a balanced attack starting during the middle part of the first quarter.

With seven minutes, 39 seconds remaining in the first quarter, Georgia’s offense changed its trajectory for the remainder of the contest against Tennessee.

A play highlighted by Tennessee’s Mathew Butler with an eight-yard sack, was a design to loosen the Vols’ defense for the remainder of the contest.

Todd Monken is in his second season as Georgia’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Monken, with an air raid background, ran a mesh play that resulted in Butler’s sack in the backfield.

The play, however, loosened up the middle of the field for Georgia’s offense going forward.

Inside the pocket of Georgia’s offense with former Todd Monken quarterback Allan Bridgford

Allan Bridgford played for Monken at Southern Miss in 2013 after transferring from California. During a preview for the Tennessee-Georgia game, Bridgford highlighted Monken’s mesh plays that strategically open various elements of Georgia’s offense with prostyle philosophies under Kirby Smart.

“Our offense at Southern Miss, when I was there, was pure air raid,” Bridgford said on the show “Football Two-A-Days” of Monken’s offense ahead of Georgia playing Tennessee. “I say about 90 percent of the time we had four receivers, maybe one tight end as a hybrid receiver, and then one running back sets. That is what our strong suit was when I was there based off our personnel, but he has a whole different choice of options at Georgia just because I don’t think he’s had the positioning to recruit like he’s able to now and get the talent he has at Georgia. He did not have that luxury at Southern Miss. Now, there are a ton of studs that I played with at Southern Miss, but Georgia versus Southern Miss, as far as recruiting battles goes, I don’t think Southern Miss has had a better recruiting class than Georgia, right?

“He is going to cater that offense to what their strong suits are. He might have come from an air raid background, it is not like he has not coached in the league and has been around prostyle systems, and it is also not like the concepts are not generally the same. There is a very limited number of passing plays that you run, lots of teams probably have 1-12 favorite passing plays, they just do it from 15-20 different formations. He is strategic in how he does it and how he gets the matchups.”

Below is a look at Monken’s mesh play that set up Georgia’s offensive success for the remainder of the first half and the duration of the game. Following the Bulldogs’ mesh play, it created opportunities to showcase motion, allowing for timely run plays, opening the passing game, while Tennessee had to honor Monken’s ability for mesh going forward.

Below are first half highlights of Monken’s offense following its mid-first quarter mesh play.

Todd Monken and Georgia run mesh

20-personnel, running back motion

Running back motion in a 3x1 set allowing for a quarterback run

12-personnel, fake sweep off motion, play-action, pass to the tight end underneath

10-personnel, halfback toss

Disguising 11-personnel with the H-back, creating one-on-one separation with the Z-receiver

12-personnel with an H-back, wide receiver motion, for a quarterback run

3x1 set, crossing routes, running back wheel route, Z-receiver over the middle

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