Inside the Film Room: Georgia Tech QB Jeff Sims vs. Pitt

by Daniel Siegel

Photo courtesy of Georgia Tech athletics

Georgia Tech was defeated by Pittsburgh on Thursday night by a score of 34-20.

The Yellow Jackets’ young quarterback Jeff Sims threw for 238 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, while throwing two interceptions.

Overall, the Panthers’ strong defensive front was able to contain Sims in the pocket. He showed great flash of the passer he could be, especially with his downfield touch. Sims also had a few misreads of the defense, especially when Pitt dropped back and played coverage.

In this feature, we break down several of Sims’ plays from this game and dissect both the positives and the negatives.

All videos are courtesy of the ACC Digital Network.

Here is Sims’ first interception. His first read seems to be there. He sees Cover 2 defense and decides to go deep over the middle. The Pitt safety makes a fantastic play.

Ideally, Sims could look off Jason Pinnock (15) and throw to the back streaking down the sideline but the pressure was too much, which is why he short-armed the ball.

There is not too much to say here. Sims is just super athletic. He picks up the corner blitz and extends the play with his eyes downfield. He also changes his arm slot to make the throw.

Sims consistently has better numbers this season when blitzed as opposed to when more players drop back.

Sims sees the stacked box and notices the speed advantage the wide receiver, Jalen Camp, has on the isolated safety. When Pitt only rushes four, he knows he will have enough time to get rid of the ball.

The camera angle does not show the whole route, but essentially, Camp beats the safety on a double move. Sims releases it just as the receiver makes his cut and puts perfect loft on the ball.

Sims probably has the receiver in the flat but nonetheless shows great escapability and quickness here. He was heavily outnumbered and still able to get the necessary yardage to score.

Sims initially does a nice job showing how elusive he is. He buys his receivers more time, even though they ultimately cannot get open.

However, it turns into a mistake when he leaves this ball in play. Sims has to get enough on that throw to get it out of bounds and ensure his team has a chance on fourth down. Sims gets lucky here.

Although the ball is dropped, this is one of Sims’ better reads of the game. He notices a six-man blitz, which leaves one-on-one coverage with each of the receivers.

Sims once again sees a mismatch with his receiver, Malachi Carter, against the Pitt safety. He throws the ball with perfect touch and beautiful timing.

Sims does not directly carry the ball here but his threat to run opens things up for the rest of his offense. Notice how Deslin Alexander (defensive end wearing No. 5 towards bottom of screen) stays home in anticipation of Sims potentially keeping the ball.

This ultimately allows the tight end to seal the block and opens up a hole for Jordan Mason to run for the first down.

Here, Sims shows off his arm strength for essentially the first time all game. He stands tall in the pocket and anticipates the receiver turning around on the deep hitch. Sims shows great timing once again and the ability to whip the ball into a tight window.

This is what happens when Sims is given a clean pocket. He reads what appears to be Cover 1 and finds the soft spot in the zone. Sims utilized the inside leverage of his receiver, Malachi Carter and delivers a beautiful jump ball to his big receiver right under the free safety.

On the flip side, Sims has a wide open receiver on the wheel route that could turn into an even bigger play. Working through his progressions is something he will have to do better to take the next step as a quarterback.

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