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Georgia Tech got this 50-yard play thanks to watching how Duke warmed up in pregame

How about this for some last-minute scouting?

Duke v Georgia Tech Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Who would’ve thought your own warm up could be used against you? On the third play of Georgia Tech’s 38-35 victory over Duke on Saturday, Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson dialed up a play after he saw something that piqued his interest when he was watching the Duke defensive backs warm up.

Johnson said via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he noticed the Blue Devil defensive backs running a particular defensive route consistently. Johnson saw that they were breaking heavily on a three-step route, and then coming out of their backpedal, would aggressively run back towards the line of scrimmage to challenge a short route by the receiver.

“So I thought to myself, Well, the first chance I get, I’m going to give you a three-step and go,” Johnson said. “And the guy broke on it.”

On a third-and-5 in just the third play of Saturday’s game, Johnson called for wideout Brad Stewart to run a stop-and-go route. Stewart hesitated right after his first three or four steps out of the route.

It worked perfectly. The cornerback bit on the hesitation, coming out of his backpedal to bring all of his momentum back towards the line of scrimmage.

At that exact moment, Stewart ran past him. He was wide open down the left sideline, and for quarterback Justin Thomas found him for a 50-yard pass that was good for a first down deep in Blue Devils territory.

This was huge for the Yellow Jackets’ opening drive, one that resulted in a touchdown, and therefore crucial for the eventual three-point win.

Johnson admitted that he does watch the other teams’ warm ups sometimes to pick up ideas, but only if they do it right in front of him.

Opposing teams, just know Johnson is always watching you.