Today’s must read over at Shakin the Southland is about defending Georgia Tech’s triple option. Skipping past the Kevin Steele rips, there are a couple of great passages.
So then why did GT lose to a Kansas team that lost to a 1-AA squad? Why did they lose to Iowa or Miami and not us?
Because their OL got the hell beat out of them and they couldnt block worth a damn against them. That was the overriding factor in controlling Paul Johnson’s triple option in each of these games. I watched part of the Kansas game yesterday, and their OL play was atrocious. I vividly remember watching the Iowa game, and the DEs for Iowa were planting Nesbitt on his ass nearly every play and their DL as a whole completely overran Georgia Tech up front. That is why they couldn’t take over the clock and grind them into dust. The second factor, and similarly important, is that teams like Iowa or LSU jumped well ahead of Georgia Tech, and it took them out of their gameplan early.
Football is always going to be about blocking and tackling. If your Front whips them, you will stop them. If GT plays really well up front, they’re going to get yards. If they have good backs + that blocking, they’re going to get wins, so stop this BS that keeps getting posted on message boards about “GT will be stopped because people will figure out how to stop the option.” Thats nonsense. GT will be stopped through recruiting of their linemen and backs, or their defensive players, long before somebody “solves” the option. The option has been around since the beginning of football and its always going to be here. Florida runs an option-based system, Oregon is heavy on the option, and both run a version of a spread Midline attack and Veer that GT runs constantly and the basic differences are just the formation and who is doing the blocking.
So how do you slow down the option? You must make a choice as a coordinator whether to make them run inside or outside.
In my opinion, step 1: Stop the FB Dive. – Everything is set up from the dive play, midline and the veer option. We did that pretty well in both games. The actual dive play did not generate that many yards for GT. Later on, when the defense was clearly worn out, it did begin to pick up, but we did not do terribly against a “true” dive play. Not all of Dwyer’s carries are on actual dive plays however.
Step 2: Hammer that damn QB on every single play. If he’s not on his ass you need to sit your player’s on their’s, on the bench. We did not do that.
In other words, it’s all about penetration, baby.
Read the whole thing.