Chris Brown has a post up at Smart Football about some recent comments former Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne made about the spread offense and about the next big thing in college football, in particular about Paul Johnson’s triple option. It’s all worth a look, but this passage from Chris caught my eye:
… When Georgia Tech ran all over Miami and Georgia, a lot of it came in the second half. Often, it seemed like the defense had two guys defending, say, the pitch guy, or the quarterback, and none on the guy who wound up running for a forty-yard run. The reason for that was because Johnson knows how to vary his blocking and assignments to take away the guy responsible for those players. So when announcers like to say that you play “assignment” football to stop the option that is only partially true. If you do, Johnson figures out who is “assigned” to his guys and blocks them, and then lets the reads take care of themselves. So this is where execution and soundness of an offense meet uniqueness.
I hope this doesn’t come off sounding like sour grapes, but that’s not exactly what I saw. Georgia did a good job on Nesbitt most of the day and a fairly good job stopping the fullback dive play. But, with very few exceptions, Tech killed Georgia with the outside pitch all day. If Johnson had to change anything about how he ran those specific plays, I didn’t catch it. And I think some of the success running them had to be attributed to the same bugaboos that plagued Georgia’s run defense throughout the season’s second half.
Sometimes, a good offensive strategy boils down to little more than running a certain type of play over and over again until the other guy proves he can stop it.