Is the world catching up to Paul Johnson’s triple option?

Good teams seem to be figuring something out.

… In fact, the numbers are trending downward. In 2008, Georgia Tech went 3-1 against ACC opponents with a .500 record or better and only 2-2 in 2009. Last year the numbers were even worse as the Jackets went only 1-3.

So do teams with a chance to prepare.

… Since Johnson took over at Georgia Tech in 2008, the Yellow Jackets are 21-6 when teams have one week of practice or less to prepare.

Compare that to a 5-8 record against FBS opponents that had more than a week to prepare. Making matters worse, Georgia Tech is 0-3 in bowl games under Johnson, having been outscored 80-24 in the three contests.

Throughout his tenure the Yellow Jackets have averaged 3.0 rushing touchdowns per game when facing a team with a week or less of preparation. That number drops more than half of a rushing touchdown (2.3) in games against teams with more time to prepare.

They score significantly fewer points when teams have the extra prep time, averaging 23.0 points per game in such contests, compared to 30.7 in all others.

There’s some overlap between the two, certainly.  But that still doesn’t bode completely well for the Jackets in 2011.

This season, Georgia Tech has three games (NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech) in which its opponents will have more than one week to prepare for the Yellow Jackets. With Georgia Tech, Johnson is 3-4 against those three teams.

Luckily for Johnson, there may not be many other ACC teams with above-.500 records his team will play.  But those two trends indicate that October could turn out to be a tough month for Tech.


Filed under Georgia Tech Football

18 responses to “Is the world catching up to Paul Johnson’s triple option?

  1. The other Doug

    The slide could also be explained by poor recruiting under Johnson.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      Agree. Their talent level has tanked. Do you think Giff Smith was the backbone of their recruiting? Seems they never recovered after Smith left.


  2. zdub

    Tech sucks.


  3. Biggus Rickus

    I think there’s something to it in bowl games. However, in the regular season I think they’ve lost because they just aren’t very talented, especially last year when they had no receiving threat at all.


  4. Farsider

    Tech’s pitch part of the T/O has been shut down by good teams due to the mismatches on the corner. These teeny, tiny Tech “b-backs” are trying to chop down bigger players who are just as fast as themselves. The only effective part of their game against us last season was the dive play. Iowa provided the blueprint in that Orange Bowl on how to smother Tech offense.


  5. Paul "Donnybrook" Johnson

    It’s not the triple option! It’s the spread, dammit!


  6. Russ

    If Johnson would throw the ball more frequently and effectively those corners stopping the pitchman wouldn’t be flying up so quickly and open the run back up.


  7. heyberto

    I’ve got to agree with you guys about the recruiting. The thing that made the spread work under Urban Meyer was that it was Florida and it could still get skill at all positions. I don’t think it’s that Johnson is himself a bad recruiter (not that he’s good, mind you) as much as I think the combination of his scheme and the GT program makes it difficult. That’s not an attempt to bash GT as much as it’s a reality for them. GT doesn’t have the kind of campus, fan support or facilities to lure recruits in, let alone the scheme leaves some positions at a disadvantage. I’d actually like to see them take a step up and make the series more competitive.. but I won’t lose any sleep over it if they don’t.


    • That wouldnt explain why the downward trend. Recruiting at Tech has always been different, it is not a new occurrence


      • heyberto

        You don’t think it’s worse now that they have the triple option? Chan’s players won Johnson the ACC title. Johnson hasn’t been able to match what Chan did on the recruiting trail.


  8. Ryan

    So how long until the Nerds at stingtalk are calling for Johnson’s head like they were for Hewitt’s?


  9. gatriguy

    Watch out Senator, Paul Johnson is going to leave his fish fry early and come punch you un the face.


  10. Cojones

    Don’t worry. Both their fans will hold him back.


  11. BeerMoney

    It doesn’t matter about any of this. Paul Johnson is still a genius and you’re not. Just ask him. The man knows when it is time to pull a France on defense in order to get the ball back with a minute to go. Even though they had zero passing game and an offense that is built on 17 play, 8 minute drives. If that’s not genius, I don’t know what is.


  12. Mayor of Dawgtown

    The offense Tech runs under Johnson requires a different set of skills than most offenses in CFB. There are plenty of high school teams that run a variation of option football and those players really could thrive in a system like Tech’s. The problem is Johnson himself. He’s such a dirtbag nobody in his right mind would voluntarily want to play for him. Annapolis was a different animal. Those kids wanted to go THERE because they wanted to be in the Navy, not to play for Johnson. He got a base of hardnosed guys who played HS ball plus he could add some skill position players who played in option offenses in HS, thereby filling out his team. The dumbass never should have left Navy. He will be very sorry and the Techsters will be very sorry that he ever showed up at the Flats. Bad for Tech. Good for UGA!