O’Brien, London on Georgia Tech triple option

Greetings-

Hope you’re well. I was on the ACC coaches teleconference earlier today and asked a few questions that I thought you all might be interested in. I’ve written a little bit about quarterback Tevin Washington and how Maryland tried to make him keep the ball on triple option and option plays, which resulted in his career-high 32 carries. Anyway, I asked N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien about what his team did (Washington led the team in carries in that game, also, as well as the North Carolina game before it), and then someone else picked up the thread when Virginia coach Mike London came on the line right after it.

Part of me hopes (or at least would find it funny) that someone tells Washington about all this fascination over this scheming – which I’m sure he sees in practice every day – and he thinks to himself, “Why is everyone talking about me?”

O’Brien

Q. If I can take you back to the Georgia Tech game, Maryland after they played Tech, it looked like, and certainly coaches thought that they were trying to make Tevin Washington hold onto the ball on the triple option and option plays. Was that part of your plan, also?

O’Brien: You have to choose your poison against them. First thing you have to do is tackle the fullback. Then you have to make a determination on the perimeter who you want to carry the football. If you want it pitched into the perimeter or if you want the quarterback to carry the ball and take shots at him.

To us — I don’t know what Maryland’s plan was — but that’s the way it worked out in our game.

Certainly if a quarterback, the more shots he takes, the less effective he is throwing the ball and doing a lot of different things. So that’s maybe the preferred way to play them.

London

Q. I don’t know if you were listening in on Coach O’Brien, the last question he got was about Georgia Tech, and he said you have to pick your poison with Georgia Tech. I’m curious, did you hear what he said, and, two, what do you think about that strategy that he just mentioned?

London: I caught the tail end of that and not the specifics of it. You’re dealing with the triple option, and actually you add one more element of it and that is the ability to throw the ball as well as they run the ball. As well as you try to dictate or try to create a game plan as to who you want to carry the ball, you have to be cognizant of the fact that as much as you do that, they do an excellent job of throwing the ball behind you because you get perimeter people involved and you get certain linebackers and do certain stunts, you play man coverages.

There is a game-planning element to it that you try to come up with some things to address the three aspects, the dive, the quarterback, and the pitch, and you try to be as multiple as possible, if you can, to try to change those different looks, because the quarterback has to make his particular reads. So there is a lot of validity to that. That’s part of what we did a couple practices last week, but particularly the last couple practices here this week.

Q. Going back to the question about the option. I’m sure you saw the thing Maryland did with Washington. They had number 11 faking on the drive, and then taking the quarterback on the pitch. Is that something you guys could do?

London: When you watch all the different types of teams — whether it’s 3-4 or 4-3 or lined up, to head-up twos, two techniques at slant and angle — there are all kinds of techniques the defensive coaches have tried to devise in order to change the different reads of the quarterback.

So what Maryland did, I’m quite sure N.C. State did, I’m quite sure some of the other teams have played against Georgia Tech or have played against that offense. So there is nothing that is exclusive to what one team does versus what they do. It’s just that whatever you play, in terms of who you want to carry the ball the most, how you want to change up the looks, who do you want to play the pitch on the perimeter whether it’s a corner, or safety, or rolled up corner, those are all parts of the elements of trying to defend this style of attack.

You look at a lot of game film, of a lot of defenses who tried to defend this, and you’ll see various techniques. I would say all techniques are on the table for us, and we take into account who we have ourselves and our capabilities of showing different coverages or running line stunts or whatever it may be. What you saw was something that other teams have done also.

That’s it. I’ll have notes up later. Thanks for reading.

A note from my colleague Doug Roberson: Georgia Tech won’t host Georgia until Nov. 26. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t already thinking about the game. Tell us your favorite play in the rivalry, and the AJC will try to track down the players involved and tell you what they remember about that game and what they are doing now. Please send your favorite (just one, please) and why to Doug Roberson to droberson@ajc.com.

Where are they now: Roddy Jones is pursuing a master’s degree at Georgia Tech.

Seriously, though, I hope you’ll help Doug out. This sounds like it’ll be a great story.

Please follow on Facebook and Twitter.

By Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech beat

146 comments Add your comment

If do right, no can defense

October 12th, 2011
4:43 pm

If do right, no can defense

October 12th, 2011
4:44 pm

wohoo, that’s my 2nd ever.

If do right, no can defense

October 12th, 2011
4:47 pm

Well, I’ve been following GT football only since ‘09, but in those three games, my favorite play was let-’em-score-so-we-can-have-the-ball-back called by Johnson in the final minutes of last year’s game.

Outcoached, Richt was.

Bugzie

October 12th, 2011
4:53 pm

“Outcoached, Richt was.” … he sure was, so outcoached he ended up winning the game still.

OLD TECH FAN

October 12th, 2011
4:53 pm

It’s nice to have some insight as to what other coaches are trying to do against our Offense. However, I’m sure Coach Johnson has pretty much seen it all. As he says, it doesn’t matter what type of Offense you have, the players must run it correctly in order to win.

Full Speed Ahead

October 12th, 2011
4:53 pm

Favorite play was RUN RODDY RUN all over Sanford on that final Touchdown drive. Getting to hear the Georgia radio call ” we didn’t knock him out of bonds?”

Bad bad Leroy brown

October 12th, 2011
4:53 pm

But like always tech lost

Flowery Branch Yellow Jacket

October 12th, 2011
4:54 pm

Is it just me, or would these coaches also make excellent politicians? I’m sure there was an answer somewhere amidst all the verbiage, but I’ve yet to find it.

Tech 1998

October 12th, 2011
4:54 pm

For me it’s the field goal kick in ‘98 to end the 7 year streak in the 90s. Of course there are plenty more :)

Gorilla Biscuit

October 12th, 2011
4:59 pm

Hopefully Coach Johnson will outsmart himself again this year.

Bugzie

October 12th, 2011
5:02 pm

Tevin’s weak arm will get a heavy dose of Bacarri Rambo and Brandon Boykin this year; as long as he is upright and not on his back anyway.

Spanky

October 12th, 2011
5:07 pm

Outcoached?……Who won?

TECHREDNECK

October 12th, 2011
5:12 pm

I love that they are winning, however I can’t get too excited because of the competition thus far. Va. will be a test, but Clemson will be a bigger test. Miami, I don’t know. They’ve have some poblems. And then we get to see the big bad dogs. I would love to see them go down in defeat.

If do right, no can defense

October 12th, 2011
5:13 pm

Hey, Mr. Richt admitted as much. We lost because of poor execution on defense, and an inexperienced qb who couldn’t pass. And I was referring to that specific play, not the entire game.

If do right, no can defense

October 12th, 2011
5:17 pm

Born2Buzz

October 12th, 2011
5:19 pm

My favorite play in a UGA game wasn’t in the game at all. It was during the ‘99 game that we won with the recovered blocked punt in OT and the mystery fumble by Jasper Sanks at the end of regulation, both of which could be on the list..anyway, in the aisle way right next to my seats stood John Davis (’86) and Larry Morris (’52) as they had just come back up from the field where they were honoring All American Centers at half-time. A woofin dawg fan had wayyy to much to drink and started to talk trash with Davis, who stands 6′7″ and about 300 lbs. Davis said something to the guy and being almost blind drunk the guy actually started to go after Davis. Thankfully his buddies pulled him away, so John turns to continue his conversation with Larry Morris (no small man himself). The drunken doggie breaks free from his buddies and starts to jump Davis from behind, but before he could get to him, Morris (who has to be 69-70 years old but still looked to be in great shape) calmly steps forward and plants his large fist right in the guys kisser, dropping him like a rock. His buddies gather him up and drag him away, and Morris and Davis calmly go back to their conversation. The two 13 year old boys in front of me went crazy, “did you see that!! that old man just flattened that guy!! that was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!!!!”

I had to admit, it was pretty cool. And what a game that was, lots of scoring, controversy, overtime, a bizarre finishing play, and a fight in the stands between a GT legend and a drunken dawg fan. And we won the game. It doesn’t get any better than that.

carolinajacket

October 12th, 2011
5:21 pm

I’ll go back a good many years. Charlie Dudish fumbles the snap, then picks it up and dives in for the game winning td, right before my eyes, when I was a kid.

Born2Buzz

October 12th, 2011
5:21 pm

Sorry, recovered blocked FG attempt. That’s why you kick em on 3rd down when possible.

Mole

October 12th, 2011
5:21 pm

I’m very well, thank you for asking.

clemsongirl

October 12th, 2011
5:26 pm

Little early to be thinking about the UGA game . . . Tech still has a lot of football to play. Love it, can’t get through half the season and already looking ahead and obsessing with UGA . . . keep looking!

5150 UOAD

October 12th, 2011
5:26 pm

Bugzie
October 12th, 2011
5:00 pm

I can’t see us beating Clemson, and even VT may bring us some problems. And then we get to face a fast and physical UGA defense. Dreams season start, but won’t have a pretty ending.

Bugzie did you actually think we think you are a TECH fan? We knew on the last Article. Now go hump your mom’s leg and sniff your sis’s butt.

5150 UOAD

October 12th, 2011
5:28 pm

Bugzie
October 12th, 2011
5:00 pm

I can’t see us beating Clemson, and even VT may bring us some problems. And then we get to face a fast and physical UGA defense. Dreams season start, but won’t have a pretty ending.

Bugzie you said you were a Tech fan on the last blog! Wow in less than 2 hours you became a dawg. Like we didn’t know you are a MUTT

St. Simons Old Timer

October 12th, 2011
5:28 pm

Favorite Play back in 1963, if memory serves: Alabama came into Grant Field heavily favored and ranked #1. Namath at quarterback and the Bear along the sidelines. Tech scores in the first half and leads 7 to 0 for a long time. Then in the 4th quarter, Bama marches to score a touchdown with less than four minutes remaining, and to their credit, go for two to win the game. The extra point is a handoff to the Alabama halfback for a run around right end. Then just two players meet at the two yard line with no one else around. Man vs. Man. Sorry I don’t remember the names, but Tech’s guy was an undersized walk-on linebacker who stood up the runner and planted him on the two. Tech wins 7 to 6 to seal the upset and erase a good deal of heartache after being not too good for several years before. After all this time, that is still the most memorable play I’ve ever seen.

AlabamaRamblinwreck

October 12th, 2011
5:30 pm

Ken: Is Attaochu going to play Saturday? Thanks.

TampaDawg

October 12th, 2011
5:32 pm

ClemsonGirl is right on target there. BUZZards could have 2 losses by the time they get the usual whoopin by the Dawgs

5150 UOAD

October 12th, 2011
5:33 pm

Tampa we know UGA does already and will probably have 1 or 2 more by time the mutts come to the Big City.

St. Richt

October 12th, 2011
5:34 pm

clemsongirl, don’t kid yourself. We’re not looking past anyone, especially Clemson. We’ve had that date circled for over a year now, after you finally beat Paul Johnson for the first time last year.

Born2Buzz

October 12th, 2011
5:35 pm

TECHREDNECK, get excited. They are playing some good ball, last Saturday’s game wasn’t as pretty as some of the earlier ones but it still was fun, and intense. We have 3 more home games and I’m sure they are all going to be exciting. Come on out and enjoy them.

And Ken, I would love to hear if John Davis remembers that incident in ‘99.

tech 63

October 12th, 2011
5:35 pm

Sorry St.Simons Old Timer…….the game was fall of 62 and it was a pass intercepted in the end zone by Don Toner.

Ramblin Man

October 12th, 2011
5:36 pm

Not sure if it is my all time favorite but I did really like the “Goose is loose”.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8MivZ0jw-g&feature=related

Jacket Man

October 12th, 2011
5:38 pm

As Paul Johnson has been saying for years, there’s been over twenty years worth of tapes on his offense, and it still seems to be working as long as the team is executing properly. Will they win every game? Does any team win every game? Dumb question, isn’t it? Bad weather, turnovers, injuries, these unexpected events all factor into the outcome of games. Emotion, experience, and coaching are also factors. There are obviously more athletic teams than others, and that also comes into play. Add all this together, and that’s College football.

How this has has gotten into a debate about Georgia-Georgia Tech is beyond me. UGA has nothing to do with this blog; why are they a part of this discussion?

Ramblin Man

October 12th, 2011
5:38 pm

Bring Back Jim Donnan

October 12th, 2011
5:38 pm

I was in Sanford Stadium in 1974 in a 35 degree pouring rain. Tech won the coin toss and Pepper Rogers elected to KICK! The Dawgie kickoff returner muffed, Tech recovered, scored and went on to win 34-14. After the half, there was more white and gold in the stadium than red and black. Nearly froze to death, but it was the most exciting game I ever attended.

5150 UOAD

October 12th, 2011
5:40 pm

People just send your comments on the UGA games to Doug and save the blog for UVa.

Tech owns mediocre teams!!

October 12th, 2011
5:43 pm

Tech’s offense has proved nothing this year. Sure they run up big numbers against inferior competition with inferior defensive talent. That’s all there is in the ACC. The ACC has some of the worst defeneses in college football. If Tech played in the SEC, their offensive numbers would be average at best. Would love to see this high school offense run up against Bama or LSU. Would be more embarrassing than the Iowa ass whipping in the Orange Bowl. Tenn. is another team like Tech. Tenn. ran up amazing Offensive stats against 3 inferior opponents, then when they ran up against 2 top ten defenses in Fl. and UGA, they wet their pants. Tech only plays one decent defense in the ACC, that being Clemson, and we will see how Tech handles that game. Tech has yet to beat a team with a .500 record in the ACC, and yet the AJC is raving about them being 6-0. My God, They only play 2 decent teams all year, that being Clemson and UGA, and they will probably get their asses handed to them in both games. They might beat clemson,but UGA will make it 9 out of the last 10, even if UGA has another medicre team. Tech is a joke, always has been and always will be, and for this arrogant coach, it couldn’t happen to a better person. If this clown ever beats a ranked team with this offense, then maybe this paper can brag about Tech then. Until then, Tech is just another team that looks good against mediocre talent.

Bugs

October 12th, 2011
5:51 pm

Tech upset Ga in the mid 80’s on a kickoff return.It was a high scoring game and the Dawgs scored late to seal the win.The jackets return man had fielded the previous kickoffs and run to the far side of the field on all of them for short returns. This time he took one step right and took off straight up the field like a bat out of hell and the entire Ga. team was on the other side of the field.He scored the winning touchdown with no one near him.I can’t remember his name.

5150 UOAD

October 12th, 2011
5:53 pm

9 of 34 post from TROLLS. Dawgs must be scared.

TECHREDNECK

October 12th, 2011
5:53 pm

SHUT UP JAWJA FANS. GET OFF OUR BLOGS!

5150 UOAD

October 12th, 2011
5:58 pm

No Dawgs commenting on the concluded the Cam and Auburn investigation.
Dawgs don’t get their Beat Down at the hands of Cam and Auburn overturned.

Go ahead and whine. But I’m not sure how you can fault the NCAA on this. There is little question the NCAA, for all of the criticism it has received, would have nailed Auburn or Newton if it could have. There’s simply no evidence of it.

gt fan#1

October 12th, 2011
6:06 pm

tech owns mediocre teams,,, georiga defense has got throttled by the only 2 good teams they played their defense padded their stat against bottom feeding sec team… lol you are a joke of a fan im a gt fan and i know we havent played great competition yet but its coming miami, clemso,vt, ga

19

October 12th, 2011
6:09 pm

@mediocrity, it took all of that to get your point across. You don’t like Tech. We get it. Now, go away.
Go Jackets!!!

gt fan#1

October 12th, 2011
6:09 pm

tech owns mediocre teams- and north carolina is 5-1… if your gonna talk like you know what your talking about at least get your facts straight

Supersize that order, mutt

October 12th, 2011
6:09 pm

Bugz, that player was Gary Lee, and that kickoff return is my favorite play from the series.

GT Fan

October 12th, 2011
6:14 pm

Ken,

Here’s why Heather Dinich sucks, and steals money from ESPN:

Of her 3 upset alerts for this week this was her summation on why FSU is on alert vs. DUKE

…3. Florida State at Duke: At the very least, the Blue Devils will keep this interesting. Don’t forget they were in a position to beat Stanford earlier this year. And Florida State is no Stanford. Duke is similar to Wake Forest in that it depends heavily on its passing game. FSU can’t afford another five-turnover game and expect to win….

SHE SAID DUKE WAS IN POSITION TO BEAT STANFORD!

Here’s how the Stanford-Duke game went (b/c I bet the OVER, 59, on the game).

Stanford 7-0 after 1st Q.
Stanford 10-0 in 2nd Q
Stanford driving for 17-0 lead with 2+ mins to go in the half, Duke has 76 yd INT return (of a tipped pass) 10-7 Stanford
Stanford scores with 30 secs to go for 17-7 halftime lead

3rd Q
Stanford goes up 24-7, then 31-7 … OOPS 30-7 (missed PAT – cost me a over/under LOSS).

4th Q
Stanford goes up 37-7, then 44-7. DUKE scores with under a minute remaining to make the final 44-14 ……. 58 total (lost my 59 OVER bet).

WHERE IN THIS GAME WAS DUKE, ON THE VERGE OF, BEATING STANFORD?

HD is a JooooooKE.

Old Fashioned

October 12th, 2011
6:15 pm

My memory of the 7-6 win over Alabama is a bit different from above post. (I recognize that my memory is truly suspect for my 78 years.) I think the Alabama back was the great Bobby Morrow and the Tech tackler was a 140 pounder (they were much smaller then),named Jake Rudolph—-I think a defensive back on scholarship. Any other oldtimers who can set the record straight?

GT Fan

October 12th, 2011
6:16 pm

or IN POSITION to beat Stanford?

fan of shorter passes & longer runs

October 12th, 2011
6:21 pm

So London did not answer the question…probably because he does not know what he will do…perhaps? And we for sure do not know what Johnson will throw (or run) at them.

19

October 12th, 2011
6:23 pm

Did not see it, but from what’ve read the 7-6 GT win to beat Bear/Bama at Grant Field.
Go Jackets!

19

October 12th, 2011
6:31 pm

GT/GA= It’s UP! it’s Good!
Go Jackets!!!

Hey there Tech Owns...

October 12th, 2011
6:43 pm

Dear Tech Owns,

Funny how you mention “if” GT played LSU and Bama. Really brave from a UGA fan who doesn’t play them this year either….

Look at the stats – UGA has the easiest schedule in the SEC – Does not have to face LSU, Bama, or Arkysaw. So fight it out in the “tough” SEC against Ole Miss, Miss St, KY, Vandy… scary schedule for sure.

And for the mention that Tech has yet to beat a team with a .500 record in the ACC – are we skewing facts – Who has UGA beat with a .500 record in the SEC …. NO ONE.

Tech is a joke? It is only by another lucky break that the Dawggies beat Tech last year… missed extra point…. This “joke” throttled UGA for over 400 yards on the ground alone – every team we played in the ACC last year had a better rush defense than that…

Jokes on you…. you must be scared….. better get off the blogs and join your beloved UGA QB for some more ballet lessons