Stopping the triple-option ... again

semerson@macon.comNovember 20, 2012 

ATHENS - Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is about to face a triple option offense for the second straight week - and the fourth time overall. And that means the past three years at the college level, because they don't do it at the NFL.

"No, we didn't see it there," Grantham said, with a wry smile.

The key question for Grantham and his unit this week is whether a second straight week against the triple-option - Georgia Southern last week, Georgia Tech this week - will make a positive difference in defending it.

"I think anytime you do something, continuity's good. So the more you see something, the better you're at it," Grantham said after Tuesday's practice.

But as Grantham knows, Georgia Tech has more talent on offense, so this is a bigger challenge.

Georgia Tech ranks No. 3 nationally in rushing yards, which is nothing new - but the Yellow Jackets have slipped to 28th in total offense. Still, the key stats are very similar to last year:

2012
461.73 total yards per game
324.91 rushing yards per game
5.71 yards per rush

2011
458.77 total yards per game
316.46 rushing yards per game
5.73 yards per rush

The difference, however, may be in the trend line: Last year Georgia Tech got off to a 6-0 start and was ranked, riding an offense that averaged more than 51 points overe its first five games. But the Yellow Jackets dipped, averaging 24 points from game 6 through game 11. Georgia ended up with a fairly comfortable 31-17 win.

This year, against a fairly similar schedule, the Yellow Jackets have gone from averaging 37.8 points over the first six games, to 39.4 the next five - including 110 combined the past two weeks.

"I think they pretty much got a bead on what they wanna do," Grantham said. "They're good at the things that they know. And they believe in those things. And any time you're good at something, you believe in it, you usually have success in it. And that's how they've been successful."

So is there much of a difference between Georgia Southern's offense and Georgia Tech? Georgia Southern head coach Jeff Monken used to work for Paul Johnson, the Georgia Tech head coach. So the styles are very similar, but Grantham sees slight schematic differences.

"It's like any defense or offense, you kind of take on the personality of the guy doing it, and Paul does a good job with the things he wants to do," Grantham said. "They still have similar concepts as far as running the fullback and trying to get the ball on the edge with the quarterback, and those kind of things. They just try to do get to it a different way, whether it be with motion or formations or things like that."

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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