If there’s a silver lining following Georgia’s narrow 23-17 overtime win over Georgia Southern, it’s that it got a good look at a triple-option offense heading into Saturday’s rivalry game against Georgia Tech.
While Georgia Southern operates primarily out of the shotgun, the concepts both teams use are incredibly similar. Having gotten a look at a triple-option attack could help the Bulldogs while heading into their regular-season finale.
"There are some things we can take away from it," defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt said. "We have to do a better job on the perimeter, we let some balls out on us. There were a couple of others that were close to getting out on us. We’ll watch the tape and hopefully we’ll find some ways to improve."
Georgia’s defense played well against Georgia Southern, holding the Eagles to 233 rushing yards. That was well below the average Georgia Southern had entering the game, which was 378.9 rushing yards each outing. While the Eagles lead the nation in rushing yards per game (which is now 364.3), one can surmise that Georgia Tech has better athletes and a better offensive line to go against.
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Getting a look at a triple option attack, which is tough to prepare for in one week in the day and age of pro style and spread offenses, should serve Georgia well.
"A triple-option team like that, we definitely have to stay focused on who we need to read and knowing how to play eyes to hand," safety Quincy Mauger said.
This season, Georgia Tech has averaged 261.8 yards per game on the ground, which ranks seventh in the nation. Of course, the preseason ACC Coastal favorite is 3-8, which includes the Yellow Jackets losing eight of their last nine games.
Georgia Tech might also be without starting quarterback Justin Thomas, who suffered an upper-body injury in Saturday’s loss to Miami. If he's unavailable, Georgia Tech could turn to freshman Matthew Jordan, who was only able to total 60 rushing yards on 28 carries against the Hurricanes.
The triple option can be tough to play against when a team only has one week to prepare. Georgia head coach Mark Richt said it’s hard to simulate that kind of attack until you actually see it live. With the Bulldogs having that game experience against a triple-option team, it could pay off with Georgia Tech up next.
"Until you play it full speed it’s hard to get used to it," Richt said. "It’s kind of a relentless type of offense, where they keep hammering it and then something breaks big."