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X&O Preview: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets @ Miami Hurricanes 10/12

A Thursday night game IN MIAMI?!

NCAA Football: Miami at Georgia Tech Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes get extra time to prepare for Georgia Tech, which has infuriated Paul Johnson. The #Canes follow up a Friday night game with a bye week and then host the Jackets Thursday night. Gone is 3-year starting QB Justin Thomas who threw for 4700+ yards and 48 TD’s in a triple option offense. Thomas added 2400+ rushing yards and 22 more scores on the ground. The Jackets pre-season S&P+ ranking is #31, Miami stands at #18. They also lost Marcus Marshall, the team’s second leading rusher, to a transfer.

Replacing a triple option QB is a hard task (unless you’re Coach Ken who some how doesn’t skip a beat). It’s been a tough road for PJ in the past at Navy and at Tech. When he finds his guy they have had success at GT. It’s easy to make the read in the 2-ball drill, in 1/2 line, and even scrimmage type situations because you know there’s limited contact on you. But when defenses start switching up their option responsibilities drive to drive or quarter to quarter and you’re taking shots from the Miami front 7- things change.

A year ago Manny Diaz went with an odd front. I explained how to stop the triple on SOTU back in September of 2016, I explained the flexbone in detail on SOTU as well and here too for SOTU.


TaQuon Marshall, a back up in 2016, looks to be the starter in 2017. Marshall had a quiet spring game but has the starting job locked down. He’s a 5-10 185lbs junior from Georgia.

This first drive from the spring game shows it’s not a triple option on every play. Nebraska under Tom Osborne also didn’t call an option every play. Nebraska ran a lot of zone scheme and GT runs a zone dive with the BB (B-Back), rocket toss, and other old school double-wing plays.

Play 1- designed give on the FB dive

Play 2- A triple option when the end squeezes inside the QB will pull and run the pitch portion of the option.

Play 3- Rocket Toss with a pulling guard, watch the cut blocks outside and down field

Play 4- A now screen with good back field action but obvious pass set from OL

Play 5- I really like the B-Back counter here.

Play 6- An easy read to see as the DE sits on the BB so the Q pulls.

Play 7- The read is there as the DE freezes and doesn’t squeeze, but the blitzing linebacker blows up the B-Back for a loss.

Play 8- The blitzing LB really messes the O up two plays in a row. The DE plays the pitch man (a switch on responsibility) and the blitzing LB plays the dive. They let everyone else spill to the Q.