ATHENS, Ga. — The key to successfully defending Georgia Tech’s spread option offense boils down to one thing – do your job – no more, no less.
Saturday’s game will be the fourth time Georgia has faced the Yellow Jackets’ flexbone that thrives on punishing reckless pursuit.
“With this offense, you’ve got to be patient and pay attention to your assignments,” Georgia outside linebacker and former Burke County star Cornelius Washington said.
“You do what the play calls for you to do and nothing else. You don’t try to be a hero when you play against this offense. You can’t be a big-play guy. You’ve just got to play what you’ve got to play.”
Georgia Tech liberally uses the triple-option series in its offense. The triple option’s biggest gains usually happen when defenders run themselves out of position by chasing the ball, which makes paying attention to the task at hand so important.
“It’s playing assignment football,” Georgia nose guard John Jenkins said. “You want to do your assignment. It’s like a project for a class. You do your assignment. Then everybody else does their assignment and then everything comes together and you get the good grade, right? So that’s how you treat it.”
Georgia won last year’s game 42-34, but the Yellow Jackets gashed the Bulldogs for 411 yards.
In 2008, Georgia Tech gained 409 yards and beat the Bulldogs 45-42. Roddy Jones gained 214 yards that day and is back for his senior season.
“We just have to read our keys and not allow big plays,” Georgia safety Bacarri Ram bo said. “We need to make sure we wrap up when we make tackles because three years ago the safeties were making contact but they weren’t wrapping up and that allowed them to make more yards after contact. We’ve got to go out there and make contact and wrap up and make sure we’re doing our job.”
This year’s game sets up as major test of each team’s strength. Georgia ranks second in the nation in rushing defense (81.3 yards per game) and Georgia Tech is second in the nation in rushing offense (323.6 yards per game).