Georgia Bulldogs: Are You Ready for the Triple Option?


The Georgia Bulldogs will have to face the triple option rushing attack in their final two regular season games vs. Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech.

It’s that time of the year again where the Georgia Bulldogs need to start preparing for the triple option. Normally, it’s to get ready for in-state rival Georgia Tech during their Thanksgiving Week game. This year, UGA has the distinct pleasure to double down on some triple option action, as the Dawgs will also play another in-state team who runs that offense in the Georgia Southern Eagles.

So get ready for a ton of run stuffing action. Defensive Backs aren’t going on vacation until the ACC/Big Ten bowl game somewhere in Florida. They’re stacking the box for two straight weeks against the Yellow Jackets and the Eagles.

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Fortunately, the Georgia Bulldogs have already come away victorious against two other run-first teams in Kentucky and Auburn. While both like to go hurry-up and run the ball to tire the defense out, both the Wildcats and the Tigers look to air it more than just occasionally. Against Southern, expect less than ten pass attempts. Against Tech, we might see a dozen.

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So it’s important to wrap up and play your man. What hurts team defensively against the triple option is that players who aren’t familiar with it get overly excited with trying to make the hit on the running back that they forget who they’re supposed to cover.

With their annual affair in Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate, the Georgia Bulldogs have come to expect the triple option late in every November since HC Paul Johnson took over the program in 2008. Johnson has made a career of running the triple option, doing it well at Georgia Southern, Navy and now at Georgia Tech.

While it works wonderfully when the quarterback, the A-back, and the B-back are all on the same page, it can prove disastrous should the defense knows what’s coming and the limitations of the running backs. Georgia Southern continues to handle teams since moving up to Division I last year. The Eagles are 7-2 and doing work in the Sun Belt. Georgia Tech lost their 7th game of 2015 on Thursday versus Virginia Tech, so their date with UGA at Bobby Dodd is their bowl game.

Playing Georgia Southern a week before Tech could have the Georgia Bulldogs figure out some kinks in how they defend the triple option before Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. However, Southern’s transition to Division I has been an overwhelming success. They have as many wins as we do on the year and one less loss, so hopefully the Dawgs don’t take the Eagles lightly. I hate to say this, but I kind of feels like a trap game.

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Keep in mind that the new-look offense of Georgia isn’t exactly a pass-first attack anymore. Between Greyson Lambert, Brice Ramsey, and even Faton Bauta, UGA likely won’t throw the football more than 15 times a game for the rest of 2015. We’re more likely to see half a dozen plays out of the Wild Dawg than the will see 20 five-step drop back passes in this incarnation of the Georgia Bulldogs’ offense.

This week and next are all about DC Jeremy Pruitt’s defense coming together to shut down the option-based rushing attacks of Southern and Tech. Wrap up, play your man, and set the edge. Let them run out of bounds if they have to. Both of these teams don’t care much for your football program, so bring your A-game to take down A-backs, B-backs, and the like.

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The Georgia Bulldogs will have plenty of time to prepare for the more conventional offense they will surely face in a Floridian bowl game. For now, it’s all about stopping the triple option. Do that and this team will sit at 9-3 (5-3) at the end of the regular season with a great opportunity for back-to-back 10 win seasons. Go Dawgs!