The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday May 13th

Breaking down the Georgia Tech triple option

Georgia Tech is the only opponent on UNC’s schedule that runs a triple option offense. It’s different from most offenses because it’s much more about reading the defense and reacting to it. Below is one example of a triple option play the Yellow Jackets could run on Saturday.

1. Johnson’s scheme normally has two A-backs and a B-back playing in the backfield. Just before the snap, an A-back — either Roddy Jones or Orwin Smith, but we’ll say Jones for this example — will go in motion.

The motion is different than a wide receiver’s motion because Jones will go along a curved route.

When the ball is snapped to quarterback Joshua Nesbitt, Jones will be behind B-back Anthony Allen. For that split second, the triple-option offense appears to turn into a regular I-formation.

2. But this play will be anything but a regular I-formation play. The play is characterized through a read-and-react, sometimes referred to as “veer.”

This option of the play is dependent solely upon what UNC right defensive end, listed as Quinton Coples, does when Nesbitt gets the ball.

Nesbitt whips the ball to his left side while Allen begins his dive. When Coples tries to go inside of Georgia Tech’s left tackle, Nesbitt will run outside and Allen will attempt to pick up the block on Coples.

Jones, who was in motion and at the top of the I, will finish his semi-circle and try to run in front of or beside Nesbitt to pick up North Carolina defenders or prepare for a pitch from the quarterback.

3. If Coples tries to go outside of the left tackle, Nesbitt will pick up the movement by the defensive end and react.

Instead of taking off around the end, Nesbitt instead has two options — pass or hand off — and will likely take the road most traveled. Thus far, Georgia Tech has completed seven passes this season but has averaged more than 330 yards per game on the ground.

Jones will once again block for Nesbitt and the rest of the backfield in an attempt to pick up Coples, while Allen will hit the hole created in the line and try to break through to UNC’s linebackers.

Graphic information compiled by Jonathan Jones and created by Evan Bell and Kelly McHugh.

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