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USF knows Georgia Tech “triple-option” is biggest challenge

Florida Football Insiders

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Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

In what is probably the best match-up of the weekend of any of the prominent college teams in the state, USF will have its hands full hosting Georgia Tech.

And, that’s not because of one specific offensive player but rather, something that Georgia Tech has been known for over a decade: “the triple option.”

The Jackets and head coach Paul Johnson have made “the old school” offensive scheme a trademark of theirs in Atlanta and the ACC.

Two Bulls linebackers who know that they will have their hands full are Khalid McGee and Greg Reeves. And, they had these comments Tuesday afternoon to the media:

And when McGee is talking about, “you know they’re going to come at your legs,” he’s referring to a specific blocking scheme that the Yellow Jackets use. The “cut block,” where defenders will dive at an unsuspecting defensive players knees and ankles are a staple of Tech’s triple-option.

However, it’s not something that USF is completely unfamiliar with. The Bulls have regularly seen a triple-option offense from American Conference rival Navy over the last few seasons. And, that will be of benefit to the green and gold.

The Jackets quarterback is senior Taquon Marshall, who had 1146 yards rushing, a 4.6 yards per carry average and ran for 17 touchdowns a year ago. Marshall ran for 77 yards and a touchdown (shown above) and also threw for a touchdown in Georgia Tech’s easy blowout win over Alcorn State last week.

Bulls coach Charlie Strong is a defensive mind and knows his team had better be ready for numerous dangerous running weapons from Georgia Tech,

“If they can get the quarterback and fullback going in this game, then they will feel like they can have some success,” Strong told the media Tuesday. “The thing we gotta do is come off blocks. It’s gonna come down to ‘assignment football.’ Who has the quarterback? Who has the ‘Dive’ (fullback)? Who has the pitch (running backs). We get all three of those things handled? We gotta chance.”

The Bulls debuted transfer QB Blake Barnett last week and he was solid with three TD passes and one on the ground in the win over Elon at home. And USF’s offense can put pressure on Georgia Tech’s offense, if they are able to score and race out to a significant lead. Then, the Yellow Jackets may be forced to try to throw more than they want to get back in the game.

It’s a sturdy test for USF, for sure, this week and ABC will show it to a lot of the country

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