Georgia Tech and their option attack will visit Cardinal Stadium this Friday after putting up their best offense performance of the season last week. Paul Johnson has been rumored to be on the hot seat but after last week, he has to feel pretty good about his offense and where it is headed for the rest of the year.
The quarterback position is the most important spot in any triple option attack and Tech has a really good one in Taquan Marshall. Marshall was such a talent when he got to GT that they put him at wide receiver to get him on the field. He’s been at quarterback for the last two years now and he’s done a really great job running the option and he has improved as a passer. Marshall really impresses me with his elusiveness in the open field. He can make guys miss while maintaining top speed. It makes it really hard to stop him from making big plays.
The running back spot for Tech is very deep even though they lost starting B-Back, Kirvonte Benson for the season. Jordan Mason has been a revelation at that spot as a freshman and Jerry Howard has done well splitting time there. The B-Back is the fullback in the offense and they use that player almost exclusively as the first man through the line. Howard and Mason have also shown the ability to be option guys on the outside. That’s a different wrinkle with the offense from what I’ve seen in the past.
The A-Backs for GT are the guys that could be trouble for UofL’s defense. Qua Searcy and Clynton Lynch are both very speedy players that can get around the edge and make a big play. Searcy is one of the faster players that UofL will see this year and they will have to find a way to make sure he doesn’t get the ball wide on the edge. Nathan Cottrell is the backup for Searcy and also runs the ball well in space. He doesn’t have the speed that Searcy does but he is plenty capable of breaking off a big run.
Lynch plays opposite Searcy and that spot seems to be used in the passing game more than the other spot. Lynch became the first 1,000 yard rusher/receiver in school history last week and he’s the teams leading receiver. Louisville has to be on the lookout for Marshall targeting Lynch down the seams.
The Yellowjackets lost Ricky Jeune from last year but they seem to have found a couple of solid options at receiver. Brad Stewart has been a reliable option for a while but he has been used down the field a little more this year. Marshall’s big play target has been Jalen Camp. Both of these receivers have enough speed to get behind UofL’s defense and the run heavy offense makes it easy for them to catch the defense off guard.
Tech’s offensive line is always an interesting group to me. Some years they have massive guys at guard who don’t seem to do well in space and sometimes they have a smaller line like they do this year. This Tech line is averaging about 280 pounds per man and they do a good job getting outside to make blocks on guys trying to chase down outside runs. I think those plays will be a big part of what GT tries to do and these guys could be the key to the game.