The Discipline Of Facing Georgia Tech's Triple Option

Andrew Jones, Publisher
Tar Heel Illustrated

CHAPEL HILL – UNC defensive coordinator John Papuchis wants his unit to continue playing aggressively, but when taking on Georgia Tech and its triple option that comes with a twist.

The Tar Heels have made significant progress over the last two weeks incorporating more aggressiveness – blitzes, pressure coverage, and more – to its game plan and the results have helped the Tar Heels dominate Old Dominion on the road and give the team a chance to defeat Duke.

But Georgia Tech is a different animal, and even very good defenses can look helpless against Paul Johnson’s patented offense. But UNC doesn’t want to be one of those teams.

“This week is a totally different philosophy,” Papuchis said. “You don’t want to be on your heels and you don’t want to be reactive the whole day, but you’ve got to be very careful once you do because they have opportunities to offset and exploit you if you get caught in the wrong call.”

Tech leads the nation averaging 396 yards per game and overall are averaging just under 500 yards.

Here are a few questions and answers from Papuchis’ interview this week, the full video interview is posted above:

On the margin for error being so slim against GT, that one missed assignment and the play can blow up…

“Absolutely. There’s such an emphasis on 11 guys always doing their job. That’s always the case, but you can at times against other offenses get away with somebody not doing what they’re supposed to do exactly, in this game, everyone’s got to be on point all the time.”

On GT QB TaQuon Marshall…

“He’s super athletic. Every times he has the ball in his hands you’ve got to be well aware and every accounting for what he can do in the run game, and he also throws the ball pretty well. To me, there’s no drop off from the senior quarterback that they had a year ago to this year. They look just as dangerous.”

On guarding against the fact that GT will try to catch defenses napping using the pass often for big plays…

“We’re super aware of how well they are passing the ball and how efficient they can be. We do 7-on-7 for them just like we do for anybody we’re playing because we have a high level of respect for what they do in the passing game. And that’s a big part of what they do when the opportunities are there.”

What to Read Next