IU's Prep For Georgia Southern's Offense Began Long Before Early Bye Week

Stu Jackson, Staff Writer
The Hoosier

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John Reed / USA TODAY Sports

The triple-option offense is run by very few teams in college football. Georgia Southern - IU's opponent Saturday - is one of the few.

No matter which team uses it, the scheme is so unique teams will devote entire segments of their offseason to preparing for it. That includes the Hoosiers, who have been getting ready for it since spring ball, according to head coach Tom Allen.

"You can't just do it in a couple days," Allen said. "So we've been working on them in the spring and then a little bit in the fall camp. You know, with the creative bye week, we have a chance to get some extra reps against that style last week, as well. It was good."

Notable programs who also run the triple-option include Georgia Tech and Navy. However, the difference between those two programs and Georgia Southern is that sometimes Georgia Southern will run it out of the shotgun.

Having coached against Georgia Tech and Navy while at Ole Miss, Allen also acknowledged that despite that wrinkle, it still presents similar challenges like Georgia Tech and Navy's schemes.

He also has an idea of what to focus on when preparing for the triple option.

"The timing of the way the play is hit, some of the things that they do are similar," Allen said. "The cutting on the perimeter is probably the biggest challenge, and having gone against Navy and Georgia Tech and the recent history of my coaching, that's been things that we've had to really work on, and sometimes you feel good about your prep, and you get in the game and it's just so much more difficult to defend it than it is in practice."

Outside of the cutting on the perimeter, Allen also mentioned the speed of the triple option being an area of concern. He said it's "almost impossible" for a program to have its scout team replicate and execute the speed seen on gameday unless it that runs style of offense natively.

However, the scheme doesn't appear to be as dangerous as it sounds.

The Eagles rank dead last among all 130 FBS teams in total offense at 202 yards per game and yards per play at 2.99. In last week's loss to FCS program New Hampshire, they tallied just 78 total yards of offense off eight first downs, unsuccessfully converting on all 15 third-down tries.

Regardless, Allen still sees the scheme presenting difficulties and wants to be as prepared as possible.

"it always is going to take a series or two to get used to that speed of it," Allen said. "That's why people run it. It creates challenges, and they will be difficult to stop."

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