FOOTBALL: Seeing Triple — Again
BC Readies For Georgia Tech's Triple Option, Similar To Army
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Two weeks ago, Boston College got pounded by Army’s triple option. The Eagles are now preparing for a bigger, stronger, and faster version of that offense—Georgia Tech.
After Army rushed for a total of 516 yards against BC, the defense is trying to use that shellacking as a learning experience to prepare for this Saturday’s challenge.
“They’re very similar to Army, obviously with the triple option, but they’re bigger, faster, more physical, and their skill players are probably better,” said linebacker Steele Divitto. “Their quarterback [Tevin Washington] is very impressive, a very impressive runner, just a great athlete. Army wasn’t very big up front, but Georgia Tech is much bigger up front. They can probably run about the same, if not faster than Army.”
The Yellow Jackets average an output of 331 rushing yards per game, which is good for third-best in the country. Meanwhile, the Eagles’ rushing defense ranks 117th in the country (out of 120 teams), and it’ll have to make major adjustments if it expects to stop Georgia Tech.
“It’s going to be a great challenge,” Divitto said. “In a way, we’re going to use the Army week as an advantage, just because we’ve already seen [the triple option]. But whatever we did in preparation for Army wasn’t good enough, clearly. So it just needs to be that much better this week in practice.”
The preparation for each week starts from the top, and head coach Frank Spaziani knows that his team needs a good week of practice to try and learn what went wrong at Army.
“Playing against a similar offense has to be beneficial in experience,” Spaziani said in his weekly ACC teleconference yesterday. “On the other side of the coin, I think Georgia Tech now gets a little better understanding how we might be playing certain things. We have to be aware of that. It’s a two-headed coin over there.”
Senior captain and safety Jim Noel said that BC is not doing anything different in preparation for this weekend’s game than it did for the Army game, but that better execution will be the biggest factor.
“We’re not too far removed from the Army week, so I think people have retained the things that we’ve learned from the Army game to bring over to the Georgia Tech game,” Noel said. “We’re not doing anything different in practice. I think the big thing for us is just to execute on the defensive and do the assignment that you’re supposed to do.”
The lack of execution has been a major issue for the Eagles all season, just as it was last week at Florida State, when the defense allowed a whopping 51 points and the offense only managed seven points of their own. Players are saying that the coaches have put them in a situation to win with the preparation, but the aspect of actually executing their game plan on the field has been off.
“The X’s and O’s were perfect on Saturday,” said offensive tackle Emmett Cleary. “We had all the looks that we wanted. It was just a matter of execution.”
Divitto said the team’s woes were due to the same line of thinking.
“I understand the coaches work their tails off to put us in the right position and give us the best chance to be successful,” Divitto said. “And execution has been an issue. Great teams minimize the mistakes and they take advantage when the opportunity comes.”
That execution will be especially key against a team like Georgia Tech, according to Divitto, as its dangerous offense will be a true test of BC’s athleticism.
“Just tempo and execution is huge this week,” Divitto said. “These triple option teams really challenge your execution levels. They check if you’re going to be a sound football team or not. And it’s all assignment football. If you’re off a step, they’re going to take advantage of it.”
The reality of the matter, however, is that regardless of how the players feel about their coach, they still have to go out every Saturday and try to get a different result. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to win and turn the program around midseason.
“We have a lot to overcome at this point in the season,” Divitto said. “I told the guys the more we persevere together, the better off and the closer we’re going to get. I think that holds true with any family, any organization. Times are going to be hard, and it’s how you respond and how you come out with a positive mark—that’s when you look back and really appreciate it.”
As a senior captain, Noel has maintained a positive attitude throughout the season, and sees Saturday’s matchup against the talented Yellow Jackets as another opportunity to get better and get the W that everyone has been looking for. It didn’t come against Army’s triple option two weeks ago, but now Noel is hoping his team can turn lessons learned from that game into positive results on Saturday.
“I see [Georgia Tech] just like Army, but just bigger, stronger, and faster,” Noel said. “I don’t see it as much of a concern because now that we’ve actually played an option team, now we know how fast the pace is going to be. I think this time around, we’ll be better prepared for it.”