Virginia Tech is going to do whatever it takes in practice in order to prepare for Georgia Tech’s triple option offense.
“We tried to make it a middle drill for 60 minutes today,” said Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster. “It’s the only way you can prepare for this. If not, you’re going to be down 14-0 like we were last year and like we’ve been some other years.”
Game planning for the triple option can be difficult, especially since Virginia Tech only sees it once per season. Even then, Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson has been running it so long, he’s almost mastered it.
“He’s seen so many ways people try and defend it and he’s put a couple new wrinkles in this year, and that’s made us really spend a little bit extra time in our prep and making sure we’re fitting up right and all those type of things,” Foster said. “That’s part of the battle with this, besides it being physical, besides making sure you’re sound in your option principles as far as your assignments and those types of things.”
Part of game planning is putting together the scout team that will mock Georgia Tech’s offense. The Hokies are relying on walk-on quarterback Chase Mummau as the scout team signal-caller this week, hoping that he can successfully mock Yellow Jackets quarterback Justin Thomas.
Foster said that Mummau’s athleticism and passing talents make him a perfect fit for the job.
“He can work at quarterback and he’s athletic enough to stress us, I think, on the perimeter,” Foster said. “He’s a guy that can throw it too.”
Defensive Line coach Charley Wiles agreed with Foster, saying that Mummau’s adapted well enough to the triple-option style.
“You’ve got to be able to function as a quarterback, you know what I mean,” Wiles said. “You’ve got to be able to function as a quarterback and not only just be a fast guy, he’s moving around well enough.”
Hokies dealing with Edmunds’ suspension
The Hokies will be down a significant defender for the first half. Terrell Edmunds was ejected for targeting in last week’s game vs. Duke and therefore is suspended for the first half vs. Georgia Tech.
Edmunds’ athleticism and ability to play in the box against the run would come in handy vs. a run-heavy team like Georgia Tech.
“Obviously, he’s a dynamic football player in our eyes,” Foster said. “It is what it is. We’re probably going to shuffle some people around a little bit, just to get our best fit and to get our best 11 on the field, which is what we’ve done against this offense in the past.”
Foster didn’t offer specifics, but once Edmunds was ejected last Saturday, safety Chuck Clark slid over to Edmunds’ rover position, while redshirt senior Der’Woun Greene came in at free safety.
Virginia Tech searching for efficiency on offense
The Georgia Tech offense loves to run the ball and control the clock. The Yellow Jackets are in the top-50 in time of possession, holding the ball over 30 minutes per game. That could limit the number of drives Virginia Tech has on offense.
“We think it’s just about being efficient,” Ford said. “Whether that’s running the ball or throwing the ball, or taking shots or anything like that. It’s just about being efficient in what we’re doing.”
“I don’t think it affects the gameplan, as much as we just got to focus and concentrate on every possession that we get because it is going to be limited,” Evans said. “We’re not going to get as much as we get in our regular games.”
Evans has certainly been a big part of the gameplan as of late. Evans carried the ball 40 times in September, 56 times in October and another 18 times against Duke. He’s also been dealing with a nagging ankle injury, an injury he reaggravated vs. Pittsburgh.
Despite the hits, Evans said he’s fine with carrying the load on offense.
“I ignore it by wanting to win,” Evans said. “I’m so competitive, that if coach told me I had to run 70 times to win the game, that’s what it would take, I would literally do it. That’s how I get through it. I want to win, I want my team to win. We’ve got a lot of seniors on the team, I told them in spring that if I ever were to get the starting job, that this season is dedicated to them because of the things they’ve been through here at Virginia Tech. That’s my mindset when I’m carrying the ball 21 times a game.”