2005 Keys to the Game: Ohio

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With two important in-conference road victories secured, the Hokies return to the friendly confines of Lane Stadium
this week to meet the Ohio Bobcats out of the MAC. The Bobcats are coming off their own impressive home opener with a
hard fought victory last week over the Pittsburgh Panthers in overtime.

That game surprised more than a few people and it most certainly caught the attention of the Tech coaches and
players. It made it easier for the coaches to keep the players focused on the task at hand and not have to worry about
any look-ahead to Georgia Tech next week.

Let�s take a look at the keys for the Hokies in this game�.

Tech Defense vs. Ohio Offense

Ohio�s offense struggled the first two games getting accustomed to the new system installed by Frank Solich. As the
head coach (and long time offensive assistant) at Nebraska, Solich was instrumental in creating Nebraska�s powerhouse
option-oriented offenses. At Ohio, he has installed a system that is based on many of those same principles.

Tech�s defense is looking to build on their suffocating performance last week at Duke. With a base offense geared
around the option, Ohio will offer a different look and a unique set of challenges for the defense in this game. Once
the most popular offense in college football; the option is a rarity these days. For sure, the Tech coaches have dusted
off a few of their older game plans and coaching techniques this week to prepare for the Bobcats.

Key #1: Defend the Option

Ohio�s option attack involves QB runs, pitches, counters, and misdirection with the fullback and tailback working
in opposite directions. They don�t have a Mike Rozier or an Ahman Green or a Tommie Frazier executing it, but expect
to see many of the same types of plays that defined those great Nebraska teams under Tom Osborne (and Frank Solich).

When run with precision, the option can put a lot of pressure on a defense, particularly one that is aggressive and
stresses man pressure and pursuit to the ball. The key to defending the option is to play assignment football, which is
counter to what defensive players are generally taught to do. The instinct of a good defender is to go to the ball, but
with assignment football, the key is to stay with a specific assignment independent of the ball. For example, the
defender assigned to the pitch man has to stay on the pitch