I love the Triple Option

IronJacket7

Helluva Engineer
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2,393
I love the triple option. I love the complexity of our offense even beyond the triple.

I love going back through a game and seeing the different blocking schemes and determining if reads are correct.

I love seeing a defense over pursue or over commit and then seeing CPJ call a play that takes advantage.

I love that it works (when the players perform), even if the other team knows it is coming.

Chime in on why you love the triple option and our offense!

I love the triple option as well. I do not love our offense... jmo

The triple option is so deadly and hard to stop when executed correctly.

Our offense's poor blocking and Vad's inability to make correct reads have dulled the enjoyment of this play - that is art in motion when executed correctly.
 

Mack

Helluva Engineer
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1,361
I am not a fan but if you have the right folks it can really be effective.So far we are a step slower than southern and their option.
 

ATL1

Helluva Engineer
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7,377
I don't care for flexbone. I like it. It's a great way to attack a defense at times. I don't think it should be the base for an offense.
 

GTJason

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1,495
You would have loved it even more a few weeks ago.

Law of averages I suppose. When TOS went down we got some good posters and then some people that just see this site as a blank canvas and the keyboard their paintbrush which has made some threads unreadable...
 

GTrob21

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,102
I also think the Flexbone has its advantages when attacking the angles of a defense, I think running it out of the gun has advantages and disadvantages.

I think the offenses that seem to win have a distinct identity. We have an identity but we haven't been able to execute for quite a while now on offense.
 

CuseJacket

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
14,866
Law of averages I suppose. When TOS went down we got some good posters and then some people that just see this site as a blank canvas and the keyboard their paintbrush which has made some threads unreadable...

And then the bowl game happened, Vad transferred, and the CPJ tweet went out. That's all we've had in terms of GT football news.

We'll be ok, but that's just my opinion. Let's keep this thread to why folks love the triple option.
 

alaguy

Helluva Engineer
Messages
1,117
I loved the TO/flexbone when PJ first came here.Over the yrs certain things have become apparent--
You REALLY need a the RIGHT QB for this Off.He handles it EVERY play a LOT.(in fact I've wondered why we don't do a direct snap to bback if QB steps away).

The pass offense out of this scheme is VERY VERY hard to be consistent and therefore be consistently dangerous for a lot of reasons including--OL blocking scheme ,backs blocking,,no direct snap to give time,not enough time in practice to learn TO run game AND good passing game, can't recruit great WR,etc ..In fact having a great WR to beat one on one on outside is almost paramount to really hurt DEF teams.
We can argue this all day but how much data do we need ? in SIX yrs we have had one yr of 50%+ passing.That is terrible, esp since the passing is SUPPOSED to be a surprise which should allow for recs to get open easier.also-The TO is based on gaining SOME yds every play -if we have an incomplete we are now under great pressure to get 5+ yds next play instead of just 3-4.
Look at our losses vs good teams ,VERY few have had even decent passing(this uga game was decent so maybe as an exception) which puts even more pressure on the run game.
Lastly,if we are 80 yds away in 2-3 minutes,can this OFF to win game? VERY unlikely-see bowl game.
 

dressedcheeseside

Helluva Engineer
Messages
13,673
I love the triple option as well. I do not love our offense... jmo

The triple option is so deadly and hard to stop when executed correctly.

Our offense's poor blocking and Vad's inability to make correct reads have dulled the enjoyment of this play - that is art in motion when executed correctly.
What I hear you saying in your last sentence is you don't like the execution of our offense, or lack thereof, not the offense itself. That's an important distinction. How would you like our offense if it was actually executed as designed and that led to more wins?
 

poodleface

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
208
Location
Atlanta, GA
I watched the Ball State / Arkansas St game last night and on one play the Ball State QB handed off to his fullback and then dove through the hole to be their lead blocker. You need a QB who is willing to do what is best for the play/team to succeed with this offense. How many times this season did CPJ call the "right" play and see it not executed correctly?
 

IronJacket7

Helluva Engineer
Messages
2,393
What I hear you saying in your last sentence is you don't like the execution of our offense, or lack thereof, not the offense itself. That's an important distinction. How would you like our offense if it was actually executed as designed and that led to more wins?

I would love it just fine. The offense itself is not the "problem" - on the field. The execution is.

But I will say that the "Triple Option" offense as many incorrectly label it, creates negative stigma for itself. Unfortunately.

However, any offense whether it be option based, I-Form, Pistol, Air Raid, ect... can be successful at the D1 level imo.
But the execution has to be precise. Maybe more so in our offense.

And it helps for your offense to be attractive in the recruiting circles.
 

Wrecker

Georgia Tech Fan
Messages
22
I love how the force secondary defender comes up and we throw a wheel route right over his head for a 30 yard gain. I love how every single running play can break for a big gainer. I love how walk-ons can average 10+ yards per touch. Optimism for next year? A 4-star, 4.4 forty, above average throwing arm quarterback is about to take the reigns. Johnson's job will be saved and then some. ACC title game appearance, 10 win season, UGA victory, ACC title, BCS bowl are all real possibilities IMO.


Who is this 4* QB about to "take the reigns" ??? Where has he been?
 

IEEEWreck

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
587
I think my favorite thing about the spread option is that it pushes the opponents into making strategic decisions and creates an enormous complexity of strategies on several levels. I see several subgames being played within the offense game:

The option/alignment mismatch. This subgame is generally the most discussed because it forms the basis of a TO OFF. Heck, every Bro who plays NCAA on XBox knows the position game here. There's a numerical advantage, so the QB can force a series of two strategic commitments (which we tend to call reads.) With perfect play, this is a game that the person who chooses second always wins because of the number of choices. Either the dive or keep can be covered, and the QB gets to pick the one the defender doesn't. Same with the pitch read. That's a pretty good subgame to play.

The next subgame is the safety position. With a well executed option subgame, many teams are tempted to negate the numerical advantage at the LOS by bringing up the S. I hear this a lot in terms of 'we need to pass to be elite'. Again, the smart thing is that the S position is a strategic commitment by the defense. The better they cover the run, the more vulnerable they are to both the mid and long pass.

Next, there's (what CPJ calls) 'wrinkles'. These are calls that exploit the movement tendencies of the D dealing with the option subgame. There's a lot to write about here, but we've seen a bunch of them regularly this year with Vad, and then a bunch we never saw because of a lack of option game. This is more strategically interesting than pure X's and O's interesting for a reason I'll talk about in a second.

So, why does that make for a good game of football? Let's make it really boring and mathematical (as is meet and seemly for Tech). Let's say you're planning the call- how do you know what mix of strategies to use? You'd assign a payoff (the expected yardage gain- gains weighted by frequency) to each potential strategy. This means the spread option must have a strong team all around because if one strategy is much less effective than the others- say the pitch only has an expected payoff of 1.25 yards- the defense knows you can't rely on it and will start ignoring the pitch. That shuts down the choice structure and suddenly choosing second is a losing proposition.

Now, what's particularly interesting is that a smart coach can prevent the formation of stable equilibria even when not every choice is a good one. Say, for example, that due to relative size and strength, the D can get all up in the middle and shut down the running lanes. Called plays to the outside prevent that from becoming a best strategy for the D.

So, why do I love the spread option? Because when run well there are no choices a defense can make that can't be exploited. That's perfect for Tech for a few reasons. It's a thinking man's game, and if GT is going to be an elite team we have to do it being smarter than the other teams. It's not a viable option and, frankly, I'd rather see us 0fer forever than have a team of Bear Bryant character. In fact, if you watch Dodd football games the position is different, but GT was using the same strategic choices to put opponents in a bind.

Second, it needs competent players but not superstars to succeed. The payoff comes from strategic mismatch, not raw talent mismatch. Sure, we'd be a brilliant team if we had a NFL hall of famer quarterback. We'd also never lose if our center was an enraged black bear whose cubs are just behind the opposing goal post. It's a lot more likely given our constraints that we can pick up a QB who can throw consistently 10-15 yard passes. If every choice in the game trees discussed can pick up 4 yards, we can start gaining 10 or more because of the nature of the strategic game.

This is where I really don't get people who want CPJ's head on a pike and a passing mix offense. I sure as heck get the frustration when the QB can't make the read or the O Line can't set up the mismatch, or, going back, we can't make a wide open pass 15 yards down the field. But I see improvements steadily in all these areas. Why would you want to switch to a scheme that requires more talent to be effective than the spread option? The Institute can do better at recruiting than we are now, but I see nothing in 100 years at Grant Field that says we can be elite in THAT game.
 

SoCal_GT_Fan

Jolly Good Fellow
Messages
250
Location
Orange County
What's the first thing defenses have to stop with the 3-O? The B-back dive. Why? Because with the 3-O, the first option is to test the GUT of the defense. If you can't take that punch in the gut, game over.
 

dressedcheeseside

Helluva Engineer
Messages
13,673
I think my favorite thing about the spread option is that it pushes the opponents into making strategic decisions and creates an enormous complexity of strategies on several levels. I see several subgames being played within the offense game:

The option/alignment mismatch. This subgame is generally the most discussed because it forms the basis of a TO OFF. Heck, every Bro who plays NCAA on XBox knows the position game here. There's a numerical advantage, so the QB can force a series of two strategic commitments (which we tend to call reads.) With perfect play, this is a game that the person who chooses second always wins because of the number of choices. Either the dive or keep can be covered, and the QB gets to pick the one the defender doesn't. Same with the pitch read. That's a pretty good subgame to play.

The next subgame is the safety position. With a well executed option subgame, many teams are tempted to negate the numerical advantage at the LOS by bringing up the S. I hear this a lot in terms of 'we need to pass to be elite'. Again, the smart thing is that the S position is a strategic commitment by the defense. The better they cover the run, the more vulnerable they are to both the mid and long pass.

Next, there's (what CPJ calls) 'wrinkles'. These are calls that exploit the movement tendencies of the D dealing with the option subgame. There's a lot to write about here, but we've seen a bunch of them regularly this year with Vad, and then a bunch we never saw because of a lack of option game. This is more strategically interesting than pure X's and O's interesting for a reason I'll talk about in a second.

So, why does that make for a good game of football? Let's make it really boring and mathematical (as is meet and seemly for Tech). Let's say you're planning the call- how do you know what mix of strategies to use? You'd assign a payoff (the expected yardage gain- gains weighted by frequency) to each potential strategy. This means the spread option must have a strong team all around because if one strategy is much less effective than the others- say the pitch only has an expected payoff of 1.25 yards- the defense knows you can't rely on it and will start ignoring the pitch. That shuts down the choice structure and suddenly choosing second is a losing proposition.

Now, what's particularly interesting is that a smart coach can prevent the formation of stable equilibria even when not every choice is a good one. Say, for example, that due to relative size and strength, the D can get all up in the middle and shut down the running lanes. Called plays to the outside prevent that from becoming a best strategy for the D.

So, why do I love the spread option? Because when run well there are no choices a defense can make that can't be exploited. That's perfect for Tech for a few reasons. It's a thinking man's game, and if GT is going to be an elite team we have to do it being smarter than the other teams. It's not a viable option and, frankly, I'd rather see us 0fer forever than have a team of Bear Bryant character. In fact, if you watch Dodd football games the position is different, but GT was using the same strategic choices to put opponents in a bind.

Second, it needs competent players but not superstars to succeed. The payoff comes from strategic mismatch, not raw talent mismatch. Sure, we'd be a brilliant team if we had a NFL hall of famer quarterback. We'd also never lose if our center was an enraged black bear whose cubs are just behind the opposing goal post. It's a lot more likely given our constraints that we can pick up a QB who can throw consistently 10-15 yard passes. If every choice in the game trees discussed can pick up 4 yards, we can start gaining 10 or more because of the nature of the strategic game.

This is where I really don't get people who want CPJ's head on a pike and a passing mix offense. I sure as heck get the frustration when the QB can't make the read or the O Line can't set up the mismatch, or, going back, we can't make a wide open pass 15 yards down the field. But I see improvements steadily in all these areas. Why would you want to switch to a scheme that requires more talent to be effective than the spread option? The Institute can do better at recruiting than we are now, but I see nothing in 100 years at Grant Field that says we can be elite in THAT game.
I really like this offense and your analysis, but there's a limit to what can be accomplished when your overmatched. It doesn't matter how well practiced and disciplined you are, if you are knocked on your butt, you can't execute. The simple fact is physical mismatches cause execution problems, especially on the LOS.

Another thing while I'm playing devil's advocate ( or Atl1's avocate ;)), our offense seems to require positive yardage plays on every down or it faulters. It's not really designed for big chunks when the D knows that's what you need. Yes, it's known for big chunks, but they usually occur when we're not behind the sticks. Teams used this against us this year and made us play flawless offense in order to score. As we all know, nobody plays flawlessly, especially not us.
 

IEEEWreck

Ramblin' Wreck
Messages
587
The physical mismatch thing is just fundamentally true. What's neat is that our scheme allows us to seek effective players in recruits that other schools don't value as highly. That's a strong advantage given the reality of Georgia Tech. In fact, I'd say that as time has gone on we've had to trade less and less in terms of beef for speed in a bunch of positions.

As for negative yardage, that's true, but I'm not sure the extent to which it isn't just true generally. If we had a big ole stat database, we could find our yards given negative yardage vs. the rest of the country. From a strategic point of view, that's a problem exacerbated greatly by Vad's performance. We weren't running a spread option and our ground game did not have a significant risk of big fat gains against good opponents, so they can say when GT is third and long, cover the pass. 3 yards and a cloud of dust is what happens when we aren't exploiting mismatches.
 
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