Stopping the Triple Option

It almost seems surreal that, given Virginia Tech's long standing rivalries with Miami and UVA, that over the last 5 years the ACC game which has caused many Hokies the greatest worry has been the Ramblin Wreck of Georgia Tech. Paul Johnson has successfully been able to implement a true flexbone offense in a BCS Conference, and despite a clear drop in his offensive recruiting talent, Johnson has been able to adapt his lesser athletes into a system that works.

A moment of full disclosure, I am a football purist. I believe in the fundamentals, and the premise that repetition and technique can make up for a lack of athleticism. This matchup features a Virginia Tech defense that uses a slanting, gap control model which compensates for lesser athletic ability against a Georgia Tech offense which harkens back to the days of Darryl Royal, where the offensive line veer blocks, coming off low and fast the way many of us were taught in high school.

Adventures on Whiskey Lane: Episode One

Adventures on Whiskey Lane. That's right, WE'RE DOING A PODCAST Y'ALL! We're going to be annoyingly cramming kind-of funny jokes and tons of information into your eardrums via the interwebs. Why hasn't this happened already?

I don't know, but Kevin Burke (the Lee Suggs to my Kevin Jones) and I are here to make it right! Tune in every Wednesday for the entire season as we discuss football, bourbon, football, Shane Beamer, Logan Thomas and other things that (sometimes) have to do with sports. So sit back, hope you enjoy, call us idiots if you disagree with whatever we say, because lord knows someone has to keep us in check. Leave us comments, suggestions and anything we can do to make it better, because we're here for you.

Six Pick: Week One

And we're BACK! College football has returned, and riding sidecar is the Six Pick. For those unfamiliar, I pick the six TV games that interest me the most each week. I write a bit about each and then I pick the outcome against the spread. The readers are encouraged to discuss the games and pick the outcomes as well in the comment section. We'll do a weekly running tally and the winner at the end of championship week gets to name Joe's first born kid or a night of drinking at Whitlow's on the TKP staff. Now that the formalities are over, let's get it on!

The 8 month offseason is officially over and week 1 is upon us. Checking out old favorites, the new faces, the scheme tweaks and the coaching overhauls, gives me that teenage crush feeling without the braces and awkward stares. Optimism is high at every school, unless in the unlikely event you are Terrapins football fan. There are so many questions that are to be answered in the next four months:

Q&A with From The Rumble Seat

Editor's note: Brian did a Q&A with our Georgia Tech friends at From the Rumble Seat. You can read Brian's answers on their site. LilBroey700's answers to Brian's questions are below. -- Joe

TKP: One big knock on the Paul Johnson era (other than the crew neck sweat shirts and hiring Al Groh) has been the team’s lack of performance in games where the defense has had time to prepare for the triple option (primarily in bowl games, where they’re winless). Does that worry you, as Bud Foster has had months to prepare his guys for the triple option?

Counter Option from the Pistol

While the veer option is the bread and butter play of every option based pistol offense, adding effective counters provide big play potential and force the defense to consider additional options when defending the base play.

In both fall scrimmages, the Hokies first team offense has had great success running a counter option, as both Martin Scales and Logan Thomas had long runs on the play. The play pressures the defense at four different points which causes the defenders to sit back, read the play rather than aggressively attack, and be pulled out of position. Let's watch the play on video first.

Now, let's break down the play.

Pre-Snap

The Hokies line up with a tight end right, a flanker (who could be a receiver or J.C. Coleman) about 7 yards wide, and a split end left. In the backfield, Logan Thomas is in the pistol, with Michael Holmes behind him and Joey Phillips to his right. It looks almost like a power I, but without a quarterback.

Upon Logan's signal, Phillips will flex from his fullback position to an H back position, one yard behind the tight end, with the inside foot even with the tight end's outside foot. When Phillips gets set, the flanker will then rocket motion with an aiming point of one yard behind the tailback. The snap should come as the flanker gets even with the fullback.

2012 Staff Predictions

We picked the outcome for each game, as well as, a confidence of win percentage. Basically we assigned the percentage chance (0-100%) of Tech winning a given game, and then derived our expected wins for the season by adding up the confidences and dividing by 100.

Some commentary follows the table after the jump. Feel free to agree or disagree with us, and leave your picks in the comments.

Preseason Practice: Four Notes

No more blue non-contact jersey for D.J. Coles, he's been cleared. From HokieSports.com, "He'll be cleared to participate in Saturday's closed scrimmage, but we fully expect the coaches to hold him out as a precaution." Can he shake off the rust to contribute against Georgia Tech?

According to BeamerBall.com the Hokies will wear, maroon helmets, orange jerseys, white pants, and black sacks against the Bees. Here's what they'll look like thanks to the magic of Clark's uniform builder.

The combination was chosen by the seniors.

Deon Clarke jumped Josh Trimble on the depth cart. Clarke's now the backup Backer. He's extremely talented and the coaches are very high on his potential. As the season goes on, if he can put on more weight he might be able to see the field more. Clarke weighed in at 214, by comparison Edwards (who if not for his injury would be the starter) came to camp at 237.

Gayle didn't practice again Friday, and neither did Tyrel Wilson. J.R. Collins moved to stud, Marshall was the other first-team end. Wilson's injury wasn't specified. Gayle's still being held out as a precaution because of his ankle.

Preseason Practice: Red and USA Shirts

Shane tweeted out this picture of the players relaxing in their lounge during the team's cookout. Please take a minute to locate, and appreciate Andrew Miller's American Flag shirt.

Other relevant football news from the evening, BeamerBall dropped some roster updates. The projected dress squad including redshirts is: 16 seniors, 12 juniors, 22 sophomores, and 20 freshmen.

Joshua Stanford will dress this season (honoring Ricardo Young by wearing #5). Punters A.J. Hughes, Hunter Windmuller, kicker Brooks Abbott, and long snapper Eddie D'Antuono will also dress. Coleman and Edmunds are both, "expected," to dress along with defenders Desmond Frye, Deon Clark, Donaldven Manning, and Donovan Riley. Dressing doesn't guarantee a player will play, or redshirt. A player can redshirt if he hasn't redshirted and hasn't played.

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