Georgia Tech tries extensive use of no-huddle offense

Georgia Tech used a no-huddle offense extensively throughout its 35-21 loss to Miami on Saturday at Bobby Dodd Stadium. It was the most the team has used that system this season.

Plays were relayed from coach Paul Johnson to either graduate assistant Tevin Washington or A-backs coach Lamar Owens, who signalled the play to quarterback Justin Thomas.

“I was going to do it and take some of the onus off the quarterback and make sure we got into the right play,” Tech coach Paul Johnson said. “We’ve done it before and that’s why we did it.”

Instead of it speeding up the pace of the game, it slowed the game down because after lining up, Tech would let the snap clock get close to zero before snapping the ball. As a result, Georgia Tech’s time of possession was 39:54, a season high. Tech’s previous high this season was 30:18 set in wins over Boston College and Mercer. The Yellow Jackets also ran a season-high 77 plays. Its previous high was 63 plays, set against Vanderbilt.

“We played the way we needed to play to win the game,” Johnson said. “That’s what we need to do, but we need to finish drives and get points.”

Thomas said no-huddle vs. huddle didn’t matter to him. He said either works if the team will improve how it executes the offense.

It wasn’t the only out-of-character change for Tech’s offense in the game. After winning the coin toss, instead of deferring to the second half as he normally does, Johnson elected to receive the kickoff to start the game.

“We’d had a pretty good week offensively and I wanted to see if we could take the ball and score,” Johnson said.

Tech didn’t score, but Miami did when it got the ball. It’s the fourth consecutive week that has happened.

“You saw what they were doing on offense, how they controlled the ball and took every second off the clock between plays,” Miami coach Mark Richt said. “It’s so true that you better maximize your opportunities when you can, or you better get a turnover, or you better find a way to score on special teams.”

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