The key to controlling Georgia Tech’s option — or most any option really — is to handle the fullback dive.
Georgia did a decent job of that in the first half on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets were limited to 119 yards rushing in the first two quarters. Tech’s B-backs, which is what they call the center up-back in the double-winged backfield formation, accounted for just 53 of those yards on 13 carries.
But that all changed in the second half. The Jackets began to gash the middle of the Bulldogs’ defense with B-backs Synjyn Days and Zach Laskey. They did the majority of work in accounting for Saturday’s 399 rushing yards, 280 of which came after intermission.
Laskey finished with 140 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries. Days had 16 for 95 yards. Between them they loss one yard.
“I’m not sure what was going on there; I can’t really say,” defensive tackle Ray Drew said. “There’s still a lot running through my mind. There’s a lot to take in. We’ll learn more about that when we look at the film.”
Georgia coach Mark Richt didn’t need to look at the video to know the primary reason the dive started working.
“It was not rocket science,” Richt said. “It was just (Tech’s) guys coming off the ball. … They just kept hammering it and we weren’t doing a good job of knocking them back. But I thought our defense played pretty darn good, good enough to win.”
It was certainly a busy night for the Bulldogs’ inside linebackers. Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson finished with 19 tackles each. Defensive back Damian Swann had 10 and Drew had nine as Tech ran the ball 70 times on 86 plays.
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