On ‘triple-option Tuesday,’ Georgia Tech readies for Kennesaw State

Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker speaks to the media following a preseason practice on August 24, 2021. (AJC photo by Ken Sugiura)
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Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker speaks to the media following a preseason practice on August 24, 2021. (AJC photo by Ken Sugiura)

Georgia Tech won’t play Kennesaw State until the second game of the season, but preparations for coach Brian Bohannon’s spread-option offense have begun in the Yellow Jackets’ preseason practice. The Owls run a scheme highly similar to the one run by former Tech coach Paul Johnson, for whom Bohannon coached at Georgia Southern, Navy and Tech.

“We did it the last two Tuesdays of (preseason) camp,” Thacker said Tuesday. ‘We planned this all the way back in February.”

Thacker dubbed it “triple-option Tuesday.” This week’s objectives included “block destruction,” or defeating the cut blocks that are common to the offense, and the installation of four defenses to run against the Owls, who have finished in the top three in the FCS in rushing yards per game for the past five seasons.

“So now when we get to Kennesaw State week, we’ve got some stuff on film of how we would fit things and how we would present that defense,” said Thacker, who knows Bohannon well, having coached linebackers at Kennesaw State for him in 2016.

During Johnson’s tenure, it was common for Tech opponents to devote time in spring practice and preseason to his offense. Among coach Geoff Collins’ staff, certainly, the Owls won’t be dismissed as an FCS team. Arguably the worst loss of Collins’ Tech tenure was in 2019 to the Citadel, an FCS team that runs an option-style offense similar to Kennesaw State. Tech will begin this week to prepare for Northern Illinois, the Jackets’ opponent in the season opener.

“But we thought it was the right thing (to spend time on Kennesaw State) just because they bring such a different complexity of offense and make sure that we’re prepared when we get to week 2,” Thacker said.

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