User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
GT's Thomas plans to run triple-option

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Tech starting quarterback Justin Thomas is planning to lead an attack that emphasizes the Yellow Jackets' traditional strength.

Advertisement
That means Thomas can expect to line up under center, instead of in shotgun formations, which coach Paul Johnson says distracted the offense last year. And it means the triple-option is back.

Thomas is the heavy favorite to take over for Vad Lee, who transferred to James Madison. Johnson, best known for sticking to the run in his spread-option offense, says Thomas and backup Tim Byerly each have the skills to bring the triple-option back to a prominent role.

In an attempt to utilize Lee's strengths as a passer and runner, Georgia Tech unveiled a new diamond formation last season. Lee lined up in the shotgun with all the running backs in the backfield. Normally in the spread option, two A-backs are spread out and only a B-back lines up behind the quarterback.

The diamond formation was only an experiment, but Johnson now says he should have focused on his normal package.

''We got away from the system a little bit a year ago and we want to try to get back more to it,'' Johnson said Saturday following the Yellow Jackets' third preseason practice.

''We've got to be better at what we do. Last year we weren't very good at running the triple-option. We didn't run the ball very much in the triple. We had to find ways to move the ball because we weren't good at it. What I want to do is get back to where we're better at that, so things come off that. That's the way the offense was built.''

Thomas is small - 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds - but very fast and could be a big-play threat with his runs out of the option in his first season as a starter. He played in 10 games in a backup role in 2013 and ran for 234 yards and two touchdowns on only 33 carries.

Johnson said Thomas has a solid hold on the starting job and Byerly is firm as the No. 2 quarterback.

Thomas said he can't assume he has won the job.

''There is always something to prove,'' Thomas said. ''I haven't started a game yet. I still have to come in, prepare and keep myself ready and motivated like it's a game situation every day.''

Both quarterbacks say they have the back-to-basics message from Johnson. They say more proof has come in the first three practices.

''I think it's very evident,'' Byerly said. ''We're not a shotgun team. Let's get under center. Let's run the triple and that's it.''

Georgia Tech's 203 passes in 2013 set a high mark for Johnson's six seasons as coach. The Yellow Jackets completed only 92 passes, for a disappointing 45.3 percent.

Meanwhile, Georgia Tech's 713 rushing attempts in 2013 were down from 808 in 2012. It was still a big number for almost every other program in the nation, but it was the Yellow Jackets' fewest since Johnson's first season.

''Still people (say) we need to throw it more,'' Johnson said. ''No. We need to complete it more and have a higher percentage and be in situations so that when we throw it, it works.''

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Marshall: 2017 College Hot Seat
BetOnline.ag: Tide made 2017 favorite
Manning, Haslam help in Vols AD search
Teen due in court for player slaying
Vols promote Scott, hire Canales
Off campus practices shut down
NC State hires former Wisconsin DB
SDSU's Long gets 5-year extension
Colorado brings in D.J. Eliot as DC
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2016 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Rickenbach + 2051
Joe Williams + 1909
Pat Hawkins + 1752
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Greg Smith + 400
Joe Nelson + 385
Scott Rickenbach + 380
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 60 %
Scott Rickenbach 59 %
Kyle Hunter 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 1239
Scott Rickenbach + 1082
Kyle Hunter + 1023
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 2485
Kyle Hunter + 2166
NeiltheGreek + 2076
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Vince Akins + 805
Scott Rickenbach + 657
Pat Hawkins + 595
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership