Georgia Tech Football: 5 reasons the option is running on empty

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Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

If you follow Georgia Tech (or service academy) football at all, you’ll probably see a few-thousand posts on the web about whether or not the option is a viable offense to use in Division 1 competition.

By the time the season is into its second or third week, that number will have increased ten-fold.

So why not add to the madness? It’s clear that the topic is always up for debate, so…we’ll debate.

Keep in mind, this isn’t meant to be an indictment of Paul Johnson, or of his offense. He truly believes in his offense, and for the most part it does have its successes. But when you get down to brass tacks, it might be time for him to show some flexibility and become a little less apt to dig in his heels.

If you look at the scheme of an option-based offense on paper, it looks glorious – almost foolproof. The X’s and O’s seem to translate into a huge advantage for the offense, and could be even better than all the graphics and squiggles indicate, depending on the speed and field-savvy of the guy actually running the ball.

But as is often said, games aren’t played on paper, and X’s and O’s don’t generally accurately represent the skills of a man you will be facing in the trenches.

Of course there are endless variants of the option, some of them more balanced than others, but for purposes of this discussion we are focused on the type of run-option offense employed by Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech.

With all this in mind, here’s five reason why the option offense — not just Paul Johnson’s — is more of a gimmick and will only give a team limited success against certain opponents. Let the debunking of myth-debunking begin.

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