The Orange will hit the road again this weekend to face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for their third ACC game of the season. Coming off a 24-10 victory against NC State last weekend, coach Scott Shafer is now preparing his defense for Georgia Techâ??s option offense.
â??Theyâ??re going to force the defense to get eight, nine, men up there to stop the great option football that they know how to run better than anyone Iâ??ve seen on tape,â?? said Shafer. â??We need to do a great job of not only preparing for that, but also doing a great job with our eyes in the secondary.â??
Keeping the eyes on the secondary is something that he is stressing to his defensive team because he says that even though there are some indicators that can give them a run or pass key, it can be a challenge for players in the secondary to interpret where the ball is going. The initial challenge of the triple option though, is stopping it at the point of attack.
â??Coach always tells us the most important body part you have are your eyes, but although they are the most important body part, they get you in the most trouble because they deceive you all the time,â?? said defensive tackle Jay Bromley. â??Your eyes get too big and you're looking at two things at one time, or you're looking at something you're not supposed to, or all the sudden you have the dive man and you see the dive man getting the ball but you go for the quarterback because you think he took it.â??
This is a situation that Coach Shafer is trying to avoid by pushing the defense this week to really focus on their role out on the field.
â??Option football is about tackling all three guys that could get the football,â?? said Shafer. â??So we have to be extremely sound in who you have and finish your job.â??
While Shafer prepares his defense to take on the Yellow Jacket offense, Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson is interested to see how the aggressive blitzing style defense of Syracuse will play on Saturday given their little experience against an option offensive team.
â??Sometimes what we do offensively limits people that way,â?? said Johnson. â??You can give up a lot of big plays if you get caught in certain blitzes against the option, but I donâ??t think theyâ??ll change their identity.â??
Kickoff with the Orange and Yellow Jackets is set for 12:30 at the Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, GA.
For everything SU football, watch The Orange Zone on Thursday night at 7pm on the CW6.