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Georgia Tech's Thomas plans to run triple-option

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 2, 2014 at 4:15 pm •  Published: August 2, 2014
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ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Tech starting quarterback Justin Thomas is planning to lead an attack that emphasizes the Yellow Jackets' traditional strength.

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."

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