Trying to Stop the Option

ATHENS - There will be plenty of talk this week by Georgia about stopping Georgia Tech’s triple option attack.

Just like last year when Georgia Tech passed for 232 yards and two touchdowns against a suspect Bulldogs secondary.

That was with Vad Lee at quarterback. Now the Yellow Jackets have Justin Thomas, called the best passer that Paul Johnson has had in seven seasons on the Flats.

Georgia cornerback Damian Swann isn’t overly concerned about how the Bulldogs’ defensive backs will hold up in a game when it will be counted on in run support.

“We’ve done OK in one-on-one matchups all year,” Swann said. “That’s not what we’re worried about. If that’s what they want to do, I’m pretty sure we’re prepared for it. We’ve been seeing that all year.”

Thomas, a redshirt sophomore, has thrown for 15 touchdown passes and 1,396 yards in 145 attempts.

 “It seems like they’re throwing the ball a little bit more with this guy,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “He’s got a very live arm. He’s got some receivers that have done a very good job of catching the ball this year. They’re still kind of running their thing and he seems to run extremely well, but very fast, very agile, very strong arm.”

After throwing for 234 yards and three touchdowns in a 48-43 loss at North Carolina, Johnson said last month of Thomas:  “I think he's got a good skill set for what we want to do. We

don't throw the ball a lot. Most of the time we do throw it, it's off play action, and we've been

fortunate to hit some big plays. He's got a couple of pretty good receivers out there that are big

targets that, if you throw it close to them, they do a pretty good job of going to get it.”

DeAndre Smelter (6-3, 222) has 32 catches for 671 yards and seven touchdown. Darren Waller (6-5, 241) has 15 receptions for 248 yards and three touchdowns.

“It used to be most of their shots were deep, but I see a lot more versatility in their passing game,” Richt said. “They are big, physical receivers, got strong hands. Absolutely can run by you as well.”

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