Honing In

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Whenever Ole Miss coaches Hugh Freeze or DC Dave Wommack are asked about Music City Bowl opponent Georgia Tech, the response eventually gets back to the difficulties of defending the Yellow Jackets' triple option offense.

"When we knew we were going to a bowl game, I was thinking how much I didn't want to play Navy or Georgia Tech," Wommack said. "We just don't see the triple option and instead of being able to spend these 15 bowl practices on stuff we see on a regular basis, we had to spend the whole time on the triple option.

"The good thing is that we were able to have some physical practices and nobody on defense got hurt and our guys learned to play cut blocks better and I believe our tackling improved a bit."

Having said that, Wommack noted the Rebels have prepared hard for the "different" type of attack they will see Monday.

"I feel they are more comfortable now with the work we have put in," said Wommack. "I still think it is a little bit of an advantage for them because they have done thousands and thousands of reps in that offense and we have somewhere around 450 reps working on it.

"But our guys have really taken on all the challenges the triple option presents and I think they will defend it well. They have really taken the bull by the horns in terms of getting ready for it."

Wommack was the Georgia Tech defensive coordinator in 2008 and 2009. In '09, the Yellow Jackets won the ACC championship.

Dave Wommack
File Photo

Wommack has familiarity with Coach Paul Johnson's offense, but that works both ways.

"It's kind of equals out. He knows what I do and I know what he does," said Wommack. "They've changed things up since I have been there, but the basis of the triple option and the trap option is the same.

"What they are doing now that is different is that they throw more than they used to in terms of their tendencies. It's a bowl game, though, and you can expect anything."

Wommack said he and his staff studied three years of film to try to formulate the right gameplan for Georgia Tech's offense.

"You know, it's a lot different, as I said, than what we usually face, but it's still football. You have to know your assignments and keys, you have to have your eyes in the right place and you have to tackle," he continued. "I'm comfortable we have a good gameplan in place and our kids are prepared for what they will see.

"You have to be very sound. Number one, you have to take the dive away. Then the QB and then the pitch man. I know that sounds simple, but it really is not a complicated offense. Do those things and you give yourself a chance to be successful."

All-American Safety Cody Prewitt did not practice in Oxford because of a broken nose, but he has practiced full speed in Nashville and will be ready for the game. Ditto on DT Woodrow Hamilton, who has a lower back issue but took a nerve blocking shot that seems to have helped.

"I think both of them are ready to go," said Wommack. "We will play more people than we usually do because there is so much running to it and it's such a physical style.

"Our front guys are used to man-to-man combat, but this will be different because these guys scramble block and cut block and play very low. We have worked very hard on all of that."

Wommack wouldn't have picked Georgia Tech as an opponent in the Music City Bowl if he had the choice, but when all is said and done, he's OK with it now.

"The way the kids have responded to preparing for their offense has made me feel a whole lot better," he closed. "I think we are ready for the challenge."

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