Option gives Chavis pause

An old saying suggests that ''You can't change horses in the middle of a stream,'' but that's precisely what the Duke Blue Devils have done this football season.

Duke, Tennessee's opponent in Saturday's 4 p.m. Homecoming Game, changed coaches and offensive philosophies seven games into the 2003 season. Ted Roof replaced Carl Franks as head man and the option series has suddenly become a staple of the offense

''They put in the option last week against N.C. State and ran 17 plays -- different variations of the option,'' Vol defensive coordinator John Chavis said this week.

The option worked, too.

As Chavis noted: ''They had around 220 rushing yards againt N.C. State, which is a good defensive football team.''

Duke's favorite formation is a shotgun set with one back. Since Roof took the reins, however, the Blue Devils have begun shifting around a lot, sometimes switching from a one-back set to a three-back (or full house) set prior to the snap from center.

''They do a lot of the same things we saw from Florida and South Carolina ... and then you mix in the option,'' Chavis said. ''You've got to figure they'll have some play-action passes and some things off of that to complement that.

''They've moved the ball on everybody they've played, including Florida State, which is one of the best defenses in the country. So, you've got to prepare for what they do well, and the things you THINK they'll do.''


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