Today, we're talking expectations for the Georgia Tech A-back and B-backs. Join us in the discussion as we count down the days until kickoff against Western Carolina (29).What should the fans expect from our running game?
Talk to anyone ranging from the casual sports fan to the talking head and you'll hear something about how the 2010 football season was proof that the defenses "found the blueprint" for Georgia Tech's triple option attack. Briefly take a moment to gather your thoughts, take a deep breath, and laugh.
Here's why the offense didn't fail us like one may initially think back in 2010. Here's why we should continue to expect quality production on offense.
If we go by offensive numbers alone, we see improvement from 2008. If we made predictions on the outcome of the 2010 season would you guess 6-7? Probably not.
You have to hand it to offenses like the Flexbone: even when they're not very good, they know who they are. With Johnson, Georgia Tech is going to run, run, run and run; they're going to play at a high pace (not Oregon-high, but high), they're going to pound away with that option, and occasionally they're going to go deep.
We saw a lot of fumbles last year and it was unacceptable seeing so many come from veteran players. GTNate graphed the numbers historically and illustrated that CPJ's teams are all over the place. Springboarding off our conversation about expectations yesterday, we have to expect our A-backs to improve. Expect psychological motivation.
Looking forward, we'll see many of those same A-backs back for redemption. Orwin Smith, Roddy Jones, and Embry Peeples played in all 13 games last year and accounted for 88% of the A-back carries and 86% of the yards accumulated. With younger players expected to pick it up as well, Yellow Jacket fans should be confident in the A-back position.
The last time the Yellow Jackets did not have a running back run for over 1300 yards was back in 2005 when PJ Daniels and Tashard Choice shared the ball due to Daniels getting injured. Since that time we have spanned two coaches and their vastly different systems with productive running backs. So why should we expect anything else?
We knew the order of succession with Jonathan Dwyer and Anthony Allen. Now with Allen gone, we aren't so sure who will get the ball or how it will be distributed. In 2010, Allen touched the ball 26% of the time and in 32% of the running plays. Jon Dwyer had similar numbers (24% overall, 29% of running plays). The one who assumes the B-back position must be ready to load up on carries and responsibility.
Is the winning formula:
Washington + Lyons --> TD?
Days + Perkins --> 2Fumble?
Or some other equation? Question marks hang over the B-back position and only speculation and come out of this debate.