North Carolina

UNC's new scheme prepares for GT with same approach

Posted November 6, 2012

— While Larry Fedora and his 4-2-5 defense will encounter Paul Johnson’s multifaceted offense for the first time on Saturday, don’t expect many schematic changes from what the Tar Heels have applied in the past.

Let’s get one misconception cleared up before proceeding any further – it would be incorrect to label Johnson’s ground-heavy scheme as a basic triple-option look.
"[The triple option] is one play,” Johnson said early in his tenure at Georgia Tech. “We run that play maybe twenty percent of the time. Depending on the game, sometimes less than that. It would be just like calling the I-formation a sprint draw offense."

Johnson started implementing option concepts during his time at Georgia Southern and as teams slowly caught on to his schemes, he would add different variations of other offenses to supplement his playbook. Georgia Tech employs a variety of reads, pitches and traps, as well as taking advantage of stacked boxes with play-action passes, to confuse defenses.

Butch Davis’s 4-3 pro-style defense struggled to contain Johnson’s offense outside of a decisive 28-7 victory in 2008, prompting questions as to whether or not Fedora’s new 4-2-5 look would provide a better method of attack.

According to UNC defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, the differences in the defensive scheme are negated by the sole focus in defending Georgia Tech – discipline.

“I don’t think there’s a difference because at the end of the day, everybody has an assignment,” Williams said on Monday. “If one guy misses an assignment, it’s a touchdown.” North Carolina Logo More UNC Stories

Even the comments by Fedora and his predecessor are eerily similar. Compare this quotes from Fedora on Monday and Davis in 2009:

Fedora: "It‘s assignment discipline.”

Davis: “You better be disciplined.”

Fedora: “You have got to know your job and you've got to do your job and you don't worry about doing somebody else's job. You just do your job.”

Davis: “Guys have to read their keys and have to know exactly what their responsibilities are, because they will make you pay big time if you’re out of position.”

Fedora: “It sounds easier than it is, I can assure you, because it's hard to duplicate the speed of a game in practice.”

Davis: “One of the things that you have to caution your own team about is the speed at which we’re going to be able to execute it in practice will nowhere near match the speed at which they execute it.”

Fedora, however, has experience on his side, at least in terms of exposure to a similar style of offense. The first-year UNC head coach spent two years at Air Force coaching wide receivers in Fisher DeBerry’s triple-option offense.

That knowledge is not easily transferred to players, though, as evidenced by Navy – Johnson’s former team – churning out 421 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns against Fedora’s Southern Miss squad last season. The Golden Eagles won 63-35, thanks in part to holding Navy scoreless on its first two trips into the red zone.

The triple-option aspect of Johnson’s offense gets the bulk of attention due to its uniqueness and complexity through three potential run options on any given play. Defenses must first stop the dive play, followed by the quarterback, then the pitch.

Toss in some play-action and UNC’s miscue-ridden secondary will have to play flawless to prevent easy touchdowns. Last season in Atlanta, UNC safety Brian Gupton was late rolling over the top to cover Yellow Jacket wide receiver Stephen Hill, who strolled into the end zone for a 59-yard score. Hill dropped a wide-open touchdown pass in the same exact scenario later in the fourth quarter.

That doesn’t bode well for a Tar Heel secondary that allowed a pair of N.C. State touchdown passes – including one for 83 yards on 3rd-and-23 – after glaring busted coverages.

“They have to be very disciplined with their assignments,” Fedora said of his defense. “You just can’t totally commit to the run, because the next thing you know, you do that and they play-action you and they throw it over your head.”

North Carolina has been effective this season in defending the run (111.0 ypg, 19th nationally), while Georgia Tech hasn’t been as explosive as it has in recent years. The Yellow Jackets still rank fourth nationally in rushing offense (318.2 ypg) and 33rd in scoring offense (34.9 ppg).

“If you do your assignment, if everybody does their job, you can stop this offense,” Williams said. “If everybody is aggressive, does their job and plays physical and smart, I feel like you can stop this offense because this offense has a lot of flaws in it.”

Those flaws, of course, arrive in the form of fumbles due to a variety of pitches the quarterback is required to make. The Yellow Jackets have 21 fumbles through nine games, losing 10.

26 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • StunGunn Nov 8, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Hokie,I knew VT had better numbers against Miami, but I didn't know that was the case against CLemson as well until you posted them in another thread. I hope Thomas brings it against FSU, because he has the skills and talent.

  • VT1994Hokie Nov 7, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Thanks JGunn. We had more offense yardage than Clemson and Miami. TO's ruined most of our season. The Hokies go if Thomas plays well. He needs a strong start to build some confidence.

  • Obamacare lives on Nov 7, 2012

    I should also add I'm high as a kite right now. God Bless America!! What a glorious day!!

  • wjuliang Nov 7, 2012

    View quoted thread


    You'd have to be drunk to celebrate that.
    Please help Cali leave the US.

  • Obamacare lives on Nov 7, 2012

    Hells yeah!!! I'm drunk and celebrating Obama's victory!! Woooohoooo!!!!

  • carolinaprideamplified Nov 7, 2012

    View quoted thread



    Yes..the linebackers will be key...plus in 4-2-5 they have the ability to morph from a 4-3 look to a 3-4 look with the same personnel. So that "rover" safety will in most cases be the free runner and has to be solid and make sure tackles if the guys up front can't shed blocks to make tackles. This was the problem we saw with the Duke game with gap responsibility on cutbacks/counters although GT runs a more downhill style on the dive and lead plays. Looks like they solved it against NCState but if not there will be big gains as stated earlier.

  • StunGunn Nov 7, 2012

    View quoted thread


    I don't blame you for being frustrated with VT this season. I don't think I've ever seen Beamer, and especially Foster as angry as they were during the Miami game. Foster was fuming. I believe VT has enough talent, and certainly coaching to give FSU a run for their money. Hope your guys pull out the win!

  • uBnice Nov 7, 2012

    Defensively I think the key for UNC will be the two inside linebackers. I think the defensive linemen will hold their own. The two inside linebackers have been the victims of bad coaching schemes and maybe athleticism. Much like in the NCSU game, they will have to blitz GT because the linebackers are much better when they are on the move (run blitz here).

  • VT1994Hokie Nov 6, 2012

    View quoted thread


    I think that you're right about the defense being toned for GT's Offense. It takes patience and concentration to play defense like UNC in practice with the fast pace. The main thing is for the defense to stay at home and play their reads and keys to stop the option like GT runs it. When the QB pulls it...he can burn you with runs and passes.

    I haven't seen them play since VT. Johnson is the best in the land with his tri-option-spread. They don't have the talent like previous years. They will test UNC's secondary. Good luck.

    If Logan Thomas can have one (1) solid game without all of his huge azzz TO's, we could give FSU a test on Thursday night. VT doesn't have any leadership on the field like previous years. 7 TO's against Clemson and Miami. I wish that Frank had set Thomas on the bench about 4-5 weeks ago. Our back-up couldn't have done much worse. I'm ticked.

  • StunGunn Nov 6, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Totally agree about the UNC secondary. I think Carolina's defense - which has had to practice all season against the hurry up offense - will be more experienced and better equiped to defend GT's offense than Butch's teams. At least that's what I'm hoping!

More...

 

 

TV
  • CFB: Oklahoma State at Baylor

    Tonight at 7:30 on WRAL-TV

  • The Logan Zone

    Tomorrow at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Minnesota

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: The Tour Championship

    Tomorrow at 1:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL Chicago at Dallas

    Tomorrow at 8:20 pm on WRAL-TV

AP Top 25
Thu, Sept 22
5
26Final
7
Fri, Sept 23
27Final
24
31
Sat, Sept 24
0Final
1
48
 
11
30Final
8
6
 
12
14Final
23
45
 
13
55Final
35
 
03:28
2nd
4
21
 
19
205:12
2nd
14
0
 
18
3:00 PT4:00 MT5:00 CT6:00 ET10:00 GMT6:00 北京时间3:00 MST5:00 EST
Preview
 
6
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
Preview
 
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
16
 
20
4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET11:30 GMT7:30 北京时间4:30 MST6:30 EST
Preview
 
3
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
 
7
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
 
17
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST
Preview
10
 
9
7:30 PT8:30 MT9:30 CT10:30 ET2:30 GMT10:30 北京时间7:30 MST9:30 EST
Preview
 
NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 22
Houston0Final
New England27
Sunday, Sep. 25
Arizona 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Buffalo 
 
Minnesota 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Carolina 
 
Denver 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Cincinnati 
 
Detroit 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Green Bay 
 
Baltimore 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Jacksonville 
 
Cleveland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Miami 
 
Washington 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
NY Giants 
 
Oakland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Tennessee 
 
San Francisco 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 北京时间1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ET19:05
Seattle 
 
Los Angeles 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 北京时间1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ET19:05
Tampa Bay 
 
San Diego 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
Indianapolis 
 
NY Jets 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
Kansas City 
 
Pittsburgh 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
Philadelphia 
 
Chicago 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
Dallas 
Monday, Sep. 26
Atlanta 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
New Orleans 
 
MLB Scoreboard
Interleague
Arizona04:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Baltimore0
American League
Kansas City7Final
Detroit4
 
Texas2Bot
3rd
Oakland0
 
NY Yankees0Top
4th
Toronto0
 
Boston03:10 PT4:10 MT5:10 CT6:10 ET18:10 ET22:10 GMT6:10 3:10 MST5:10 EST5:40 VEN2:10 UAE (+1)5:10 CT
Preview
Tampa Bay0
 
Chi White Sox04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Cleveland0
 
Seattle04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Minnesota0
 
LA Angels04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Houston0
National League
St. Louis10Final
Chi Cubs4
 
Washington04:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET19:05 ET23:05 GMT7:05 4:05 MST6:05 EST6:35 VEN3:05 UAE (+1)6:05 CT
Preview
Pittsburgh0
 
Cincinnati04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Milwaukee0
 
Philadelphia04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
NY Mets0
 
Atlanta04:10 PT5:10 MT6:10 CT7:10 ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 MST6:10 EST6:40 VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 CT
Preview
Miami0
 
San Francisco 5:40 PT6:40 MT7:40 CT8:40 ET20:40 ET0:40 GMT8:40 5:40 MST7:40 EST8:10 VEN4:40 UAE (+1)7:40 CT
Preview
San Diego 
 
Colorado 6:10 PT7:10 MT8:10 CT9:10 ET21:10 ET1:10 GMT9:10 6:10 MST8:10 EST8:40 VEN5:10 UAE (+1)8:10 CT
Preview
LA Dodgers 
 
Minor League Baseball
International League
El Paso 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 
 
ATP Scoreboard
Saturday, Sep. 24
St. Petersburg Open (ATP)
Semifinals
(3) T. Berdych4 4    
(5) A. Zverev6 6    
(1) S. Wawrinka710 6    
(4) R. Bautista A68 2    
 
Moselle Open (ATP)
Semifinals
(1) D. Thiem4 7 6   
(4) G. Simon6 5 3   
(2) D. Goffin66 1    
(3) L. Pouille78 6    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Saturday, Sep. 24
Korea Open (WTA)
Semifinals
(3) S. Zhang0 4    
(5) M. Niculescu6 6    
 
Guangzhou Women's Open (WTA)
Final
(2) J. Jankovic4 6 4   
L. Tsurenko6 3 6   
 
Toray Pan Pacific Open (WTA)
Semifinals
E. Svitolina6 3 2   
N. Osaka1 6 6