Georgia Tech Football: Time to Add Wishbone to Offense
Paul Johnson has done a great job of integrating the flexbone option offense into FBS college football.
However, he has fallen short by not winning a single bowl game in four years.
How can he change this sad reality?
Well, he can integrate the wishbone into his option-based offense and exploit the short prep time teams have.
Paul Johnson arrived at Georgia Tech in 2008 and hit the ground running, literally.
In his first two years, he won the division and the conference and lead the Yellow Jackets to a birth in the Orange Bowl.
However, he has yet to win a bowl game of any kind and has only beaten in-state rival Georgia once. He has acquired 34 wins in his four years, giving him 8.5 wins a year and only one year with a losing record.
Georgia Tech has yet to have a top 25 recruiting class under Johnson. It's last such class came in 2007, the year before Johnson's arrival. That class had some of the stalwarts that helped Johnson reach that Orange Bowl.
This year, Johnson stole former Alabama recruit Justin Thomas once he was told that he would not be able to play quarterback in college. This is a big playmaker that Johnson needs to nurture and not thrust him into action right away.
Why the Wishbone?
Barry Switzer, the architect of the wishbone, rode this option offense to three National Championships and domination of the old Big Eight Conference.
He also set multiple records that have not been broken.
While Paul Johnson may not be Barry Switzer—but who is?—this new formation could help the Yellow Jackets keep multiple running backs on the field.
As seen in the picture above and in this video, Georgia Tech needs to lighten the load for its quarterback in terms of the hits he takes.
While it is his job to take out the pitch man, quarterbacks are not conditioned like running backs or fullbacks in addition to the blindside hits he takes in passing situations. A quarterback in this type of option offense should be one of the least hit of the ball carriers, due to the fact that he touches the ball on every play.
The wishbone would give running backs some pro style running plays, such as dives, powers and sweeps. That might be an additional selling point for recruits who hope to play at the professional level.
It would also help set up some play-action passes for the quarterback to throw deep down field, which Tech loves to do with its big wide receivers.
The Yellow Jackets need a spark to finally win a bowl game and to clinch another ACC title.
The wishbone may be the thing to "win the day" for the Yellow Jackets. A team with that running talent needs every advantage to keep an edge on the oppenent.