Western Carolina already has had just about enough of the triple option.
The Catamounts opened the season at Georgia Tech in a game that saw the Yellow Jackets put up 662 yards of offense and win, 63-21.
Western coach Dennis Wagner knows the principles of defending the option won’t change a whole lot when his Catamounts (1-1) open their Southern Conference schedule Saturday at 6 p.m. in Paulson Stadium against No. 1 Georgia Southern (2-0, 1-0 SoCon).
“You’ve still got to be responsible for the quarterback, the fullback and the pitch, and that’s the bottom line,” said Wagner.
Western, which saw GSU rush for 277 yards in a 28-6 win in 2010, hasn’t faced the Eagles when they run the option out of the shotgun.
“They’ve got more wrinkles in their offense of course this year than they had last year,” Wagner said, “and of course they got better as the season went on, had a tremendous run there into the playoffs.”
The Eagles aren’t the only team doing new things. The Catamounts changed up their offensive look in the offseason with the addition of the pistol formation.
“They’ve got a different offense than we’ve faced at any point since we’ve been here as a staff. Obviously if presents some challenges,” GSU coach Jeff Monken said. “They scored a lot of points last week against Mars Hill, did a really good job on offense. We’re concerned about their two running backs and their ability to run the football.”
The Catamounts defeated Mars Hill, 52-31, before a bye over the weekend. Freshman running back Shaun Warren scored four times on the way to 203 rushing yards, and Michael Vaughn added 131.
Both teams took last weekend off, and Monken took the time to watch some football and cheer on his old team, Navy, against South Carolina.
“I love being a fan, sure. I love having the DVR to watch the replays,” Monken said. “When Navy converted that fourth-and-long (in the fourth quarter), my wife and I were jumping up and down and high-fiving.”