Dragons prepare for triple option against Timberwolves

Every once in a while in today’s college football, you’ll see it.

Navy does it. Capital used to do it.Today, Tiffin University will face it.

The 5-3 Dragons travel to Michigan to take on Northwood, which comes in at 2-6.

And the Dragons defense will be tested. By the Timberwolves players, yes. But also by their offensive scheme.

The Timberwolves run the triple option, a run-heavy style the Dragons haven’t seen this season.

“You don’t see that very much from anybody,” said Dragons coach Gary Goff. “There’s a couple teams across the country that run it, but it creates a challenge, that’s for sure.”

Goff said the trouble is in the unfamiliarity.“It’s something we don’t see in camp; nobody else really runs it,” he said. “The teams that run it, that’s one of the things they like to keep in their back pocket, is, it’s hard to defend because you don’t see it anymore.”

Northwood has eight players who have totaled at least 100 rushing yards on the season. The leader of the ground game is redshirt freshman Abdul Levy, who has gone for 441 yards and four touchdowns. The Northwood quarterback, fellow redshirt freshman Joe Garbarino, has seven rushing scores and 353 yards.

As a passer, Garbarino averaged just over 91 yards a game. He has thrown three touchdowns against five interceptions.

“They will take the shots; they’ve got some really good receivers, but for the most part, they are run heavy,” Goff said. “A big triple-option team.”

The Timberwolves dropped their first four games of the season before putting up 44 points in a throttling of Lake Erie. They are coming off a surprising 17-3 win over Michigan Tech.

Goff said Northwood’s overall record is deceiving, especially if you consider the Timberwolves had a lead late against powerful Ferris State.

“Don’t let their record mislead you at all, because they’re a good football team,” Goff said. “Their defense is one of the top defenses in the conference, and they’ve got some — they’ve got a linebacker there that is top in the country, No. 1 linebacker in the conference as far as tackles.”

That’d be senior Michael Fischer, who has 82 stops this season. Goff said the Dragons’ offense will need to be balanced today.

“We’ve got to continue with our passing attack, making big plays downfield,” Goff said. “At the same time, we’ve got to make sure we keep those backs involved, too. Keep (Northwood) off balance.”

Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

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