What's Next for the Falcons, Burning Couches?
It's described here as the "option," which isn't entirely accurate. It's an option in the sense that the quarterback has the option to keep the ball or hand it to the running back. But it's not the traditional option you might think of, with the QB running down the line of scrimmage, then deciding whether or not to pitch to the running back. The read from the quarterback in this option comes immediately after the snap, which is taken out of the shotgun. The quarterback reads the defensive end, and decides to either give the ball to the running back who takes it between the tackles, or he keeps it himself and runs outside.
The other key principle to the system is that it comes out of the shotgun, with three or four wide receivers, spreading the defense out. A defense can't run a traditional set, because they have to account for the extra wide receiver(s), which opens up more running lanes for the offense.
There are a couple of differences, though. One, West Virginia's quarterback doesn't have herpes. Two, the Falcons don't run it full-time, like West Virginia does. The linked article says they'll only go to it six or so times per game. Of course, that may continue to rise if Michael Vick and Warrick Dunn keep rushing for 125 yards per game each, as they did against Tampa Bay.