Remember, cut blocks are entirely legal.

Probably like many of you, I assumed when DeAngelo Tyson went down on the second play of the Tech game and the flag came out that he was the recipient of a chop block.  Turned out the replay showed that wasn’t the case; he just went down on his own favoring a leg.  I then assumed that he’d tweaked something before the game.

Wrong, bacon breath.  Here’s what happened to Tyson on the first play of the game (h/t Alcoholic Genius):

It’s even uglier when you watch it on the broadcast replay.  Tyson is several yards away from Tyler Melton, who’s in the process of winding up to throw the ball as this takes place, and is moving laterally with Melton.  He’s not even the closest defender to Melton (that was Abry Jones).

The Tech player in question is center Jay Finch, who has moved away from another block and is simply looking for a Georgia player to go after.  His block had no effect on the outcome of the play.  However it did put Tyson on the ground for a while, although it’s unclear from the broadcast for how long, and then out of the game for good.  It’s a shame ESPN didn’t go back, find it and make something out of it during the broadcast.

It’s also a shame that Georgia Tech continues to get away with this kind of garbage.  Even Coach Garner didn’t seem overly troubled by it, which I don’t understand.  I’m curious what you think about it.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

47 responses to “Remember, cut blocks are entirely legal.

  1. Groo tweeted about this after the game and helped clarify things for those of us still confused. I finally rewatched it myself last night and like you said it’s much uglier on the replay. It’s one thing to use the chop at the snap of the ball as a scheme, it’s quite another to use it to end a player’s day…season…career.

    Garner said he thinks Tyson is probable for Saturday. After rewatching it, I’ll believe that when I see it. Vicious hit.


  2. Brandon

    This is disgusting, but will matter not a bit to Tech fans, actually he will probably get a few free drinks out of this.


  3. Spike

    This is what losers resort to. Remember this next year when we get them ” ‘tween the hedges”, just like we will remember that Vandy player.


  4. Tech lies, cheats and steals. Doing what is legal yet unnecessary and potentially will cause injury is not better than committing the infraction. It shows an intent to injure and comes from the coaches who probably encourage it.


  5. JasonC

    It’s a little hard to tell from the photos, but even if cut blocks are legal, clipping isn’t. Could it have been a missed clip?


    • Hackerdog

      It was from the side/front. Definitely not from the back.

      Legal, but dirty.


      • Doesn’t that depend on where they are on the field?

        In the tackle box, it’s legal, but if your downfield in open space, I’m not so sure. Wouldn’t that constitute “blocking below the waist”, or is that one of those NFL-only rules? If it’s NFL only, then the NCAA needs to add it asap, because it’s dirty and does nothing for the game besides hurt kids.


  6. Nate

    Maybe it just wasn’t that obvious at the time. It’s a dirty play though, no doubt. I say drop a number six on ’em next year.


  7. TennesseeDawg

    On the first series next year (since we have no trouble kicking their ass anyway), Bobo should open with an option run on every play where every damn player on Tech’s defense right down to the cornerbacks get cut on every play.


  8. Dang….I hate Tech as much as anybody but people that is a perfectly legal block. As a lighter blocker approaches a larger person if he goes up high he is playing into the defender’s strength. That is the advantage a smaller ,probably less strong blocker has…speed . Taking out a larger mans legs is how smaller lineman can actually be effective. Helmet is in front of Tyson’s body and Tyson is clearly oblivious as to the blocker’s presence and it looks like his cleats hung up in the turf. Damn people this is what happens when a player is not aware of his surroundings. I’m not blaming Tyson but if he had seen Finch he puts out his arm drive Finch’s trajectory lower and jumps over him. Football,like boxing,requires that one protect themselves at all times.


  9. Alcohalic Genius

    Uh huh. He shoulda, coulda, woulda watch out for that little round gold dome fool trajectory as he doing a blind side knee blow out? I got yo trajectory right HERE!


  10. Go Dawgs!

    I went back and watched the game on Sunday, and after watching Tyson come up lame on the second play, instead of just assuming he tweaked something like the ESPN announcers (who, like me, assumed the chop was on Deangelo, and then said “I don’t see a chop in there” while COMPLETELY missing John Jenkins getting chopped inside… worst announcing team EVER) I rewound to the first play and watched him get blown up. If I’m not mistaken, he got hit at the knees by two Techies on this one play, not just the nerd who took him out. This may be legal, but it shouldn’t be. He’s nowhere near the play, and instead of just getting in his way to hold him up enough where he can’t make a play, this dude intentionally dives at his knees and tries to end his season.

    Seriously, Georgia Tech lineman, I hope you die in a fire. We should have beaten them worse.


    • Bevo

      “This may be legal, but it shouldn’t be.”

      This is the bottom line to me. In the kind of block made on Tyson — away from the play, unnecessary, and dangerous — the danger of serious leg injuries outweighs any benefit those blocks have in the game.


      • No One Knows You're a Dawg

        Me too. I don’t understand why chop blocks are still legal in college football.


        • Go Dawgs!

          Chops aren’t, cut blocks are. A chop is when you go after the legs after a player is already engaged with another player up high. But even straight cut blocks carry a huge risk of injury. But, hey, it’s the basis of Tech’s entire offense, so there ya go.


        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Chop blocks are not legal. A chop block is when one lineman is engaged above the waist with another lineman and a third player goes at the first players legs. A cut block is what happened here, i.e. a player going low on a block. That is legal as long as it is not from behind (a clip), to a point. If it happens after the whistle it is definitely illegal. If it happens before the whistle but away from the play it should be illegal just like hitting a defenseless receiver without the ball is illegal. I just don’t get the logic (or lack thereof) behind the NCAA rules anymore. If what we saw on this replay isn’t illegal then it damn sure ought to be.


          • Bevo

            “If it happens after the whistle it is definitely illegal. If it happens before the whistle but away from the play it should be illegal just like hitting a defenseless receiver without the ball is illegal.”



  11. jferg

    CTG basically said that his players were practicing how to protect themselves (since the refs wouldn’t) from chop blocks. I was at the game, he was down for a couple of minutes and couldn’t put any weight on it at all.


  12. Windogger

    I don’t know if he was trying to hurt Tyson, but if he was intending to hurt him that is exactly how one would go about it. If I am not mistaking, any blocks below the waste are illegal in the NFL. There is no reason they shouldn’t be illegal in college.


  13. fuelk2

    I guarantee you if Tech’s offense and blocking style were more pervasive in college football, there would be a rule change to limit these blocks. As it is, it goes unnoticed because most of the country, particularly the successful programs, run big boy offenses where this kind of crap doesn’t take place on every play.


  14. BulldogBen

    I don’t care if it’s legal or not, it’s a cheap, dangerous way to play football.

    I’d actually be curious how many knee injuries come from Tech opponents vs other schools. If it’s substantially higher, Paul Johnson should be held directly responsible. The Triple option encourages this type of play, and, I believe, so does Johnson.


  15. sUGArdaddy

    I just don’t see a problem with it. It was a legal block in college or the NFL. That’s how smaller players block big guys, no matter where it is the field. It’s football and it’s brutal. We’re blessed Tyson didn’t get hurt worse.


  16. Bulldog Joe

    It’s just another reason why the Jackets are hurtin’ for fans.


  17. Macallanlover

    Another reason to drop GT to a lesser position in our scheduling. Play them occasionally, only at home, or not at all. For this to happen one week before we have a chance to win an SEC title is pure crap. Injuries can happen at any time, I accept that, but why should we jeopardize something so precious for something so pathetic. Screw Tech. It was them who walked away from the rivalry, not us. Why should we give them a big stage? We beat them and dropped a spot in the rankings, what else do you need to know about this? Too much risk, too little reward.


    • Dawgy45

      When our SEC schedule goes to 9 games and we have to drop one non-conference game, I think tech should be the one to go. We lead the series by a quarter-century’s worth of games – I think we have made our point. Let’s just let them go suck on those sour grapes. Not risking our players is an additional benefit; it certainly looks like the little Johnson is all they will be able to afford for quite some time.


      • Cojones

        “little Johnson” describes the play and the characterization of those who use it. It takes someone with a little johnson to do that with a clear conscious.


  18. Hill Dawg

    Should be ” Dirty little johnson”.


  19. Free 7thWard!!

    Chop blocks are legal. That’s that.


  20. Irwin R. Fletcher

    Frankly, the whole Coach Johnson era is just perfect for me. You’ve got a ‘holier than thou’ Coach that fits right in with the rest of the Protractor Posse.

    He’s so much smarter. He’s doesn’t care what you think. He is going to push the envelope of decorum because it is allowed, not because it is necessarily ok. And at the end of the day, they still get their butt handed to them on the football field by Georgia and continue on in complete denial of the place in the world. Smart?, sure….but terrible at beating Georgia in football.

    I love that Coach Johnson is at Tech. You’ve got a school in the middle of one of the largest talent pools in the entire country that alienates recruits with his recruiting ‘policies.’ You run an offense that doesn’t really attract the best athletes. Not to mention you roll out a DC who is almost 70 years old. But they are smarter than us…they are going to do it ‘their’ way.

    Screw ’em and their chop blocks. At least everytime they end up face down on the field, they can taste Mark Richt’s poo since he uses that field as his personal toilet.

    The best comeuppance for a Tech fan is when they come to the self-realization that they can’t build a better mousetrap and haven’t found the secret way to be a better football team by being ‘unconventional’…


  21. GT Fan

    Before you go and ban all cut blocks, make sure Bobo updates his offensive scheme. Every team uses them. One common example is for running back in pass protection to cut a pass rusher (I’m sure you can find a few examples of Crowell & Co. cut blocking). I’ll concede that if you could find such statistics they would probably show that most teams do not cut block as routinely as GT, Navy, and the like.

    The NCAA has been tightening up the rules on cut-blocks. There is a modification to the rules regarding blocks below the waist that either went into this year or goes into effect next season (I can’t remember which). So concerns about blocks below the waist have been heard and are being addressed.

    Paul Johnson had said he would not be opposed to outlawing blocks below the waist if tackling below the waist was also outlawed. Now, I doubt tackling below the waist will ever be outlawed. However, he does have a point in that it does seem like it would be a contradictory to say you can tackle below the waist but you can’t block below the waist. Anybody familiar with High School football rules? I’m pretty certain that cut blocks aren’t allowed, but I’m not sure about tackling below the waist.

    Congratulations on the win last Saturday. GT’s pass defense was fairly highly ranked going into the game (#22 in the country, I think it was), but I was concerned that was it really hadn’t been tested properly since most teams have quit passing against GT and been running instead to claim their share of the clock and to take advantage of a poorly ranked GT run defense. Anyway, what I feared would happen, happened: Murray had plenty of time to sit in the pocket and wait of his receivers to get open. No running backs required. Good luck against LSU.


  22. Refs Hate Us

    Refs just hate us. If you go look on You Tube and search for chop block we have two calls against us including the first video. Incredible. I swear Mike Slive has it out for us.

    Watch the refs on Saturday. They want LSU to win