ATHENS — How many injuries did Jake Ganus incur against last Saturday? Nine, the Georgia linebacker joked. Or at least maybe he was joking. He definitely left the Georgia Southern game twice in pain, and twice returned, a battered but survived player.
The reward for surviving a triple-option team, with its cut blocking and other physical strategies, is to face another one: Georgia Tech, which should have even more physical blockers.
“I’m excited. I’ve got some new knee pads,” Ganus joked.
There was a 15-yard illegal block penalty called against Georgia Southern on the second play that injured Ganus. He was blocked below the waist, injurying his ankle. Ganus had lobbied for the call after what he felt were other blocks worthy of a penalty.
You can cut block in college football as long as it’s near the line of scrimmage. Ganus was blocked on the outside, in clear space. A chop-block is when a defender is essentially blocked above and below the waist by two different players at the same time. Ganus said this also happened against Georgia Southern but wasn’t called.
“There were times I was right in front of the ref, and then I told him about it after they got me one time really good with the high-low. I told him, can you just watch for it?” Ganus said. “And I think it was the next drive and he did that and they called it. I appreciate that. Refs can’t see everything. They’re looking at a lot of different stuff, so it’s our job sometimes to let them know what’s happening, and I did, and they got it called.”
Georgia senior outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins fared better in the last game, saying he was only “cut good” once in the end zone, and it was his own fault. He had his eyes away from the coming blocker, and it reminded him that “eye control” is the most important thing when playing such an offense.
Especially Georgia Tech.
“I definitely think Georgia Tech will try to do more. I know for a fact those offensive linemen keep track, keep count of how many times they cut somebody,” Jenkins said. “That’s like getting a pancake block for them. You’ve just gotta find a way to get around it and protect yourself.”
How does Jenkins know that?
“Oh, I know some guys on their team,” he said, grinning. “And I know they keep count.”
Jenkins said he understands that there’s a difference between a cut and a chop block, and that sometimes the chop block might not be intentional, just a “heat-of-the-moment type thing.” But he also did some pre-lobbying, rather than wait for the game.
“I just hope the refs will be eyeing that pretty closely because I don’t want to tear my ACL next week,” Jenkins said.