ATHENS - John Jenkins grants that the way Georgia Southern (and Georgia Tech) block is legal. He just doesn't think it should be.
That was the gist of a fairly blunt interview the Georgia nose tackle gave on Tuesday, as his team prepares for two weeks of triple-option offenses: Georgia Southern on Saturday, and Georgia Tech a week later.
A big part of both offenses is the art of cut-blocking, which is essentially legal blocks below the waist. Jenkins, as one of the players on the defensive line, said he was "just expecting my knees to cut out all day long."
"I really don't like that type of offense, where they're just chopping at your knees," he said. "And when they do grab your leg and are rolling up on you, or hold your leg, stuff like that, that's no fun. I think it's cheating."
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But do they do it legally?
"From watching the film I think they do. They do it legally," Jenkins said.
But should it not be legal?
"It shouldn't. It shouldn't be," he said.
Jenkins said there were five different ways to be cut, and proceeded to describe three of them in detail.
"You've got the ones where you just dive at the knees," he said. "You've got the ones where you dive at their knees and just roll up the leg. And you've got the one where you dive and you hook them with your arm, and you try to disguise it to make it look like you're diving when you're actually tackling them. I mean, it's all kinds of ways that people will cut you. ...
"Sometimes the referees don't even see it so it's a high and low. Because if I'm engaging with the center and the guard comes down and hits me then that's illegal. But I don't know, I'm just ready to play. I gotta play it, I mean I'm just gonna make the best of it. I'm trying to win, so regardless of what I've gotta do I'm just trying to win."
Last year Georgia defensive end DeAngelo Tyson had his season ended against Georgia Tech. Jenkins said he had forgotten about that until the other day, when watching film of that game.
But in preparing for Georgia Southern, the Bulldogs have been watching plenty of film of last year's game between Georgia Southern and Alabama. That film study made an impression on Jenkins.
"This team perfects the art of cutting," he said of GSU. "I mean look, they chopped Alabama in half last year. So I mean, this team perfect the art of cutting."
Of course, teams like Georgia Southern employ the triple-option for a reason: It works for them. Jenkins had some interesting thoughts on that too.
“Some people use a different style of offense, and if this is best for them, then I’m not gonna knock them for using it. I just feel like it’s just, I don’t know, it’s a lot for a defensive line," Jenkins said. "It’s one thing when you’re in high school, but when you’re at the college level that’s people’s livelihood, and stuff like that. It’s different when you’re talking about people’s livelihood. I’ve read stories about people being cut a different way and they no longer can play football. And they were using football to feed their family.”
Georgia senior cornerback Sanders Commings plays on the outside, but he basically echoed Jenkins. Commings said the defensive backs get cut on basically every running play.
"It sucks. To be honest," Commings said. "We gotta do it though. It's another step to getting a national championship."