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Va. Tech, Ga. Tech still feuding after game

Although Georgia Tech beat Virginia Tech, 28-23, almost two weeks ago, a war of words between the two schools’ coaches emerged over whether the Yellow Jackets' blocking techniques were legal and safe.

On Tuesday, Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer said he called Georgia Tech Coach Paul Johnson to clear the air regarding the public comments made recently regarding their game on Oct. 17. Beamer said the conversation went “good.”

“It’s not sour grapes,” Beamer said. “It’s not that Georgia Tech beat us. It’s not that. It’s just that some situations came up that I think put guys in dangerous situations.”

As is customary for many schools, Virginia Tech sent a tape of plays to the conference for a review of some disputed calls or for clarification on rules. The Hokies' coaches said that the ACC acknowledged that it missed calls on about four of the 11 plays submitted.

Some of those missed calls, the Hokies' coaches said, involved illegal chop blocks by Georgia Tech players. Beamer said on Tuesday that he misspoke Monday when he said there was a low block on free safety Kam Chancellor when Georgia Tech scored its final touchdown.

Told of Beamer’s comments, Johnson replied that the allegations were “a joke.” Johnson said that Virginia Tech’s coaches did not complain about his team’s blocking after the Hokies won, 20-17, last year in Blacksburg.

“They got out-schemed,” Johnson told reporters Monday evening. “So it’s illegal to out-scheme them, I guess.”

On Tuesday, Beamer opened his weekly news conference by addressing the recent flap that had played out in the news media. He spent almost five minutes speaking about the topic, which also came up Monday night during his weekly radio appearance on “Tech Talk Live” in Blacksburg.

Beamer did, however, say that it was dangerous for players to be chop-blocked if they cannot see the blocker approaching and that such blocks should not be allowed if a player is already engaged with a different blocker. He said he brought up the topic to see if there was any support among his fellow coaches to adjust the rules.

A review of game film shows that in the second half against Georgia Tech, Chancellor was hit with chop blocks from Yellow Jackets players approaching from behind or from the side. In the first quarter, defensive tackle John Graves was hit with a chop block while engaged with a different blocker. [See video, below.] In the game, he re-injured his right ankle, which was sprained earlier in the year.

Doug Rhoads, the ACC coordinator of football officials, declined to name the number of calls that were missed or to identify specific plays that were illegal.

Rhoads said there would be no disciplinary action taken against the officials who missed the calls in the game because they were making judgment calls and did not misapply the rules. But he added that their performance would be reflected on their grades, which determine whether officials can officiate the conference championship game and bowl games or whether they will be remain employed by the conference.

By Mark Viera  |  October 27, 2009; 3:48 PM ET
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Next: DT Graves probable vs. North Carolina


It would be nice if, in the article, you described the difference between a (legal) cut block and an (illegal) chop block.

Blanketing all of the blocks as chop blocks in this article skews the facts toward VT, no?

Posted by: stvcsk | October 27, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

You have got to be kidding me. The linebacker that is shown in this clip moves into the defensive line and is engaged high first by the offensive guard and then is engaged high (above the waist) by the offensive tackle.

It is called a double team. There is nothing illegal about that block.

If the first engagement is by the guard and then the second offensive lineman engages him below the waist it is a chop block.

Learn the rules.

Stop crying.

Posted by: NYJacket | October 27, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

You missed the point of the video. Its not about the LB, it the tackle near the top of the screen. the LG engaged him high and the LT went low and cut in the back of the legs causing him to miss the rest of the game. In the pros, this is a 15 yd penalty and possible ejection because a play like this threatens the livelihood of the player who was chopped block.

Posted by: pdt278 | October 27, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

The OG and DT weren't engaged, pdt278. It's not engagement when the DT is committing a holding penalty.

The Hokies should focus more on Beamerball and less on Beamerbawl. Tech kicked your butts.

Posted by: ashleybone | October 28, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

The stages Kubler-Ross identified are:

*Denial (this isn't happening to me!)
*Anger (why is this happening to me?)
*Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if...)
*Depression (I don't care anymore)
*Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes)

Stage 1: Denial. The triple option will not work in big-time football. It's a high school offense, a gimmick.

Stage 2: Anger. Dammit! We just got beat by the triple option. We were out-schemed. Next year we will use the LSU blueprint, and everything will return to normal.

Stage 3: Bargaining. Look, okay, so the triple option works with real players, but recruits, come play for us and we promise we won't run that triple option and ruin your pro career. Without you blue-chippers, the option will fail.

Stage 4: Depression. I hate this. The triple option has ruined my life. I got pwned on Sportcenter. I'm gonna take the triple option down with me. It only works because of cheating. The triple option should be illegal.

Stage 5: Acceptance. .... Still waiting for this stage, but just be patient.

It seems like the Hokies in are at Stage 4.

Go Jackets!!!

Posted by: domhob | October 28, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

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