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CHARLOTTESVILLE – Remember last year when Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer complained publicly about what he considered dangerous blocks by Georgia Tech players?

Beamer isn’t the only coach who’s not wild about the cut blocks that are an integral part of the Yellow Jackets’ triple-option offense.

On a cut block, an offensive player dives at the ankles and feet of a defender whom the offensive player is in front of. It’s sometimes confused with a chop block, which is illegal and involves a low block from the side or the back or a below-the-knees block on a defender who is already engaged with another offensive player.

They’re dangerous at times, but cut blocks are legal when executed properly, and Virginia coach Mike London knows his team will see plenty of them Saturday in Atlanta.

Georgia Tech (2-1, 3-2) hosts UVa (0-1, 2-2) at 3:30 p.m. at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

To prepare for the Jackets’ tactics, London said, “you have to teach your guys to get ready to use your hands, because they’re going to come after you — your ankles — and try to chop you and get you down on the ground. Even to the second level, with linebackers, everyone else will go down field, and they’ll try to cut you.

“And that’s to get you down on the ground … There is a method to the measures that they use and the set that they use. We’ll practice this week. I don’t know if we’re going to cut ourselves live, but I think in the past we’ve used dummies to throw at [defenders’] legs, and individual drills and techniques that you do to make sure [defenders] use their hands, because you’re going to have to.”

Jeff White

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