ATHENS -- Thus far, two of the most significant plays of Georgia's season have been blocked kicks. Against South Carolina, DeAngelo Tyson's blocked point-after attempt forced the Gamecocks to score a touchdown on their final drive of the game rather than a field goal, which they were unable to do.
Against Arizona State, A.J. Green blocked a 37-yard field-goal attempt that would have given the Sun Devils a three-point lead with less than five minutes to go but instead set the stage for the Bulldogs' game-winning drive. Linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator John Jancek, who handles the field-goal block unit, shared insights into that element of the game.
Q: How did A.J. Green get on the field-goal block team?
A: That was something that we talked about even before we started the season, getting A.J. on that team, knowing that he's obviously fairly tall, got long arms and can jump. He's got great ball skills and timing. It's a natural fit.
Q: It sounds like it's a little more than just jumping high.
A: You've got to understand the angles of the kick. You have to have a sense of timing, a good approach. All those things come into play, but A.J.'s pretty natural at it.
Q: How do you motivate players to give full effort on a play that has a pretty low success rate?
A: I think they have to understand that if you have an opportunity to keep points off the board, that has to be motivating in itself. Guys can't feel sorry for themselves if it's an extra point or can't play to the circumstances of the game. It's a one-play-and-out mentality.
Q: Do you have different schemes for different kickers?
A: Different kickers have a slight draw or a slight fade. Some guys will get the ball up higher than others, some guys will kick it a little bit lower. You've got to, as you study the film, study the style of the kicker and … you're trying to figure out, do you want to go in the middle or a block or do you want someone from the edge.
Q: Who were the unsung heroes on Green's block?
A: I thought we had good push up front from Jeff Owens and DeAngelo Tyson, guys that were in the game and did a good job of creating a good angle, getting some penetration so A.J. could get as close to the ball as he could to try and block it.
Q: What was the play on Tyson's block?
A: That was a little bit of a different block. That was more of a crease-type rush.
Q: How many different field-goal block plays do you have?
A: We may have two, possibly three, in a given game. Not a lot.