At least that is what their opponents are saying.
Just two weeks after a Notre Dame coach called Navy’s football team “dirty” and their blocking schemes “dangerous,” a BYU coach and defense lineman have accused Air Force of the same style of play.
The Mountain West Conference doesn’t agree. The league issued a public reprimand on Nov. 22 to Brigham Young defensive end Jan Jorgensen and assistant coach Barry Lamb for violating the league’s sportsmanship rules. The two told the media that Air Force football players utilize dangerous cut blocks to run their triple option offense.
Jorgensen told a group of reporters during a press conference on Nov. 16 that the Falcons played “legal, but dirty.” Lamb told a Utah paper, the Daily Herald: “The only thing about the Air Force game is they cut so much. They block low on your ankles and knees. It’s not legal.”
The cut block the coach and player are referring to is when an offensive player tries to block a defender by taking him out at the knees. Defenders, especially linemen, complain that the blocking scheme puts them at severe risk of injury.
BYU isn’t the first team who has accused the Air Force of dirty play this season. Former UNLV coach Mike Sanford, who was fired last week, made the same accusations after Air Force beat the Runnin’ Rebels 45-17.
Both Air Force and Navy employ the triple-option to try and mask the severe weight disadvantages they typically face. Notre Dame’s defense line, for example, outweighed Navy’s offensive linemen on average by 30 pounds.
First brushed off as sour grapes, teams are starting to get in line in calling out the service academies. BYU presents an especially interesting case considering Jorgensen and Lamb made the comments before the game.
I’d say, though, Jason Franchuk of the Daily Herald made the best point in this whole debate.
“Wow, criticize the academy? Maybe it should be taken as a compliment. Bad teams don’t make enemies.”