Virginia Tech Shows Tricks To Contain A Mobile Quarterback

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Vinny Mihota
Vinny Mihota and the Tech defense contained Liberty quarterback Stephon Masha.


It was pretty clear from the get-go that Virginia Tech was concerned with Liberty’s quarterback scrambling, as the Hokies rolled out a number of techniques to limit the QB Stephon Masha from breaking the pocket.  They worked, too, as Masha was held to 1.4 yards per carry, a low average especially since he wasn’t sacked very often.  Let’s look at some of the things Foster dialed up.


A defensive “spy” is any player who’s assigned to mirror the quarterback in hopes of preventing or containing a scramble.  On a few occasions, it looked like Tech was spying with its linebackers.  In one first quarter play, Tremaine Edmunds stepped up to the line of scrimmage like he was threatening a blitz, then bounced backwards at the snap but without getting deep or picking up a receiver.

Later, Motu’s shoestring tackle on the QB also looked like a spy call. The Mike had a contain assignment to one side of the formation, but didn’t seem to be playing pass, and when the Liberty QB broke to the other side, Motu tracked him down for the tackle.  I was a little down on this play at first, figuring a mobile P5 QB breaks the tackle for a bigger gain, but looking back it was a long run for Motu, and Tremaine was there on the other side to help clean up.

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