2016 Football Review Part 3: Special Teams and Behind the Scenes

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James Shibest
James Shibest has made big changes to Tech’s special teams. (Ivan Morozov)

Part 1

Part 2

In this part I’ll look at how the Hokie special teams are showing a new look, and how the football team’s off-the-field operations and supportive functions have changed.

Special Teams

The biggest and most visible change Coach Shibest brought with him has been the deployment of the “shield” punt formation. Coach Frank Beamer was an advocate of the “spread” punt formation to such a degree that he probably approached strangers on the street to talk about it.

The spread formation is a spread formation in the old school sense of having only a minimal number of people in the backfield—usually just the punter and a personal protector. Everyone in the core of the formation takes close splits and finds someone to block. It’s designed to protect the punter by keeping the return team from shooting people through the middle of the formation.

The shield formation (which might actually be