Film Room: West Virginia’s 3-3-5 Stack Defense, and How Virginia Tech Can Attack It

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Virginia Tech offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen is tasked with game planning against West Virginia’ 3-3-5 defense. (Photo by Ivan Morozov)

West Virginia’s 3-3-5 stack defense is nothing, if not unique. You can roughly count on one hand the number of schools that run it (BYU, for example). It’s a scheme often run by high school defenses and teams that are smaller and more athletic, but it’s rarely seen at the college level. After Sunday, Virginia Tech likely won’t see this defensive scheme for a long time. The two teams don’t play again until 2021.

Today, we’ll take a stab at breaking down this peculiar defense, and maybe even find some ways Virginia Tech can attack it on Sunday night.

West Virginia’s Base Alignment and Base Defensive Concepts

When you watch West Virginia’s defense, it will look a little weird.  Here is a graphic showing West Virginia’s base alignment in their 3-3-5 stack defense.