It used to be that when the ball was spotted away from the middle of the field, most Hokie defenders were assigned to specifically line up on either the wide side of the field (“field”) or on the narrow side (“boundary.”) What an offense can do when bunched up in the boundary is different from what it can do in the open space of the field, and a good defense can take advantage of this. Since most snaps take place away from the middle of the football field, it’s a sound strategy for the defense to embrace. Another bonus is that, unlike formation strength, an offense can’t change ball placement before the snap, so it’s harder for the offense to manipulate the defense.
Tech’s defensive ends were among the defenders who aligned to the hashes. The “stud” was generally a quicker guy who aligned to the field, while the “end” was a bigger guy who lined up on the boundary. The stud had room to align in a wide, hard-to-block angle, and the number of Hokie defenders crowded in the box meant he was tough to double. This meant a faster, smaller player (Lamar Cobb was listed at 216 when he started in 2000) could do well...
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