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February 2013

February 2013


Defending the Power Game with the Stack Defense The stack defense allows players to be aggressive and limit adjustments against either a spread or a power offense.

by: Matt McCarty
Defensive Coordinator, Northwestern College (IA)
© February 2013

One of the primary benefits of the stack defense is its ability to line up against any style of offense and be very effective. With the emergence of the spread offense, the stack gives defenses a great opportunity to not only match up with the spread but also attack it. While this is a great benefit, the primary strength of the stack defense is its ability to stop the run. Throughout the course of a season, we will defend shotgun-spread offenses mainly running out of 10 and 11 personnel as well as double-tight end 12 personnel offenses.

The stack, especially the 3-5 version that we run, is a great defense against the power running game. There are several reasons we run the stack the way we do (Diagram 1):

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