HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall's defense has to be prepared for anything and everything from Texas-San Antonio.
You name it: Two tight ends. Two backs - even two tailbacks. Four wide receivers. Speed option. Motion, motion, motion.
"I think the one impressive thing about their offense is they've kind of got a wishbone philosophy," Holliday said Tuesday.
Wishbone? That goofy 1970s offense with three backs? No, these Roadrunners throw for 290.4 yards per game.
Holliday continued his thought: "With how they run on the perimeter, that's how hard their kids play and block on the perimeter. And also, they're able to throw the football at the same time.
"So they do a good job with their perimeter runs; they do a great job distributing the ball."
So Marshall's linebackers had better be able to get to those sidelines, and the cornerbacks had better be able to come up in run support. And all of them had better get used to a certain blocking style.
"We got a lot of that motion stuff against Virginia Tech. They were also a team that moved people around quite a bit," Holliday said. "We didn't get the work against Tech, as far as the speed option, the speed sweeps and all the perimeter ...
"The one thing that they do is they chop - just like the wishbone teams I mentioned before - they're chopping everybody on the perimeter."
Ah, chopping. In more correct terminology, the cut block. In other words, blocking below the waist, right down to the shoetops.
Some coaches refuse to teach the cut block, and throwing one in practice can start a fight.
"They tried to take this out of the game a year ago, to be honest," Holliday said. "Now they've kind of put it back in there, to an extent, on the perimeter blocking. It hasn't changed within the [tackle] box, with the O-line and D-line."
The first part of the rules change deals with blocking inside the "tackle box," that area 7 yards to each side of the ball, 5 yards beyond the line of scrimmage and behind the line to the offense's end line.
The second part deals with players not in the "tackle box" while the ball is in it, and all players once the ball leaves the "tackle box" - in other words, a UTSA perimeter situation.
Blockers may hit defenders below the waist as long as they do it from the front - defined as a clock-face region between "10 o'clock and 2 o'clock." Defenders may not be cut from the side or from behind, and blockers may not hit below the waist while aiming back toward the offense's end line.