One of the main differences between a 4-3 defense and a 3-4 is that instead of two tackles there is one. Nose tackle is considered one of the toughest positions in football, and the success of the player who lines up opposite the center is crucial. Everything starts there, at the middle of the line of scrimmage.
Senior Moses Samia is the likely starter at nose for the University of Hawaii this fall.
“There’s a difference (from the 4-3). But technique is the same,” Samia said following Thursday’s practice. “There’s not that much difference. You have to be stout and your teammates rely on you.”
A nose tackle, especially if double-teammed, isn’t often in a position to make plays in the opposing backfield as much as a 4-3 defensive tackle might be. “I know if the linebackers are making plays that means I’m doing my job,” Samia said.
Defensive coordinator Kevin Clune said it’s true the nose tackle is often tasked with selfless duties like taking up blockers and keeping them off the linebackers, but said there is more to it than that in the Warriors defense.
“There is some sacrifice, and when you take up two blockers you can take some pride in that,” Clune said. “But we also like anytime (Samia) can blast the center and push the line of scrimmage back. It’s not totally altruistic.”
To that end, the 6-foot-1 Samia said he feels more explosive now as he has sculpted his body to 292 pounds, down from a high of 305. He is also healthy after missing 13 of a possible 24 games due to injury the past two seasons.
“I think he looks bigger (than last spring),” Clune said. “He’s strong, and playing like a bull.”