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How Will New OC Phil Longo Change The Wisconsin Offense?

The Badgers will have a new look under air-raid guru Phil Longo.

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Wisconsin Badgers football Offensive Coordinator Phil Longo
© Mark Stewart / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY

For decades now, Wisconsin football has been built on grittiness, sound defense, and most importantly, the run game. Former head coach Paul Chryst was a big believer in running the football — he fit in with Wisconsin’s culture perfectly, and for years, it was working well. Still, over the past few years, it was clear that Chryst’s system was no longer working, and the Badgers decided to go in a new direction. Now, under recently-hired head coach Luke Fickell, how will new OC Phil Longo change the Wisconsin offense?

Wisconsin’s new OC Phil Longo has a unique history

Throughout Phil Longo’s coaching history, he has become known as an “air-raid guru.” Longo’s past includes Power Five stops at Ole Miss (2017-2018) and North Carolina (2019-2022) — both of which saw a great deal of success with Longo calling plays.

During Longo’s time at Ole Miss, the Rebels finished 1st in passing yards, 2nd in total offense, 3rd in passer rating, and 5th in scoring offense. His offenses also finished 5th nationally in passing yards and total offense.

Over the next four seasons, Longo saw action under the legendary Mack Brown at the University of North Carolina. During his time with the Tar Heels, no offense was as prolific as Longo’s — his offenses finished 1st in the ACC in passing yards, passing touchdowns, passer rating, rushing yards, and total offense. Additionally, the Tar Heels’ offense finished 3rd in scoring offense.

Phil Longo is an incredible hire for Luke Fickell and his staff — the Badger offense is in the proven hands of one of the nation’s top offensive play-callers.

Will Phil Longo change Wisconsin’s offense entirely?

If it is has not already become clear, the Wisconsin offense will likely look far different than it has in year’s past under Phil Longo. The transition will likely not be immediate — the Badger offense is built to run the football right now — though expect it to look far different than it did under Paul Chryst in year one. Additionally, as the year’s go on, we will likely see Wisconsin’s offense become more and more modern and deadlier through the air than it has ever been. This will help with Wisconsin’s competitiveness in the Big Ten, but even more so, it will allow the Badgers to finally take the next step into modern football.

The Bottom line for Wisconsin’s new OC Phil Longo

This hire is perfect for Wisconsin Badger football. For decades, we’ve seen the Wisconsin football program embody consistency, sound football, and toughness. Still, 9-10 wins gets old after awhile, and it is time for the Badgers to take the next step — at some point, the expectation needs to be Big Ten titles and College Football Playoff berths. With Longo calling plays, the sky is the limit for Luke Fickell and the Badger offense.


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