Connect with us


What Will the Wisconsin Football Offense Look Like Under Luke Fickell in 2023?

What Will the Wisconsin Football Offense Look Like Under Luke Fickell in 2023?



Wisconsin football head coach Luke Fickell
Jul 27, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Luke Fickell speaks to the media during the Big 10 football media day at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest reasons Wisconsin football made a change at the head coach spot in the off-season was because the Badgers offense simply was not good enough to win big games. 

The defense was up to the task, even in a year where the offense put them back out on the field way too much. The Badger defense ranked 11th in yards allowed per game and 17th in points allowed per game.

That may lead one to think that the Badgers would go out and get an offensive first coach. While Luke Fickell may have been a defensive coordinator before becoming a head coach, his Cincinnati Bearcat teams had some excellent offenses during his tenure.

Looking at Luke Fickell’s Cincinnati Offensive Rankings & Play Style

Luke Fickell‘s Cincinnati teams have been excellent offensively, going back to the 2021 season when the Bearcats made the College Football Playoffs. Cincinnati ranked 8th in all of college football in points per game, scoring 39.2 a game. The season prior, Cincinnati scored 39.3 points per game (No. 18 in the country).

Fickell hired Phil Longo as the offensive coordinator. Coming from his North Carolina offense, Longo’s teams threw the ball all over the field and put pressure on the opposing defense like crazy.

While that may not be the case at Wisconsin, the Badgers offense will definitely have more spread-out looks under Fickell than any other UW offense in recent memory.

Wisconsin Football Offensive Weapons in 2023


The SMU transfer Tanner Mordecai is one of our 5 Wisconsin Football Players You Should Be Excited to Watch This Season

The big reason why? He is arguably the most gifted passer Wisconsin has had since Russell Wilson. In just two seasons as the starter at SMU, Mordecai passed for 7,152 yards and 72 touchdowns. Mordecai should be a perfect fit with Phil Longo’s air raid-style offense he ran at UNC.

Running Back

That is not to say that Wisconsin football will not run the ball a lot; Fickell has repeatedly said as much in interviews since he was hired. It would be hard not to, especially with a running back like Braelon Allen. Yet it may look different than it has in the past.

If anything, it may look better; Allen may put up better numbers on fewer touches. If Mordecai can keep defenses honest and get tacklers out of the box, Allen could have more room to work and be even more explosive, which is almost hard to imagine.

Wide Receiver & Tight End

Couple that with a significantly improved wide receiver group, and this Wisconsin offense could be better than any under the Paul Chrsyt era. With returners and multiple transfers, the wide receiver group will be competitive to find time on the field for everyone. 

We highlighted two positions of wide receiver and tight end in our 3 Wisconsin Football Starting Jobs Up for Grabs in Fall Camp as spots to watch. 

The tight end group is a little shakier than the wide receiver spot, but both spots are areas where it’s not about settling for a starter, but it is so competitive that there are great options regardless of who starts.

The Wisconsin Football Offense Could Help the Defense in 2023

Even if the Wisconsin defense takes a slight step back this season — which is not expected — but could be the case as top 15 defensive rankings are not given — the offense should make up for it. 

The excellent defense and improved offense are a big reason why some pundits have Wisconsin football, as a surprise team, in 2023.

Contact/Follow us @Badger_Notes on Twitter, Subscribe to the BadgerNotes Newsletter here. Also, like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Wisconsin football news, notes, opinion, and analysis.