Wisconsin football has run the same variation of their patented power running scheme for three decades under Barry Alvarez, Bret Bielema, and Paul Chryst. However, now that Luke Fickell is in town — he brought in North Carolina offensive coordinator Phil Longo to spice things up.
Gone are the days of eight men in the box and a concerted effort to win the time of possession. Instead, UW will run an up-tempo air raid attack that Longo’s run and produced with at a very high level the past few seasons.
The Wisconsin football offense will now focus more on pushing the ball downfield in myriad ways — timing — reading, and reacting to the defense — and getting the ball to playmakers in space.
At Wisconsin’s local media days held just before fall camp opened — coach Longo stole the show with a quote illustrating the No. 1 thing he loves after his wife and kids — and it could potentially foreshadow a breakout candidate on offense.
Wisconsin Football OC Phil Longo Drops an All-Timer of a Quote at Local Media Day.
When discussing his arsenal of offensive weapons heading into the 2023 season, Wisconsin football offensive coordinator Phil Longo opened up about his favorite position and his deep-rooted love for said spot.
“I told my wife, I think the thing I love the most after my wife and my kids are slot receivers,” Longo told reporters. “They are typically one of the most productive positions in the offense.
“When you have a guy that can play that position, he’s in the middle of the field most of the time. He’s not at wideout; he’s not in the backfield. He’s in the middle of the field where he’s got space on both sides. He’s a mismatch for a lot of people. We can do a lot of things with him.”
Longo’s comments are very telling and put a spotlight on Cincinnati transfer wideout Will Pauling who quickly established himself as the starting slot in spring practice. He and Skyler Bell project to play most of the snaps for Wisconsin football in the slot this season.
If you’ve followed Longo’s career or even just looked at box scores — it doesn’t take long to realize he’s not kidding — he does love slot wideouts. Josh Downs finished his career at UNC with 2,483 yards and 22 touchdowns en route to becoming a third-round draft pick of the Colts. For reference, that would place him as No. 4 all-time for the Wisconsin football program in receiving had he played for the Badgers.
Don’t be surprised if Will Pauling leads Wisconsin in receptions this season — that’s all I’m saying.
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