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Wisconsin Football Offense Struggling Amid Schematic Overhaul

It’s early, but the Dairy Raid offense for Wisconsin football has yet to take flight.



Wisconsin Badgers football
Oct 7, 2023; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Jackson Acker (34) carries the football during warmups prior to the game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin football offense is in a transition state, albeit a tough one, caught between two worlds as the Badgers navigate a new offensive system under head coach Luke Fickell and coordinator Phil Longo. 

The new coaching staff implemented this system to bring a more explosive offense to the Badgers football team and appeal to higher-level recruits. However, it has presented significant challenges. The offense is a blend of first-year transfers and players who have spent several years in a vastly different scheme under Paul Chryst.

Can Wisconsin Football Iron Out its Offensive Issues?

The key questions for the Wisconsin football offense revolve around whether it’s a talent issue, an execution problem, or play-calling. 

Head coach Luke Fickell addressed the team’s talent, suggesting they have what it takes to win immediately. But after six games, it seems as though Wisconsin is less talented on paper than many, myself included, seemed to think before the season began. 

Nevertheless, execution has been an issue due to various factors such as penalties, dropped passes, inability to push the ball downfield, struggles to create separation, and inconsistencies in the run game.

A team without a clear-cut identity, if you will. 

The early-season optimism about a high-octane offense under Fickell and offensive coordinator Phil Longo has given way to a challenging reality. As it stands, Wisconsin football ranks No. 6 in the Big Ten in scoring, averaging 27.2 points per game, and No. 8 in passing offense, generating 212.7 passing yards per game. Most fans expected better. 

Final Thoughts

The Wisconsin Badgers find themselves striving to adapt to a new system and overcome the hurdles that have come their way. But on offense, the same issues keep rearing their ugly head, leaving many questioning if we’ll see a significant improvement this season. 

Wisconsin’s offense is still a work in progress, and there’s plenty of football left to play. Although winning the Big Ten West is all but out of reach at this point, the true test for the Badgers is whether they can overcome these early misfires, play with energy & toughness, and find their groove as they push forward into the heart of the season.

Perhaps the injury to Tanner Mordecai, coupled with the reality that the Badgers aren’t likely heading to a New Year 6 Bowl game, will allow the offense to lean into a more pass-happy identity they’d prefer to have long-term rather than the band-aid on a bullet hole we’ve seen thus far. 

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Dillon Graff is a Substack Newsletter Best Selling Author and the Owner of, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His work has been featured in top media publications like USA Today, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, B5Q, Saturday Blitz, and Fansided.