Read More

If you happened to walk through Mantor hall in the past few weeks, you may have noticed something unusual... read more

Emergence of wildcat formation: should Lopers try it?
Adam McLaughlin
Antelope Staff
Photo courtesy of

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. That’s the case with the UNK Loper football offense. Another lopsided win this past weekend over Adams State has the team clicking on all cylinders. But with the emergence of the wildcat formation in football, is it crazy to say the Lopers should adopt? It’s the new fad in football.

Not at all, considering all the speed the Lopers have.

Three Lopers run a 4.3 in the 40-yard dash, posing problems for any team they face. Lining up a speed guy in place for the quarterback spreads the field wide, just as the formation calls.

UNK is an offense that comes traditionally balanced. But it’s considerably more dangerous on the ground led by young sophomore tailback, Rustin Dring. The local made noise in week one when he rushed for 151 yards on Wayne State. He shows explosiveness and isn’t afraid to run downhill on defenders, an attribute needed for the wildcat.

But it’s not just Dring that’s been getting the job done.

Last year’s running back-turned-wide receiver, Brendan Liess, comes from the slot at times and lines up in the back field, and has rushed for 117 yards to date. Quarterback Jake Spitzlberger leads the team in rushing, with an average of over five yards a carry. Speed is evident all-around. Just ask any Maverick, Grizzly or Western State player who has tried to stop it.

In football, you tend to not want players to beat you with their feet. UNK does.

Three years ago, the Arkansas Razorbacks made headlines week in and week out with their version of the offense, the “wild hog.” Speedsters Darren McFadden and Felix Jones ran all the way around teams.

Last year, the Miami Dolphins shocked the New England Patriots when they brought the formation into the NFL. For a decade it has been a college package, until it was taken advantage of last year by a variety of teams.

It’s not an offense that will last forever. It could be gone one day here soon. But right now, it’s the rage in the game. Quarterbacks are now racehorses. On the defensive end, it’s hard to read, between sweep plays, motion passes and reverses. It’s an 11 on 11 game— instead of a 10 on 11—meaning no quarterback stands watching.

Whether UNK runs it, it’s hard to detect. Only Spitzlberger and backup quarterback Bobby Adamson have lined up behind center this year, conveying that it hasn’t been deployed. But why not run some trickery out of it? Why not try it a few times a game?

Who’s to say that by the end of the year, the coined term “wild Loper” is thrown around our team? To jumble it in while the offense is clicking is asking too much. But this team is special in so many ways. And to make some more noise in Division II, the wildcat might be the direction to go. It’s short term and the game is evolving fast. 


Developed by UNK Advertising & Creative Services
Copyright 2009 The University of Nebraska at Kearney | 905 West 25th Street, Kearney
UNK is an ADA & Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity institution
Terms of Use and Copyright Violations |
Contact the webmaster at: