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Readers opinion: Response to wildcat hype
Student of the Game
Guest Writer

 I honestly don’t know why everyone is so obsessed with the wildcat offense.  Sure, it’s fun, it’s fresh, it’s flashy, but it’s a fad.

The wildcat has come and gone numerous times throughout football history.  As much as I enjoy reading the Antelope Sports Section, they are mistaken on a number of levels when it comes to the wildcat.

Arkansas did not invent the wildcat offense.  It started with Glenn “Pop” Warner all the way back in 1907.  He originally called it the Carlisle formation; however, fans said that it looked like a wing and so was born the single wing offense.  The last team to use the original version of this offense was the Pittsburgh Steelers of 1952.

The wildcat offense shows up when a team needs a spark, or just needs to shake things up.  Everyone points to the Miami Dolphins as their example as to why teams should use the wildcat.  The wildcat offense was the spark they needed at that time to reinvigorate the players and to catch the New England Patriots off guard to win the game.

Last week’s Loper game against CSU-Pueblo had a hint of wildcat mixed in.  The Pueblo coaches threw in their version of the wildcat offense to try and confuse the UNK defense.  However, the score reflects how well that went as the Lopers rolled, 44-12.
UNK has no need for the wildcat offense.  The offensive system currently in use at UNK allows the quarterback to choose between the run or pass.  I guarantee that defenses are more scared of an offense as versatile as Loper’s, than one that lines players up at positions in which they are not fully trained.

Quarterbacks study film for an insane number of hours learning how to read and recognize a defense’s coverages and patterns.  They work tirelessly on the timing and technique needed to navigate down the gridiron.  However, in a wildcat offense you want to line up your highly trained, highly skilled and highly valuable quarterback at a receiver’s spot where an adrenaline pumped, muscle bound, 50 pound heavier linebacker has a free shot at him?  Then you replace him in the backfield with a player who works everyday on running technique, blocking technique, receiving and ball handling?  A defense does not have to think too hard about what plays you are able to run.

A one-dimensional offense will never succeed.  I dare you to take a pad of paper with you to the next Loper game or use one when you watch the game this weekend on TV. Write down whether you think the UNK offense will run the ball or throw the ball based on the personnel and the formation.  Next see if you can guess which way the play will go.  I’ll bet you’ll have a pretty tough time doing so.

The problem with fads is they soon fade back into history. Defenses have already schemed the system and have figured out how to stop it, case and point? Miami started the season 0-3.


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