Luke Fickell Shines A Light On Wisconsin’s Re-Tooled System

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Wisconsin football coach Luke Fickell is going to change the offense, but perhaps not as drastically as expected.

The Badgers are famous for embracing a three yards and a cloud of dust mentality for the past several decades, and many fans (myself included) assumed that system died the day Fickell arrived in Madison.

Now, the former Cincy coach has opened up about what the offense will look like, and he still plans on keeping at least part of the team’s identity.

Luke Fickell is the new head coach at Wisconsin. (Credit: Wisconsin/Football)

“Let’s make sure no matter what it is we do, the Wisconsin way is still the way we’ve got to be able to do things. Now, there’s plenty of ways to look different but still do the similar things, and I think that’s where I’m excited. I think even [Phil Longo] is excited to have a challenge and say, okay, now what it is we’ve done, we’ll still have the base concept of those things, but how do we do them a little bit different for what’s going to be best for us as a program, especially here at Wisconsin,” Fickell told Jim Rome during a Thursday interview.

How different will Wisconsin look in 2023 under Luke Fickell?

Fickell’s response is way more vanilla than a lot of fans might have anticipated. The arrival of Phil Longo in town seemed to be a clear indication that the offense was going to be wide open.

Longo is the exact opposite of everything Wisconsin fans have known for years. He’s the anti-Barry Alvarez when it comes to running the offense.

He loves throwing the ball all over the place. Look at what he did with Drake Maye this past season at North Carolina. The Tar Heels couldn’t throw it enough.

Wisconsin OC Phil Longo had a lot of success at UNC with Drake Maye. (Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

However, it certainly sounds like Luke Fickell is attempting to curb expectations before the season even gets underway.

Yes, things will change, but the change might not happen right away. It’s either that, or Fickell is engaging in some classic coach speak in order to ease the concerns of more establishment fans. It’s hard to say.

What I can say is that until Wisconsin finds a quarterback, it’s impossible to know what will happen for sure. Right now, Myles Burkett and Chase Wolf are the only QBs on the roster with a shot of playing.

That means there’s a very high chance Luke Fickell will look for someone in the portal to lead the offense. Nick Evers was recently on campus, and the former Oklahoma passer is an intriguing option.

The Badgers play Oklahoma State December 27 in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl. Perhaps, fans will start to get some answers then. No matter what, a new era of Wisconsin football is here.

Written by David Hookstead

David is a college football fanatic who foolishly convinces himself every season the Wisconsin Badgers will finally win a national title. Has been pretending to be a cowboy ever since the first episode of Yellowstone aired.


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