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Football scheme breakdown: Wildcat Formation

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NCAA Football: Florida State at Boston College Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Originally published Jun. 2020

The term “Wildcat” has become a divisive one in college football. On one hand, Wildcat can efficiently get the ball into the hands of some of your best playmakers without having to go through the quarterback as a middleman. On the other hand it can hamper your offense, as you immediately become one dimensional. After all, the quarterback position was invented for a reason.

So when is the correct time to use this niche formation? Arguably, over the past two years it was not used enough by the Seminoles. However, a player with the unique skillset of Cam Akers doesn’t come around often. So on a team with mere mortals in the backfield what does using Wildcat say about a coach who is willing to forgo the option to use his quarterback?

Mike Norvell is not afraid to use the Wildcat. In fact, Norvell’s Memphis used the formation 24 times in the 2018 American Athletic Championship against UCF. A gameplan that unique requires a closer look:

Despite losing the game, Norvell’s use of the Wildcat should be encouraging to Florida State fans. This shows innovation and confidence in himself and his gameplan which stands in stark contrast to the recent past. Whether Norvell can bring Florida State back to its past glory is yet to be seen, but a competent plan will definitely bring a needed sigh of relief.