by Travis Normand
October 4, 2019
I don’t normally write or comment on the “Xs & Os” of the game; however, that is merely because it is not my specialty (it is not because I don’t find it interesting).
In other words, while I truly enjoy in-game strategy, formations, and plays; there are other guys who are much better at discussing, writing about, and dissecting the finer points of the “Xs & Os.”
Having said that, there comes a time when I can’t help myself. After all, we all know a thing of beauty when we see it, and Wisconsin’s “14-Hippo” or “Hippo” formation was just that … a thing of beauty.
On September 21, Wisconsin unveiled this new formation against Michigan, and it worked to perfection. Actually, everything worked well for Wisconsin that day as they defeated the No. 19 Wolverines 35-14.
So, if you like “heavy” run packages, I would encourage you to check out what Wisconsin is doing with their Hippo formation. The formation includes seven (7) offensive lineman, two (2) tight-ends, a quarterback, and a running back (11 total players); and it really compliments the running game that is lead by Jonathan Taylor (RB). Taylor ran for 203 yards against Michigan, his highest of the season so far.
The formation has been covered at various sites that you can find here (USA Today), here (FiveThirtyEight.com), here (Bucky’s5thQuarter.com), and here (247Sports.com). I found the article at FiveThirtyEight.com especially interesting, as it was titled “In the spread offense era, can Wisconsin rush its way to the playoff?“
In any event, if you enjoy old-fashion power football where a team simply lines up and runs the ball down the other team’s throat, I would highly suggest that you start watching more of Wisconsin’s games this year.