Jacksonville Jaguars finally unveiling Wildcat Formation

jacksonville-jaguars-wildcatBy no measure of the imagination are the Jacksonville Jaguars a great football team this year. However, they’ve been starting to play better, as their 25-24 victory over the New York Giants showed. And offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch is getting more confident in this team.

That said, Fisch and head coach Gus Bradley unleashed Jackonville’s wildcat package last week against the Giants. They have the perfect player in Denard Robinson to lead the wildcat, given that the former Michigan product holds the record for most rushing yards (4,495) by a quarterback in NCAA history.

A wide receiver-turned running back on the Jaguars, Robinson has done most of his damage running the football this year. In weeks 7-9, he racked up 329 rushing yards against the Browns, Dolphins and Bengals. He’s had smaller performances since then against the Cowboys (60 rushing yards), Colts (25) and Giants (44).

But against New York, the wildcat helped Robinson gain 21 of his 44 rushing yards. The team ran the formation four times, with two plays resulting in runs of 16 and 5 yards for Robinson. The other two plays resulted in a false start penalty and a hand-off to Jordan Todman for -1 yard.

denard-robinson-jaguars-wildcat“It’s a little fun, man,” said Robinson. “Of course, you get excited when you have another chance to get the ball and have the opportunity to do the zone read.”

The 21 yards that Robinson gained through the wildcat all came in one third-quarter drive. And this was crucial because it set quarterback Blake Bortles up for a 30-yard touchdown pass to Marqise Lee. Given that the team netted 20 yards on the three runs they did out of the wildcat, you’d wonder why they waited until the 12th game to use it.

Fisch explained the matter to Jacksonville.com by discussing how it was more important for this young team to work on their base offense than to try gimmicky schemes to throw opponents off. He emphasized the importance of working on the normal offense since the rookie QB Bortles took over just two and a half games into the season.

“I don’t think that’s the time to introduce the wildcat, when it’s his first opportunity,” Fisch explained. “Then you have a few weeks where we’re trying to get him comfortable, and we need to not only evaluate Blake, but we need to let Blake get experience, so why take those snaps away from him?”

The same reigns true for Robinson, who was busy playing multiple positions last year while trying to find the perfect fit for his skills.

“Now can we ask him to take it to the next level?’’ said Fisch. “Last year, we thought looking back on it, maybe we gave Denard too much. Now was a chance of let’s just watch the development of all these guys. Why throw exotic formations at Marqise Lee when he’s barely just returning? Why throw the offensive line with a rookie center and a rookie guard to now hear somebody else’s snap count other than a quarterback?”

With four games left in the season, it will be interesting to see if Jacksonville continues trotting out their wildcat formation. Considering that they have a multi-talented player in Robinson to run the wildcat, it would certainly be a good idea.

College Football Power Rankings for Oct. 31st, 2012

It hasn’t been easy sorting out college football’s elite this year because there’s a logjam of stellar unbeaten teams.  Alabama, Oregon, Notre Dame and Kansas State have all proven themselves worthy of a title shot after surviving a tough schedule and looking good while doing so. Assuming all of these teams can remain undefeated, they’ll give the BCS computers fits. Speaking of the BCS, here is how the current rankings look:

1. Alabama
2. Kansas State
3. Notre Dame
4. Oregon
5. LSU
6. Georgia
7. Florida
8. South Carolina
9. Florida State
10. Louisville

This is how the BCS computers currently see things, but let’s move on to our interpretation of the top 10 college football teams.

Week 10 College Football Power Rankings

1. Alabama (8-0) – The Crimson Tide continue to roll after dispatching a previously unbeaten Mississippi State team. Their 31.7-point margin of victory truly shows the dominance of Alabama this season despite playing some pretty good teams. This week they’ll be playing a great team in LSU, which has just one loss on the season.

Last Game: 38-7 win over Mississippi State
Next Game: at LSU Tigers

2. Oregon Ducks (8-0) Despite running over many of their opponents so far, the Ducks are losing the BCS battle. However, they have a solid chance to jump Notre Dame if they can handily beat USC on the road this week. The key to this involves slowing down Matt Barkley and star receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee.

Last Game: 70-14 win over Colorado
Next Game: at USC Trojans

3. Kansas State (8-0) – After an easy victory over ninth-ranked Texas Tech, K-State looks to have a clear road to the Big 12 Championship Game. Assuming they can stay unbeaten and continue racking up convincing victories, the Wildcats could be eyeing Alabama in the National Championship.

Last Game: 55-24 win over Texas Tech
Next Game: vs. Oklahoma State

4. Notre Dame (8-0) – At this point, it’s almost like splitting hairs between the Fighting Irish and Kansas State. Notre Dame grabbed their own impressive victory on the road in Norman, Oklahoma. Despite playing such as tough schedule, the Irish may need an Alabama or K-State loss to get into the title game.

5. Georgia (7-1) – As if the top isn’t jumbled enough, things don’t get any simpler when it comes to one-loss teams. In our opinion, Georgia has a slight lead among the rest of the pack following a game where their defense dominated previously unbeaten Florida. With wins over Ole Miss and rival Auburn, the Bulldogs could face Alabama in the SEC Championship.

Last Game: 17-9 win over Florida
Next Game: vs. Ole Miss

6. LSU (7-1) – You could make an argument for LSU being ahead of Georgia at this point, and the Tigers will have a chance to prove their case against Alabama. But based on the dominance that the Crimson Tide have shown so far, it’ll be a tough home game for LSU. Even still, don’t count this team out since they boast plenty of talent.

Last Game: 24-19 win over Texas A&M
Next Game: vs. Alabama

7. Florida (7-1) – Just about everything went wrong for the Gators in an ugly outing against Georgia last Saturday. Several turnovers now have Florida on the outside looking-in. In a crowded SEC, the best they can hope for at this point is an at-large BCS bowl bid – even with just one loss.

Last Game: 17-9 loss against Georgia
Next Game: vs Missouri

8. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0) – Entering last week’s game against Penn State, the Bucks knew that they’d have to slow down QB Matt McGloin. And OSU linebacker Ryan Shazier did just this as he picked McGloin off and went to the house. Everything is set up for the probation-ridden Bucks to meet their hated rivals, Michigan, with an unblemished record.

Last Game: 35-23 win over Penn State
Next Game: vs. Illinois

9. Oklahoma Sooners (5-2) – Oklahoma may have two losses, but they’ve both come to powerhouses in Kansas State and Notre Dame. This being said, the Sooners are better than a lot of the one-loss teams out there right now.

Last Game: 30-13 loss to Notre Dame
Next Game: at Iowa State

10. Florida State (8-1) – The Seminoles have done a good job in overcoming an earlier loss at N.C. State. And while the BCS Championship may be out of the question – mainly due to the lack of respect for the ACC – Florida State is currently in the driver’s seat for a big bowl game.

Last Game: 48-7 win over Duke
Next Game: at Virginia Tech (Nov. 8)