Wildcat offense has opponents second-guessing

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By Sean Carley, @SCarleyDE

A new package implemented in Saluki football offense this season has defenses preparing for three different players taking snaps. 

The wildcat offense is a package with an offensive player — typically a wide receiver — taking snaps. The team has multiple options to run, handoff or pass the ball based on how the defense reacts. 

The style became popular after Kansas State coach Bill Snyder used the offense in 1997 and 1998 en route to a No. 2 national ranking. 

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Recently, the package adjusted to include a more true-quarterback style. The most notable and recent example was Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Tim Tebow from 2006 to 2009 at University of Florida. 

The wildcat quarterbacks for the Salukis are redshirt freshman Matt DeSomer and senior transfer quarterback Matt McIntosh. 

Saluki coach Dale Lennon said the package was chosen because the personnel is a good fit to run the package.

“DeSomer is great at that,” Lennon said. “He can still throw the ball and he’s playing receiver for us so it doesn’t take much to get into that. Then with McIntosh, his game is a lot like [starting quarterback Mark] Iannotti’s … so those two are almost ideal.”

DeSomer, who also plays wide receiver, played in both games this season, recording to 11 carries for 60 yards. 

“I just need to get in there and contribute,” DeSomer said. “I just get in there, get those yards and first downs.”

McIntosh has not received as much time because of a lingering hamstring injury sustained in the preseason. He registered 19 yards on five carries against Indiana — the only game he played in — during week one. 

“Instead of three weeks, I only had a week and a half to prove myself so I’m just trying to fit into the offense any way I can,” he said.

Giving Iannotti a break, who finds this extra time to breathe important, is another key of this package.

“They’re both just amazing, dynamic players,” Iannotti said. “It can be a 1-2-3 punch back there. We all trust each other back there and we can all get yards.”

Sean Carley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @SCarleyDE.

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