Analyzing the Pac-12 Football Teams: Arizona Wildcats


Continuing the Go Joe Bruin Pac-12 preview will be the Arizona Wildcats. The Wildcats are coming off a 2013 season that saw them start 6-2, but finish 1-3, including losing three of their last five games, to finish the season 8-5. They do have a bowl victory to build off of in the 2014 season, defeating Boston College in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl. They lost star running back Ka’deem Carey to the NFL, but do get the services of WR Austin Hill back, who missed 2013 with a torn ACL. Let’s take a quick look at the 2014 Arizona Wildcats.

Key Losses

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RB Ka’Deem Carey

  • 2012 and 2013 Consensus All-American and All Pac-12 First team offense
  • 2013 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the year
  • 10th in the Heisman voting in 2013
  • Finished his career with 743 rushing attempts, 4,239 rushing yards, and 48 touchdowns
  • Led the Pac-12 with 349 rushing attempts and1,885 rushing yards
  • Top 10 in the nation in rushing yards, attempts, touchdowns, and yards from scrimmage
  • Drafted in the 4th round by the Chicago Bears with the 117th overall pick

LB Marquis Flowers

  • 2013 Honorable mention All Pac-12 defense
  • Finished his career with 273 total tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks
  • Drafted in the 6th round by the Cincinnati Bengals with the 212th overall pick

CB Shaquille Richardson

  • 2013 Honorable mention All Pac-12 defense
  • Finished his career with 189 total tackles, 10 interceptions, and 37 passes defended
  • Drafted in the 5th round by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 157th overall pick

Key Returners

November 10, 2012; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats wide receiver Austin Hill (29) makes the catch over his shoulder against the Colorado Buffaloes during the second half at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

WR Austin Hill

  • 2012 All Pac-12 Second team offense
  • Missed the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL
  • In 2012, Hill was third in the Pac-12 with 81 receptions, second with 1,364 receiving yards, and third with 11 receiving touchdowns

WR Nate Phillips

  • 2013 Honorable mention All Pac-12 offense
  • Finished 2013 with 51 receptions, 696 receiving yards, and 7 receiving touchdowns
  • His 7 touchdowns were seventh in the conference last season

DB Jared Tevis

  • 2013 All Pac-12 honorable mention
  • Has accumulated 165 total tackles, 7 forced fumbles, and 3 interceptions in his two years in Tucson

LB Scooby Wright

  • 2013 All Pac-12 honorable mention
  • Had 83 total tackles, 9 tackles for loss, and 1 interception as a freshman in 2013

Coach Review: Rich Rodriguez

Jul 23, 2014; Hollywood, CA, USA; Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez talks to the media during the Pac-12 Media Day at the Studios at Paramount. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The head coach of the Arizona Wildcats, Rich Rodriguez, is entering his third season with the Wildcats and his 13th season overall as a head coach. After starting his career at West Virginia, and a quick three-year stop at Michigan, it looks like Rich Rod has found a home in Tucson. He has led the Wildcats to two straight 8-5 seasons and back-to-back bowl victories.

He is an offensive guru and has never had a problem scoring points, but has had a problem keeping other teams out of the end zone. If Rodriguez, and his staff, can create some turnovers and stop some opponents the Wildcat faithful could experience a pretty fun season in 2014.

2014 Schedule

Fri, Aug 29 vs UNLV (ESPN)

Thurs, Sep 4 @ UTSA (Fox Sports 1)

Sat, Sept 13 vs Nevada (Pac 12 Networks)

Sat, Sept 20 vs California

Thurs, Oct 2 @ Oregon (ESPN)

Sat, Oct 11 vs USC (Fox Sports 1)

Sat, Oct 25 @ Washington State

Sat, Nov 1 @ UCLA

Sat, Nov 8 vs Colorado

Sat, Nov 15 vs Washington

Sat, Nov 22 @ Utah

Fri, Nov 28 vs Arizona State (Fox)

2014 Season Outlook

The Wildcats lost the best RB in the conference last season to the Bears and have to replace their quarterback as well, but luckily for Wildcat fans, Rich Rod is an offensive genius. They should have the best WR corps in the conference and as long as the QB can get them the ball their offense should be fine.

As for the defense, it has the chance to be one of the better ones in the Pac-12. The secondary is talented and sophomore LB Scooby Wright is the real deal.

Arizona has a very good chance at starting the season 4-0 before traveling up to Eugene to play the Ducks and from that game on it is a brutal schedule. Having to travel to Oregon, UCLA and Utah is not easy and throw in home games against USC, Washington, and Arizona St will make a tough final eight games. If the Wildcats can find a steady QB and their defense comes together they could be a sleeper in the Pac-12 this season.