2012-13 Football Previews – (Pac 12) – Arizona Wildcats
Rich Rodriguez is getting another chance to prove he can take a team to the top. After great success at West Virginia, Rodriguez was run out of Michigan after disappointing seasons. Mike Stoops never panned out for the Wildcats. Arizona had an embarrassing 4-8 campaign in 2011.
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PAC 12 Conference 2012-2013 College Football Previews: Arizona Wildcats
Head Coach: Rich Rodriguez
2011 Record: 4-8
Arizona Gambling Odds from BetOnline to win BCS Championship: +12,500
Arizona Gambling Odds from BetOnline to win PAC 12 Conference: +3,300
Arizona Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2012 Schedule –>
Rodriguez will bring a brand new system into Tuscon. How will the team respond?
Arizona has experienced plenty of basketball success, but the team has never made it to the Rose Bowl. This football program is located in a good area to attract talent, and the facilities are solid. Rodriguez will have less pressure on him than he did in Ann Arbor, but he knows he has to get to work right away. Rodriguez wants to start out by getting this team accustomed to his “game speed.” The team has gotten a real shock in offseason workouts, but Rodriguez hopes it will help them be ready for a whole new style of football.
Matt Scott redshirted last year while Nick Foles took all the snaps. Rodriguez is extremely fortunate to have a veteran like Scott to run his offense at Arizona. Scott has shown he knows how to win big games in the past, and he has the combination of athleticism and arm strength that should work well in this spread offense.
The deepest position on the entire team may well be the running back spot. Ka’Deem Carey looks like a star in the making in the backfield. Carey fits well into the spread offense because of his explosiveness and power. Daniel Jenkins, Kylan Butler, and Greg Nwoko should all get time at the tailback spot. Senior Taimi Tutogi has played fullback well in the past, but look for him to get even more action in this new offense.
Arizona lost its top three receivers from a year ago, including Juron Criner. It will be tough to replace these three guys right away, and losing such great talent on the outside could hold up the development of quarterback Matt Scott in Rodriguez’s offense.
You could pick just about any spot on the defense as a weakness, but it all starts up front. The Arizona defense registered just 10 sacks all of last year. That was the fewest sacks by any team since the PAC 10 era started in 1978. Rodriguez put in a new 3-3-5 defense, but without three strong guys at the front it will be tough to have success.
The Wildcats secondary allowed 299 yards per game through the air in 2011. How bad was that? It was second worst in all of college football. Junior safety Adam Hall was expected to be a big contributor in the secondary, but he tore an ACL in the spring game. Expect the opposition to torch this unit again this year.
2012-2013 Arizona Wildcats Football Prediction: 4-8
This team should be able to pile up the points this year, but defense will be a major problem. There is no star power on the defense at all, and the Wildcats have no depth on the defensive side of the ball. Arizona may well have to score in 40’s each game in order to win. The Wildcats get eight home games, but I still think they end up with a similar record to last year. Without a defense, it will be tough to move up too quickly.
2012 Southern Cal Schedule
9/1/12 10:30 PM ET TOL
9/8/12 TBD OKLST
9/15/12 TBD SCSU
9/22/12 TBD @ORE
9/29/12 TBD OREST
10/6/12 TBD @STAN
10/20/12 TBD WASH
10/27/12 TBD USC
11/3/12 TBD @UCLA
11/10/12 TBD COL
11/17/12 TBD @UTAH
11/23/12 10:00 PM ET ARZST