2017 Football Preview – Pac-12 – Wildcats
Looking for 2017 Arizona Wildcats predictions? The Wildcats are coming off a trainwreck of a season. Their three wins were the fewest the program had seen since the 2005 campaign, and the nine losses were the most the school had seen since 2003.
As SB Nation’s Bill Connelley wrote in May, “A decent head coach can push the boulder up the hill in Tucson, but one stumble, and it rolls all the way back down. Nobody loses it like Arizona, and when it’s lost, it takes a while to get found.”
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- 2017-18 College Football Preview – Arizona Wildcats
- Head Coach: Rich Rodriguez
- 2015 Record: 3-9
- Arizona Wildcats Odds to win the 2017 FBS Championship: 500-1
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The Wildcats need to regain momentum. Not only did this team go 3-9 a year ago, but it has won just 10 of its last 27 games total.
Will 2017 be a year of redemption? Or will stopping a downhill tumble prove to be too difficult?
2017 Arizona Wildcats Predictions: Team Strengths
Offense: Arizona’s offense has plenty of bounce-back potential. After all, Rich Rod has a history of running strong offenses, and that has been true at Arizona as well.
Along with history, this team has experience on the scoring side of the ball. It will have three seasoned quarterbacks, a trio of solid running backs and seven linemen who have started in the past.
As far as the cream of the offense goes, look no further than the running back tandem of Nick Wilson and J.J. Taylor.
Health is going to play a key factor, however. If the two can stay on the field on a week-to-week basis, they have the potential to do some serious damage. especially with quarterback Brandon Dawkins’ (or Khalil Tate’s) mobility and an experienced line.
That’s especially true with a seasoned O-line and mobile quarterbacks.
If the running backs stay healthy, all of the aforementioned pieces benefit.
2017 Arizona Wildcats Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Defense: We’re not going to beat around the bush here, and we’re certainly not going to mince words.
Arizona’s defense was atrocious last season.
Consider the following stats: 113th in total yards allowed; 113th in total passing yards allowed; 127th in pass completion percentage allowed; 105th in passing touchdowns allowed; 81st in total rushing yards allowed; 92nd in rushing touchdowns allowed; 89th in total sacks; 93rd in total interceptions; 106th in defensive efficiency.
Again, we’re not going to sugar coat this. The defense of the Wildcats is a huge mystery—and a mystery without much promise.
Arizona Wildcats Prediction: 5-7
Unless the defense encounters a drastic and unexpected turnaround, Arizona is going to find itself toward the bottom of the Pac-12 South Division once again. But not all hope is lost.
Looking at the Wildcats’ schedule, it’s easy to project a better season than last year. (Although full disclosure: It’d be nearly impossible to have as bad of a season as the Rich Rod-led squad had a year ago).
For starters, you have to assume this team is going to be healthier than it was a year ago. That alone is worth a win, putting Arizona at four victories compared to last year’s three.
Game No. 2 on the year against Houston will be a barometer of what we can expect going forward. Game No. 3 against UTEP will be important heading into conference play.
Assuming this squad wins two or three of its non-conference game, a five-win season is very doable.
Expecting much more than that might be setting yourself up for disappointment.
2017 Arizona Wildcats Football Schedule
- 9/2/17 11:00 PM ET NAU
- 9/9/17 10:30 PM ET HOU
- 9/15/17 10:15 PM ET @UTEP
- 9/22/17 10:30 PM ET UTAH
- 10/7/17 TBD @COLO
- 10/14/17 TBD UCLA
- 10/21/17 TBD @CAL
- 10/28/17 TBD WSU
- 11/4/17 TBD @USC
- 11/11/17 TBD ORST
- 11/18/17 TBD @ORE
- 11/25/17 TBD @ASU
What do you think about our 2017 Arizona Wildcats predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2017!
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