#82 Arizona Football 2012 Preview

Arizona Wildcats

2012 Overall Rank #82
#10 Pacific-12 Conference
Arizona College Football 2012 Team Preview
Arizona Team Page


The Wildcats had a tough season in 2011, losing eight of their 12 games. They made a coaching change midway through the season and then during the offseason went out to find a long term solution. The coaching search ended with the hiring of high profile coach,  Rich Rodriguez who has had tremendous success in the past. He failed to turn around the Wolverines but now gets another shot to take the Wildcats to the next level.

2011 Record: (4-8, 2-7)
2011 Bowl: None
Coach: Rich Rodriguez (0-0 at Arizona, 76-48 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Calvin Magee and Rob Smith (Co-Offensive Coordinators)
Defensive Coordinator: Jeff Casteel

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Ka’Deem Carey, RB, 449 yards
Passing: None
Receiving: Dan Buckner, WR, 606
Tackles: Marquis Flowers, S, 53
Sacks: Marquis Flowers, S, 1; Tra’Mayne Bondurant, S, 1; Dan Pettinato, DE, 1; Jowyn Ward DT, 1
Interceptions: Shaquille Richardson, CB, 4

Other Key Returnees: WR Richard Morrison, RB Daniel Jenkins

Key Losses: QB Nick Foles, WR Juron Criner, WR David Douglas, WR Gino Crump

The Wildcats had one of the best aerial assaults in the nation a season ago. It seemed no matter what defense they went up against they had success. However, their trigger man, Nick Foles, graduated and their top two receivers also graduated, so repeating their success will be difficult. However, teams who have a good passing game usually are able to maintain that success despite undergoing changes. Head Coach Rich Rodriguez is known as an offensive guru so expect Arizona to still have lots of firepower on that side of the ball. They are returning a talented young back in Ka’Deem Carey but need to groom a new quarterback in order to have the explosive offense that they desire.

The Wildcats explosive offense was able to light up the scoreboard, but their defense allowed even more points per contest. Their poor defensive play was the prime reason for their struggles. They were unable to stop the run or the pass but the passing game was their primary problem. The Wildcats ranked 119th in the nation in passing yards allowed per game, surrendering an astounding average of 298.02 yards per contest to their opponents, which proved to be the root of their defensive problems. These issues may have stemmed from their lack of a pass rush as they were not even able to generate an average of one sack per game. When quarterbacks do not feel pressure and are able to stand in the pocket all day, it becomes easy to pick apart the defense. If the Wildcats want to improve their defense they need to start applying pressure to the quarterback.

The Bottom Line:
The Wildcats have a new coach who is an offensive guru. He is inheriting a team that had an explosive offense a season ago and will probably take them to next level in due time. However, the Wildcats have a glaring weakness on the defensive side of the ball which will have no quick fix. Arizona’s games will continue to be entertaining to watch as they will light up the scoreboard and so will their opponents. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, with all the turnovers on offense, more often than not they will end up on the losing end of the track meets.

Projected Bowl: None

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense:  94.50 (114, 11)
Passing Offense: 370.75 (3, 1)
Total Offense: 465.25 (16, 3)
Scoring Offense: 30.75 (38, 6)
Rushing Defense: 161.58 (67, 8)
Pass Defense: 298.92 (119, 12)
Total Defense: 460.50 (110, 12)
Scoring Defense: 35.42 (107, 10)
Turnover Margin: -.42 (91, 11)
Sacks: .83 (116, 12)
Sacks Allowed: 1.77 (54, 5)

Madness 2012 Football Recruit Rankings:
#236 Kyle Kelley