Arizona Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Arizona Wildcats


Arizona may have found its winning ways again with Rich Rodriguez running things in Tucson.  To be certain, Arizona is an elite team, but they did find themselves ranked this season before they lost three straight in the middle of the year.  Rodriguez’s West Virginia offense and 3-3-5 defense is unique to football in that not many people run it or run it as well as his teams.  The Wildcats have found success this season and the players have bought into what Rodriguez is selling.  Their arrival came on October 27 when they took down USC in a back-and-forth game.  The Pac-12 cannot overlook Arizona.

2012 Record: 7-5, 4-5
Coach: Rich Rodriguez
Coach Bowl Record: 2-4

Big Wins: 9/8 Oklahoma State (59-38), 10/27 USC (39-36)
Bad Losses: 9/29 Oregon State (35-38), 11/23 Arizona State (34-41)

Arizona is incredibly adept at creating offensive opportunities for themselves.  They are one of the most prolific teams in the country let alone the conference.  They averaged well over 500 yards per game and only fell short of Oregon by slightly over 20 yards per game.  They had a top 25 passing attack led by Matt Scott, a relative afterthought as a quarterback before this season began.  He hit the 3,000 yard passing mark and had a solid touchdown-to-interception ratio.  He has made the most of his opportunities after having the reigns turned over to him this year.  As is typical of a Rodriguez team, the rushing attack was among the best in the land.  Ka’Deem Carey led all rushers to the 15th best running game in the country.  His 307 yard game against Colorado was one of the best performances in the Pac-12 this season.  At nearly 38 points per game, Arizona was able to keep up with just about anybody.  Considering most of their games were not low-scoring, their ability to find the end zone paid huge dividends throughout the season.  Their punting unit was also one of the best in the conference.

Rodriguez will most certainly put an emphasis on fixing his defense in the offseason.  They had some of the worst numbers in the Pac-12 this year.  They had a better shot at winning a shootout than they would a defensive battle.  They were one of the worst defenses in the country in total defense and scoring defense.  They allowed nearly as many yards per game as they produced.  They gave up a whopping 295 yards through the air.  That’s the fourth worst total in the nation.  They also allowed opposing rushers to gain nearly 190 yards per game.  Other teams were able to find great balance against the Wildcats.  They had a tough time bringing people down.  Their leading tackler, Jake Fischer, led the team with 106 tackles.  They need more production out of their linebackers.  They were also abysmal at sacking the quarterback.  Their unthreatening defense got to the other quarterback about once per game, easily the worst total in the Pac-12.  Rodriguez is creating something with Arizona.  Once he finds consistency, he will find more wins.  There were times this season when they went from stellar to horrible.  At the beginning of the year they scored 139 points in the first three games.  Then they were blanked against Oregon.  The drop-off is so vast that it makes this team hard to gauge sometimes.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Ka’Deem Carey, RB, 1,757 yards
Passing: Matt Scott, QB, 3,238 yards
Receiving: Austin Hill, WR, 1,189 yards
Tackles: Jake Fischer, LB, 106
Sacks: Marquis Flowers, S, 5.5
Interceptions: Jonathan McKnight, CB, 3

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 230.42 (15th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 291.42 (29, 4)
Total Offense: 521.83 (7, 2)
Scoring Offense: 37.25 (19, 2)
Rushing Defense: 189.75 (90, 11)
Pass Defense: 295.92 (116, 12)
Total Defense: 485.67 (115, 11)
Scoring Defense: 34.25 (101, 11)
Turnover Margin: -0.17 (67, 8)
Sacks: 1.33 (101, 12)
Sacks Allowed: 1.50 (36, 3)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2010    Alamo Bowl          Oklahoma State (10-36)
2009    Holiday Bowl        Nebraska (0-33)
2008    Las Vegas Bowl    BYU (31-21)
1998    Holiday Bowl        Nebraska (23-20)
1997    Insight Bowl        New Mexico (20-14)

*all team stats through 11/24


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