2013 Arizona Spring Football Analysis
2013 Arizona Wildcats ...
Head Coach: Rich Rodriguez
Why To Get Excited … a second year with Rich Rodriguez in Tucson means the learning curve on offense ought to be much flatter. If a capable quarterback can be mined, the attack might be even more potent than in 2012, when it normed 38 points a game. RB Ka’Deem Carey and WR Austin Hill are dynamic skill position players, both of whom are candidates to bolt to the NFL after their junior seasons.
| 2013 Schedule|
8/31 Northern Arizona
9/7 at UNLV
9/21 OPEN DATE
9/28 at Washington
10/5 OPEN DATE
10/10 at USC
10/26 at Colorado
11/2 at California
11/16 Washington St
11/30 at Arizona State
Why To Be Grouchy … even with the return of 11 starters, the defense is capable of once again capping Arizona’s mobility. The ‘Cats were atrocious last season, yielding almost 500 yards a game. While progress is almost inevitable, considering all of the familiar faces in the huddle and on the sidelines, the D still has a very long way to go before being considered an asset.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … developing a quarterback rotation. Matt Scott is gone, leaving a gaping hole at the most important spot on the depth chart. B.J. Denker was last year’s backup, playing well in his lone start versus Colorado. However, he’ll be challenged by two transfers, Jesse Scroggins from USC and Nick Isham from Louisiana Tech. For RichRod’s offense to flourish, there needs to be an ace point guard distributing the ball.
Non-Conference Games: Northern Arizona, at UNLV, UTSA
Games Against The North: at California, Oregon, at Washington, Washington State
Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Worst Case Record: 4-8
Likely Finish: 6-6
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Northern Arizona, at UNLV, UTSA, Utah, at Colorado, UCLA, Washington State
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Washington, at USC, at California, Oregon, at Arizona State
Schedule Analysis: It’s a sneaky-tough schedule with just enough tough road games sprinkled in between a slew of layups to make it difficult to come up with a great year. A 3-0 start is a mortal lock playing Northern Arizona, at UNLV and UTSA before getting a week off to prepare for the Pac-12 opener against Washington. There’s an unnecessary second week off before mid-October, and the Wildcats need to use it before going on an eight-week run with no breaks the rest of the way.
There are three road games in four weeks starting with the trip to USC, but the next three games are the must wins getting Utah and going to Colorado and California. UCLA and Oregon come to Tucson, and getting a split would be nice with Washington State and the season finale against Arizona State making it an interesting finishing kick. The team doesn’t leave the state over the final four weeks.
Team Concerns For 2013: All 11 starters are back on defense, but everyone has to be far better after finishing 118th in the nation and last in the Pac-12 in yards allowed. There wasn't any pass rush whatsoever, finishing last in the conference which led to the disastrous year from the secondary. The run defense wasn't a prize, either, allowing 206 yards per game. The offense might be great again under Rich Rodriguez, but six starters are gone including quarterback Matt Scott and receivers Dan Buckner and Terrence Miller.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... The backfield. Rich
Rodriguez did a great job putting square pegs into round holes, and now
he's getting the guys he wants and needs to run his attack. It starts
with Anu Solomon, and athletic playmaker who should fit the offense to a
T, but JUCO transfer Jesse Scroggins is going to get a little bit of a
look. Running back Pierre Cormier has the quickness to break off huge
plays, but Zachary Green could turn out to be just as effective. The
receiving corps is getting some pop with T.J. Johnson, Samajie Grant,
Nate Phillips and Mauriece Lee all speedsters who can hit the home run.
Corner Derek Babiash is a great bet and Prince Holloway is a JUCO
transfer who should see time immediately, but the class will revolve
around the offense.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 52. That Class Was Heavy On ... Players who can run the spread. Arizona was No. 3 in the nation in passing with Nick Foles under center, and now Rich Rodriguez has to find a Denard Robinson/Pat White type who can run his offense. He’s saying he’ll tailor the offense around the players and not the players to the offense, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going after the players he needs. However, this doesn’t look like it’ll be a big class of running backs with most of the attention paid to the defensive line.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 69. That Class Was Heavy On ... Kickers. It’s a surprisingly sparse class with little star power and no one area of instant improvement … except at kicker. Jamie Salazer and Kyle Dugandzic come in from the JUCO ranks to battle it out for time, even though Alex Zendejas is coming off a decent year
hitting 14-of-19 field goals. The best part of the class is running back with KaDeem Carey and Jared Baker two quick backs who can do a little bit of everything right. Dominique Petties and Patrick Onwuasor are two good safeties to keep an eye on.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 44. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Linemen. Lots and
lots of linemen. The Wildcats got their receivers
last year and are solid at the skill positions, but
they still got a star target in JUCO transfer Dexter
Ransom. The lines needed to be fortified, and this is the class
for that with five linemen brought in for the
offensive side and five for the defense. Kirifi
Taula is the defensive tackle the line will
eventually build around, but JUCO transfers Willie Mobley and Mohammed
Usman will be needed now for depth. There weren't many stars for the
offensive line, but tackles Trent Spurgeon and Matthew Jakubiec have
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 50. That Class Was
Heavy On ... pass-catchers. If you’re going to successfully run
Sonny Dykes’ offense, you better have depth at the receiver position.
The Wildcats took a quantum leap in that direction, signing more than a
half-dozen wideouts and tight ends. The hands-down gem of that group is
local standout Adam Hall, who had his choice of destinations. Actually,
there’s so much talent here, it could free up Hall to move over to
safety, where he’s just as dangerous.