65 Teams in 65 Days: Arizona Wildcats

Updated: Jul 16

Head Coach: Jedd Fisch

Offensive Coordinator: Brennan Carroll Defensive Coordinator: Johnny Nansen (First Season) Conference: PAC-12

2021 Record: 1-11 (1-8)

2022 Non Conference Opponents: San Diego State, Mississippi State, North Dakota State

Key Additions: QB Jayden De Laura (Washington State), WR Jacob Cowing (UTSA), LB Hunter Echols (USC), WR Tetairoa McMillan (High School)

Arizona will improve a ton this year. From day one I loved the Jedd Fisch hire and still believe he is the man to make Arizona Football respectable. Fisch has already instilled a culture in Tucson and it showed this past recruiting cycle where the Wildcats had one of the best classes in the PAC-12. Arizona has also been one of the best programs recruiting from the transfer portal, as they have brought in a plethora of players who will make an instant impact, such as former Washington State quarterback Jayden De Laura, who will be the leader of the Wildcats offense.

Last season as a freshman at Washington State, De Laura recorded over 2,700 pass yards and also threw for 23 passing touchdowns, showing he is already one of the best passers in the PAC-12 and has potential to be one of the best in the nation. On the ground, De Laura does not offer much and the Wildcats running back room is one of the worst in power five, led by Michael Wiley, who had more fumbles than touchdowns in 2021. Thankfully though, their receiving core is ELITE, headlined by UTEP transferJacob Cowing, who had a 90.0 PFF receiving grade in 2021, third best among returning wide receivers. Along with Cowing, the Wildcats also brought in Tetairoa McMillan, their highest rated recruit of all time. McMillan will be a great compliment to Cowing, as he is 6’4 and great at coming down with contested catches, whereas Cowing is more useful in the open field. The duo of Cowing and McMillan is by far the most underrated in the entire nation and look for them to wreak havoc on opposing secondaries this fall. Up front, the Wildcat's offensive line is not a strength but by no means a weakness as Josh Donovan and Paiton Fears look to build off their productive 2021 campaigns.

On defense, the Wildcats return defensive lineman Kyon Barrs, a 2021 PAC-12 second team selection who is fantastic at both stopping the run and rushing the passer. They also added USC edge rusher Hunter Echols, a sure tackler who brings loads of experience to the Wildcat defense and sports a nasty 6’5 245 pound frame. Those two will lead the way for a very inexperienced front seven that is bound to improve. The Wildcats secondary did not have a lot to be happy with last season but they do return their lone bright spot in cornerback Treydan Stukes, who did not allow a single touchdown in 2021, look for him and the whole group to improve as a whole, but still be toward the middle to bottom of the conference in terms of production.

Overall, Arizona is still far from elite, but by bringing in players who will make an immediate impact, look for the them to push for a bowl game appearance in 2022. Many are predicting an 0-3 start for the Wildcats, as they have to go up against a San Diego State team that won ten games last season, Mississippi State and FCS powerhouse, North Dakota State. I completely disagree and think De Laura, Cowing and McMillan make an instant impact and help the Wildcats knock off NDSU and SDSU. As for conference play, the Wildcats are going to play spoiler all season, as I see them knocking off both USC and Oregon at home, in what will be shootouts. They close the season out with two home wins versus Washington State and Arizona State, which will propel the Wildcats into bowl eligibility.

Record Prediction: 7-5 (5-4)

AT San Diego State: Win

V Mississippi State: Loss

V North Dakota State: Win AT CAL: Loss

V Colorado: Win

V Oregon: Win

AT Washington: Loss V USC: Win AT Utah: Loss


V Washington State: Win V ASU: Win

Best Bet: Arizona Team Total Wins OVER 2.5

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