Staff predictions on Arizona football's season
Junior quarterback Khalil Tate (14) veers left after the Wildcats moved down the field against Arizona State on November 24th.
Our football beat writers Jack Cooper, Amit Syal, and Austin Wales give their thoughts on Arizona football's upcoming season and predict the Wildcat's win/loss record.
Not too many people expected Arizona to lose their first game of the year to Hawai’i. The game was actually much closer than it really should’ve been, especially since the Rainbow Warriors turned the ball over SIX times and even then Arizona still had their chances to win the game until the very end. But moving forward I expect Arizona to respond well in their next game vs NAU. The Wildcats then have three games in a row that are must-wins if they want to go to a bowl game. The Texas Tech and UCLA games are both in Tucson and then the ‘Cats travel to Boulder to face Colorado. At this point I expect the team to be 3-2 as they head into the meat of their schedule. They then face Washington at home who could be a top 10 team and then travel to Los Angeles to face USC which is never an easy trip to make. A week later they’ll have to travel to Palo Alto to face Stanford in another game I don’t see them winning. They’ll get an easier week as Oregon State comes to town but then they finish the schedule at Oregon, at home versus Utah and at ASU which will all be tough games. If Arizona can figure out their defensive struggles even a little bit they’ll be able to stay in most games because of their high powered offense.
Arizona football kicked off the 2019 season last week in Hawai’i. Much to the team’s dismay, they were sent home with a loss in the season opener. With eleven games remaining season, there is obviously a lot left to be done for the 'Cats. However, I think the first game means a lot for Arizona: for the past seven years, since 2012, every time the Wildcats started out the season with a loss, they ended up finishing the season with a record below .500. With a loss to kick things off this year in Hawai’i, according to our recent trends, Arizona is headed for a below .500 season. After high hopes for the New Sumlin Era last year and sub-par execution (5-7 record last season), Arizona football is headed toward another below .500 season.
After coming up a yard short in a 45-38 loss to Hawai’i, Arizona needs to find their footing quickly, as they play some teams that are considerably better than Hawai’i this year. While Khalil Tate looks to be in better running condition than last year, and the pass game looks strong, the defense is a question this season. While creating six turnovers in last weekend's game, the defense still gave up 595 yards of offense. Moving forward, if the Wildcats aren’t able to stop the passing attack, then this season will be rough. The Wildcats were only able to get one sack all night, primarily because of the fact that they only rushed three down linemen for the first half, but if there is going to be no pressure from the defense, the Wildcats are going to struggle against heavy pass teams, such as Oregon, WSU, and USC. Offensively, this will be the Wildcats greatest strength, as we have seen strong promise from Khalil Tate. If the Wildcats are able to move the ball as well as they did against Hawai’i all season, we should see several quality wins for the ‘Cats.