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Arizona Wildcats 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

Arizona Wildcats 2016 Preview

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The Arizona Wildcats have been hanging around in the Pac-12 the past few seasons and are hoping to finally get that big break. Rich Rodriguez has led Arizona to 17 wins the last two seasons and would like this to be the year it competes for a conference title.

Can this be the season?

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Arizona Wildcats 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook


Here is your 2016 Arizona Wildcats college football preview.

Offense: Arizona finished third in the Pac-12 in total offense last season with an average of 494 yards per game. As expected under a Rodriguez coached team, the Wildcats will once again live and die with their offense. Anu Solomon returns at quarterback after combining for 48 touchdown passes the last two seasons and hopefully he can stay healthy this time around. Last season, Solomon made better decisions with the football and improved his completion percentage to 62 percent. Arizona did lose its top-two receivers but a trio of Nate Phillips, Samajie Grant and Trey Griffey is experienced and has racked up more than 200 career receptions. Running back Nick Wilson has shown he can be a 1,000-yard rusher when healthy, but he struggled with injuries last season. Either way, Wilson and Orlando Bradford create a solid 1-2 punch in the backfield. Arizona also has an experienced offensive line with Jacob Alsadek anchoring the unit. Arizona is once again going to be tough to stop on the offensive end.

Defense: The Arizona Wildcats remain a question mark defensively with a new defensive coordinator in Marcel Yates who comes over from Boise State. Arizona should have a new defensive scheme that should put some of these smaller defenders in better positions to make plays. The best part of Arizona’s defense on paper is the secondary with Paul Magloire Jr. returning as the team’s leading tackler with 72, and DaVonte' Neal has proven himself to be a reliable corner. DeAndre Miller has struggled with injuries, but he still finished last year with eight tackles for loss at linebacker and has shown he can be a playmaker. Cal transfer, Michael Barton, should add a boost after racking up 167 tackles in three seasons. Marcus Griffin will benefit from a position change and Parker Zellers should be ready for a breakout season along the defensive line. However, Arizona has a very small  front seven and can struggle at times to generate pressure. Again, we’ll see if the Wildcats can get enough stops to help this team take that next step.

Special Teams: Sophomore Josh Pollack will replace Drew Riggleman at punter. Pollack is also expected to replace Casey Skowron at kicker.

Outlook: The outlook for Arizona has been the same it’s been over the last few years. We know the Wildcats are going to be fun to watch offensively and points will be included. The question is can Arizona string together stops defensively? Arizona has ranked 10th the last two seasons in total defense. Improve defensively and Arizona is a Pac-12 title contender. Continue to struggle defensively and Arizona is another cute team that wins seven or eight games. We’ll see.



Sept. 3

vs. BYU ^



Sept. 10



Sept. 17




Sept. 24



Oct. 1




Oct. 8

at Utah



Oct. 15




Oct. 22




Oct. 29

Stanford (Family Weekend)


Nov. 5

at Washington State


Nov. 12

Colorado (Homecoming)



Nov. 19

at Oregon State


Nov. 25

Arizona State


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