Wildcat Head Coach Rich Rodriguez enters his 3rd year in Tucson and is ahead of schedule after back-to-back 8-5 seasons. The 2013 Wildcat squad will definitely miss departed running back Ka’Deem Carey (1885 yards, 19 TD’s in 2013) but redshirt freshman Pierre Cormier is slated as the replacement and he has some very big shoes to fill. The key to every Rich Rodriguez team is the quarterback position and this year RichRod will have USC transfer Senior quarterback Jesse Scroggins, a big mobile guy with a big arm, behind center. Scroggins will benefit from four returning offensive lineman, three of which are also seniors. Defensively, the Wildcats lose their top two tacklers but do return 6 starters from a defense that only allowed 401 yards per game in 2013 which is very good for a defense in the Pac-12.
There are some key questions that need to be answered about Arizona but we won’t have those answers until early October when the Wildcats make the treacherous trip up to Eugene, Oregon, for a Thursday night date with the Ducks. Arizona will be coming off of a bye week but follow the Oregon game with a home date with a rejuvenated USC. The Wildcats get another bye week after that followed by back-to-back road trips to UCLA and Washington State. The Wildcats do get bitter rival Arizona State at home in the final weekend of the regular season for the Territorial Cup, a series where Arizona holds a 19-16-1 series lead since joining the Pac-12.
Year three in the Rich Rodriguez era in Tucson should be an exciting one as the Wildcats are looking for that first break out season after back to back eight win seasons. Everything hinges on quarterback play in that offense and RichRod has a senior leader in position for a big season. Coach Rodriguez was in a no-win situation in Ann Arbor but has been given full authority at Arizona and has been overseeing a complete overhaul of the the football program from the aesthetics inside the facilities to the game day atmosphere. Year three should be the breakout year for Arizona.
Stay logged on to Sowegalive.com for Team #21 on Friday and tune in to the Southern Football Report every Saturday from 10am-Noon starting on August 23rd! Here is a hint for Team #21: This team’s mascot first appeared in 1959 and is named after the Greek God Hercules.
#25 – Michigan Wolverines
#24 – Northwestern Wildcats
#23 – Boise State Broncos
#22 – Arizona Wildcats
#21 – ???????????