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Opponent Offense Preview: Arizona Wildcats

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Are you ready for a worse offense than Washington’s?

Arizona v Colorado Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Year one of the Jedd Fisch era at Arizona is off an an 0-6 start, making that 18 consecutive losses for the Wildcats. If you thought Washington’s offense was bad, Arizona averages just 14 points per game.

Quarterback Carousel

Season ending injuries to both Gunner Cruz and Jordan McCloud have thrust Will Plummer into the starting position and he is now the third starting quarterback in six games this season. The freshman started a few games in the truncated 2020 season, and his career statistics are: 52% completion, 5.1 yards per attempt, 2 TDs, 6 INTs. As Plummer is the only healthy scholarship quarterback, expect Jemarye Joiner to get reps at quarterback to try and ignite this offense. He arrived at Arizona as a highly athletic duel threat passer who has since moved to WR.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 25 Arizona at Oregon Photo by Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Catching passes for this offense will be primarily Stanley Berryhill III, an experienced Pac-12 receiver with 48 grabs already this year. He is on pace to break Arizona’s single season receptions record. He’s improved tremendously after the catch and is a weapon in the run game too, with 18 carries this year.

The receiver with the next most catches is BJ Casteel with just 21, meaning Berryhill is option #1 every time Plummer drops back. Tayvian Cunningham is the speedster and deep threat, though with all the struggles at quarterback he’s only had 14 catches this year. But, he leads the team in yards per catch (12.6) for anyone with more than three receptions.

Not that it really matters since this offense is such a mess, but Arizona is a pass first team - running backs Michael Wiley and Drake Anderson are third and fourth on the team in receptions.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 09 UCLA at Arizona Photo by Christopher Hook/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Wiley and Anderson also shoulder the load in the run game, with Anderson being the primary, but it sounds like he is questionable for Friday night. Regardless, both have struggled this year and neither is averaging more than 4 yards per carry. As much as the coaches try to get Wiley and Anderson involved, they have just two total touchdowns between the two of them all season. Jalen John deserves a mention as he is Arizona’s highest graded PFF player, but has been on the field for just 50 snaps this year. Anderson, Wiley, Berryhill, and C Josh McCauley round out Arizona’s top five on offense, per PFF.

Final Thoughts

I’m sure it will look like the coaches made a bunch of adjustments to the run defense, but the reality is that this is a terrible Arizona offense down to its third quarterback. They won’t be able to pass against the UW secondary so their only hope is a run game, and I’m not sure they are putting up much of a fight at this point in the season. Anderson is banged up and if Michael Wiley beats UW on his own, then the Huskies deserve to lose.

Poll

How many points will Arizona score?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    0-7
    (32 votes)
  • 45%
    8-14
    (76 votes)
  • 26%
    15-22
    (44 votes)
  • 4%
    23-30
    (8 votes)
  • 4%
    31 or more
    (8 votes)
168 votes total Vote Now