Arizona Wildcats 2022 College Football Preview
June 14, 2022
Record – 1-11
ATS – 6-6
Well, we knew it would be ugly.
Arizona ended year one of the Jedd Fisch era with a mark of 1-11 but managed to escape a GOOSE EGG in the win column thanks to a victory over Cal in a 10-3 SNOT BUBBLER. If there’s a silver lining in that CESSPOOL of a season it’s that the Cats suffered a number of single-digit losses (BYU, Utah, USC to name just three).
Let’s check in with the program and see if there’s reason for optimism heading into 2022.
Arizona Wildcats 2022 Outlook
It was a HOT MESS last season thanks largely to horrible QB play (#115 FBS pass efficiency, 12-18 TD to INT) but the addition of former Washington St Cougar Jayden De Laura (2,798, 23-9 TD to INT, 3 rush TD LY) is a yuuuge upgrade. The Cats lose three of their top-four WRs but made a very underrated transfer portal addition by scooping up UTEP’s Jacob Cowing who had a monster year in 2021 (69, 1,354, 19.6, 7 TD). They also have a potentially SPICY true freshman to keep an eye on in WR Tetairoa McMillan. The RB room doesn’t have a legit #1 that jumps off the page but everyone is back and recall that #2 RB Michael Wiley booked 33 receptions LY (#2 team). The OL was mediocre LY (3.7 YPC, 35 sacks allowed) but hopefully they’ll improve with three returning starters and a year of the new system under their collective belts. Arizona has been BAD the last two years (17.2, 17.4 PPG) but we expect significant improvement in 2022.
Arizona made yuuuge statistical strides last season compared to 2020. They allowed 31.4 PPG (39.8), 371 YPG (473), 181 rushing yards per contest (271), and 58.0% completions (65.6%). New DC Johnny Nansen (UCLA DL coach) has eight returning starters to work with but will have to scheme without leading tackler LB Anthony Purdy. DE Jalen Harris and DT Kyon Barrs combined for nine sacks LY and everyone is back in the secondary. The Cats were #116 in pass efficiency D LY (25-4 TD to INT) but hopefully the small handful of Power 5 transfers added to the mix will form a decent combo with the returning starters. It’s FOOLHARDY to expect another big step forward after the gains made in 2021 but we think they have an outside shot to allow less than 30 PPG for the first time since 2014 (28.2).
It’s the return of EL PERFECTO at PK as Tyler Loop made all twelve of his FG attempts LY and didn’t miss an XP, and punter Kyle Ostendorp (49.2, 40.2 net) was a 1st team PAC 12 selection. They need some serious help at PR and KR.
Overall – It’s pretty nasty. They have a sneaky-tough non-conference slate, draw Oregon, and have a road date with the Huskies. Their final two games are at home.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing heinous noted.
Season Win Total
Per 5Dimes June 14
Over 2.5 -175
Under 2.5 +145
The schedule is pretty tough but they appear to be an improved bunch. We recommend shopping around for a better price if you have an interest in getting some SWEET ACTION in play.
Last season was a nightmare in the turnover department as the Wildcats finished with an FBS-worst (-17) margin.
We feel pretty comfortable in stating the Wildcats will be a lot more competitive on the field this season. Sadly, the schedule doesn’t do them any favors, so it may be another year before we see notable improvement in the win column. In any event, Go Cats!
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