2009 Arizona Football Team Preview

Aug. 20, 2009

2009 Pac-10 Football Preview Series

ARIZ

TEAM QUICK FACTS
2008 Overall Record: 8-5
2008 Pac-10 record/Finish: 5-4/5th

Starters Returning/Lost: 14/10
Offensive Starters Returning/Lost: 6/5
Defensive Starters Returning/Lost: 7/4
Starting Kickers Returning/Lost: 1/1

First Year of Football: 1899
All-Time Record: 542-393-33
All-Time Pac-10 Record: 117-116-6
All-Time Bowl Record/Appearances: 6-7-1
Last Bowl Appearance: 2008 (def. BYU in Las Vegas Bowl)

StoopsHEAD COACH MIKE STOOPS
(Iowa 1986)
Sixth Year at Arizona

Record at Arizona: 25-34 (.424), 5 years
Overall career record: Same

Coaching Experience
Has served as head coach of the Wildcats since 2004 ... had coaching stints at Oklahoma and Kansas State ... has coached in 16 bowls games ... led the Wildcats to their first Bowl victory in 10 years in 2008.

IMPORTANT LINKS
Team Page | Schedule | Roster | Purchase Tickets

PAC-10 MEDIA DAY
All-Access Video | Download Podcast | Quotes
One-on-One Preseason Interview
ESPN Pac-10 Highlight Video | Pac-10 Composite Schedule

CATS ON WATCH LISTS
Gronk, Earl, Brooks on Awards Lists
Grisby on Doak Walker List
Gronowski Up for Mackey Award

 

A QUICK LOOK AT THE WILDCATS
OFFENSE:
Prolific quarterback Willie Tuitama is gone, along with stellar WR Mike Thomas and NFL-bound OT Eben Britton, so a dip might be expected in the Arizona offense in `09. The Cats don't think so, however, as a number of notable returnees breeds optimism the UA spread offense will still be potent. QBs Matt Scott and Nick Foles will battle it out for Tuitama's vacated spot, and whoever wins that competition will have plenty of help around him. The Cats did a good job of running the ball last year and 1,000-yard rusher RB Nic Grigsby is back, along with talented backup RB Keola Antolin. Also back is All-Pac-10 TE Rob Gronkowski, widely considered the best in the nation at his position. Some rebuilding is needed on the offensive line with C Colin Baxter and OG Mike Diaz the starting points.

DEFENSE: One reason the Wildcats made their first bowl appearance in 10 years last season was a defensive unit that ranked in the top half of the Conference in all the major defensive categories, including third in both scoring and total defense. Seven starters return with the secondary and defensive line looking to be the strengths of the unit. Senior CB Devin Ross and senior SS Cam Nelson anchor a solid secondary and the Cats have half a dozen linemen returning with starting experience. Earl Mitchell made a successful move from tight end to defensive tackle last year and DE Brooks Reed led the club in QB sacks as a sophomore last season.

THE SCHEDULE: Whoever earns the starting quarterback job will get to open the season with a pair of home games before hitting the road for tests at Iowa and Oregon State. The season ends in a flurry with the final four games being at California, Oregon, at Arizona State and at USC.

 

Gronkowski

FIVE WILDCATS TO WATCH

48Ron Gronkowski (Pictured)
JR • TE • 6-6 • 265

6 • Devin Ross
SR • CB • 5-11 • 175

47 • Keenyn Crier
JR • P • 6-1 • 200

5 • Nic Grigsby
JR • RB • 5-10 • 190

42 • Brooks Reed
JR • DE • 6-3 • 256

 
2009 SCHEDULE
 
 
(6 home, 6 away)
 
Sept. 5 Central Michigan First meeting
Sept. 12 Northern Arizona ARIZ leads, 9-1
Sept. 19 at Iowa ARIZ leads, 6-5
Sept. 26 at Oregon State ARIZ leads, 20-11-1
Oct. 10 at Washington WASH leads, 16-8-1
Oct. 17 Stanford ARIZ leads, 13-11
Oct. 24 UCLA UCLA leads, 19-12-2
Nov. 7 Washington State ARIZ leads, 23-13
Nov. 14 at California Tied, 13-13-2
Nov. 21 Oregon ORE leads, 20-14
Nov. 28 at Arizona State ASU leads, 45-36-1
Dec. 5 at USC USC leads, 26-6
     
 
2008 RESULTS
 
(8-5, 5-4 Pac-10/5th)
W, 70-0 Idaho
W, 14-16 Toledo
L, 28-36 at New Mexico
W, 31-10 at UCLA
W, 48-14 Washington
L, 23-24 at Stanford
W, 42-27 California
L, 10-17 USC
W, 59-28 at Washington State
L, 45-55 at Oregon
L, 17-19 Oregon State
W, 31-10 Arizona State
W, 31-21 BYU (Las Vegas Bowl)
Categories:
Now on Pac-12 Network
2:00 PM PT

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