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Author Topic: AthlonSports predictions for the Pac-12 South, See where Arizona Football ranks  (Read 685 times)

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Offline DWIZZ

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5. The state of Arizona

What a difference a couple of seasons can make in the Pac-12. It wasn’t long ago Arizona State (2013) and Arizona (2014) played in the conference title game. But both programs have been trending in the wrong direction over the last few years. The Sun Devils are 21-17 since 2014, while the Wildcats are 20-19 in that span. Both coaches – Arizona State’s Todd Graham and Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez – have experienced their share of success in the desert but both are inching closer to the hot seat. Will their fortunes change in 2017? Arizona would seem to have a steeper climb to a winning record this year, as the Wildcats feature significant question marks at receiver, quarterback and with a defense that surrendered 38.3 points per game in 2016. But the schedule doesn’t feature Washington or Stanford in crossover play and UCLA, Utah, Oregon State and Washington State visit Tucson. Arizona State is in better shape in terms of personnel, but Graham’s team faces a brutal slate. The Sun Devils play three out of the top four teams from the North and catch UCLA and Utah on the road. Led by sophomore receiver N’Keal Harry, a talented backfield and Alabama transfer Blake Barnett at quarterback, scoring points shouldn’t be a problem. However, question marks remain from a defense that gave up 39.8 points per game and continued to have problems against the pass last fall.

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Offline thomallet

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We beat Utah, ASU, OSU, Cal., and Colorado for 5 conference wins? I  say we take 3 or the 5 and have a chance in the WSU and UCLA games at home. 7 wins should be the number!

Offline Scott Schlittenhart

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if we go 5-7 thats a success, but it also probably means this time next year we are talking about a whole new coaching staff. . I just don't see this defense being able to hang, and I have no faith in Dawkins ability to read a defense and I don't see Tate being the guy. if the offense is so one dimensional as we were last year we are in for a long season. Defensive coordinators  know he can't Pass so they are going to stack the box and dare him to beat them with his arm and not let him beat him with his legs. This years going to be rough I'm afraid.

Offline GoCatZ

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We have 2 decent quarterbacks and a trio of good running backs. The defense will improve and our secondary actually looks promising. I'm calling at least 6 wins. Is Rich Rod getting fired if he gets to 6 wins?

Offline thomallet

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if we go 5-7 thats a success, but it also probably means this time next year we are talking about a whole new coaching staff. . I just don't see this defense being able to hang, and I have no faith in Dawkins ability to read a defense and I don't see Tate being the guy. if the offense is so one dimensional as we were last year we are in for a long season. Defensive coordinators  know he can't Pass so they are going to stack the box and dare him to beat them with his arm and not let him beat him with his legs. This years going to be rough I'm afraid.

Everyone knew Denker did not have  big arm and they still did not stop us with Carey in the backfield. Now if we stay healthy, we have 3 solid backs and a guy that surprised a little late as well. The game plan will have to evolve back to the same plan we used with Denker. Maybe that is why Denker came home?

Offline Scott Schlittenhart

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Kadeem was a once in a decade type back. Kadeem isn't walking through those doors. Also I think Denker is a better QB than Dawkins. Just my opinion. I hope they do well don't get me wrong just not hopeful.

Offline Little George

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Kadeem was a once in a decade type back. Kadeem isn't walking through those doors. Also I think Denker is a better QB than Dawkins. Just my opinion. I hope they do well don't get me wrong just not hopeful.

True on Carey. We have a nice collection of back right now that over lots of options on the field.
Denker made good decisions. So far the big knock on Dawkins is his lack of being able to read the play. Better protection and experienee may help some but Khalil will likely be the guy at some point.

Offline GoCatZ

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I also believe Kalil will take the starting job. If you think about it, Tate came into a situation where he was so young and we had no running game, so this year we will have a running game which will let Tate make plays without running for his life or getting killed by a blitz. Dawkins can also shine, but only if he can read the defenses. I really do think b that Bj Denker may be the X Factor in all of this.

Offline Scott Schlittenhart

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I agree the jury may still be out on Tate, but I think Dawkins is what he is at this point. You also have to remember no school recruited him to be a QB (Tate) with his talent he could go anywhere and play just not as a QB. Maybe there is a reason for that, maybe I'm wrong what do I know I'm just a fan nothing else just my take it could be wrong I hope it is I really do I just don't see Dawkins lasting a full season, he will get hurt at some point and I hope Tate pushes him for the starting job because I like the kid and hope he succeeds.

Offline Little George

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I know it is almost never heard of, but not impossible for a freshman (true freshman) to win that starting spot. The fact is that Denker knew the system to a tee and ran it like it was his own. Used his legs to his advantage to buy more time and to get wide so he could see the field. He could read the field even during a break down of a play. Now we fast forward to this fall and people have laughed at my remarks, but there will not be a QB on the roster that will KNOW the system better than RR. Rhett knows the system already. Rhett reads the D very well. He needs the year to physically develope a little more, but it is a very good option at the end of the bench if things turn south. Denker's arm did not win the starting role, but command of the O did! Bet Rhett can do that 2 weeks into camp.
The second Tate could also be a great option if he is in game shape. Big if! The kid from Georgia could be something special as well knowing how RR has done with QBs in the past. None are the ideal situation, but if RR is really on the hot seat as to.say, job security will prevent him from saving for a future date. All stops will be out this year!

Offline Scott Schlittenhart

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I agree with all of this,  Dawkins or Tate is not the answer. Hopefully Rhett or the kid from Georgia  pick up the offense and be a more viable option. The kid from Georgia has played football in quite a while so it may take him a bit. Camp will be interesting to say the least.

Offline WILDcatAZfan

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This is definitely the most interesting Quarterback battle in a very long time here.  We have 5 quarterbacks who could end up being the starting quarterback at UofA for a long time.  We can only hope the PAC12 network or maybe UofA itself will record a lot of the competition between these quarterbacks with BJ being the quarterback whispers.  It will be fascinating to watch.

 


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