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Arizona Wildcats 2010-2011 Season Preview

2009 Total Offense Rank (yards per game): 58
2009 Total Defense Rank (yards per game): 25

Very quietly, the Arizona Wildcats tied for second place in the PAC 10 with an 8-5 record in 2009. The defense led the team during the season, but both sides of the ball laid an egg in a 33-0 defeat against Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. Head coach Mike Stoops will try to forget how the season ended, and build on the early success.

Quarterback Nick Foles returns after good year in which he threw for 2,465 yards, 19 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. The new quarterbacks coach has been working with him in the spring to improve his footwork and accuracy. His top receiver (in yardage) is back in junior Juron Criner. Even though he started only 5 games, he finished with 45 catches for 582 yards and a team high nine touchdowns. His big play ability makes him a threat to score whenever he touches the ball.

Arizona Wildcats College Football Cheerleader

The running backs are a talented group, led by senior Nic Grigsby. He rushed for 567 yards, including an incredible 7.2 yards per carry average, in an injury shortened year. Keola Antolin was there to pick up the slack and ended up as the leading rusher with 637 yards. A lot of the rushing success is due to the offensive line. The line returns most of the starters including the first team All-PAC 10 center.

Arizona’s defense will have to regroup after losing all three starting linebackers. Junior college transfers Derek Earls and Paul Vassallo had very strong springs and will likely start from day one. The defensive ends are potential stars. Ricky Elmore had 10.5 sacks last year and Brooks Reed had 8.5 in 2008. The two together will be able to put some serious pressure on the quarterback. Cornerback Trevin Wade has all-conference ability and led the team with five interceptions.

The Wildcats are one of those teams flying under most radars. They have some holes on defense, but with the returning talent on other parts of the team, Arizona has a good chance of making another bowl appearance.

Arizona’s odds to win the PAC 10 : + 500

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