Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by WisconsinSports414, Sep 6, 2009.
Program info here.
Fresh off a run to the Rose Bowl in 2009, we are already looking forward to next season.
Roster Assessment: Just took a look at the depth charts to get an early idea of who we'll most likely have leaving, and coming back for 2010.
QB - Matt Scott made tremendous strides during his sophomore season, setting the school record for passing touchdowns in a year. However, he was unable to avoid making the big mistake - which really cost his team in the Rose Bowl. His growth as both a rusher and passer will be perhaps the key factor in Arizona continuing their success. He has the potential to be a Heisman type player, but protecting the football is something he needs to do more of. There is some decent depth at the position, with solid backup Nick Foles waiting in the wings. Bryson Beirne brings up the rear as a more prototypical pocket passer than the other two.
HB - Arizona's running game was basically non-existent in 09, which made them more one dimensional on offense, and put even more pressure on Scott to carry the team. Fortunately, we look to return a good stable of backs lead by Keola Antolin, who is poised to have a breakout season in his Junior year. He is an elusive, speedy back who can make big plays. RS freshman and All-American Greg Nwoko also brings speed to the backfield.
FB - Taimi Tutogi will get his chance next season to start at fullback, another quick player who could be used in the passing game, as well as a blocker/runner.
WR - Delashaun Dean, Devin Veal, and David Roberts were Matt Scott's main targets this season, and all should be returning for another year. Sophomore Juron Criner also could be a new deep threat.
TE - Rob Gronkowski's depature will be perhaps the biggest this year at Arizona, leaving them with a severe lack of depth at the position. The saving grace is that AJ Simmons will be returning as a RS Senior, a soild tight end in his own right. Still, Gronkowski's skills as a possession receiver and blocker will sorely be missed.
Offensive Line - Left Tackle looks to be a huge question mark next year, as seniors Phillip Garcia and Jack Julsing leave the job to an incoming freshman. Left Guard is also looking shaky, with All-American Mike Diaz leaving the team. Jovon Hayes will have a chance to try and fill those big shoes. Colin Baxter returns at Center, and should be one of the best at the position in the country, but outside of him, there's not much to speak of. The right side of the line appears to be more solid for 2010, though Freshman Trace Biskin will be starting at right tackle.
Defensive Line - Arizona takes a bit of a hit at right end with Elmore deciding to declare for the draft. Still, the line looks to be very good again this year.
Linebacker - The linebacker spot could be a major liability. Although talented, there will be a youth movement at the position with Freshmen looking to get starts. The ROLB situation is a mess right now.
CB - We lose Devin Ross, but keep everyone else. Expect a very good secondary in Tucson this year.
Safety - Not a lot of depth at FS, though a solid recruit is coming in to play the position. SS should be a strength, with INT leader Sophomore Robert Golden returning.
Special Teams - Set at this position. A good kicker and punter, while Freshman Anthony Wilcox comes back to dazzle again on returns.
Obviously, we still have to do recruiting and everything, but looking now I think we'll have a very solid team coming back next year. There will be more overall talent - especially at the skill positions for a team which overachieved in 2009. We have an excellent front four which should be stout against the run, and bring an even better pass rush - which is good, because getting off the field on third downs (especially third and longs) was something this unit was unable to do at critical points when it mattered. Our secondary should be decent, maybe a little better than this year's overall. The only concerns now are the left side of the line, particularly left tackle. For the long term, taking over mid-season sets the program back a bit in recruiting - Only a couple of four stars, and a handful of three stars coming in along with a bunch of 2s. But, the prestige boost from winning the conference and making it to a BCS game will help things along, and I'll be the one recruiting from the start.
2010 Season Preview
2009 Record: 11-2
Predicted Finish in Conference: Third...we'll see about that one.
Key Returnees: All starting skill position players from a year ago on offense, plus, safety Robert Golden.
Last year, Arizona went on a historic run straight to the Rose Bowl, and look to build on that success in 2010.
Team Strengths: Experience at the skill positions. Arizona returns their most productive offensive starters from a year ago, namely, quarterback Matt Scott. He should have plenty of help this season, what with a speedy compliment of tailbacks and wide receivers - Not to mention Rob Gronkowski out there at TE.
Weaknesses: Questions on the front lines. Left Guard and Left Tackle spots will be watched carefully this season, as new faces try to fill the spots of trusty stalwarts from last year.
Bottom Line for the Wildcats: The Pac 10 is looking to be a much more balanced and competitive conference than it was a year ago, but coach Wisconsinsports414 will lead a team that is markedly more talented than the group that played for the Rose Bowl last January. What appears to be their toughest games all will come on the road: #23 Arizona State, #18 Oregon State, #6 USC, and, a rematch in Happy Valley with the Nittany Lions in week three. Cal, UCLA, and Washington, whom Arizona managed to sneak past will last season be coming to Tucson. In his first season, the head coached watched as his team overachieved time and time again. This year, he believes his team is as explosive on offense as any in the nation, and the team as a whole wants to show that 09 was not a fluke.
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