We’re only two games into the season and it’s been a roller coaster of a ride for Rich Rodriguez and company. The Wildcats easily handled the UNLV Rebels by a final score of 58-13 in week 1. The win gave the city of Tucson hope, as red shirt freshman Anu Solomon engineered the offense to perfection.
The Cats then headed to San Antonio for their first road trip of the season. The UTSA Roadrununers are the most experienced team in college football with 19 of their starters returning this year under former National Champion, Larry Coker. Wildcat fans were brought back to reality as Arizona struggled heavily throughout the game and even trailed for quite some time, squeaking out the victory with a final score of 26-23.
This week Arizona heads back home to take on the Nevada Wolfpack (2-0). December 15th, 2012 was the last time these two-faced off, where Arizona stormed from behind to score 21 points in the 4th quarter of the New Mexico Bowl, edging out the win 49-48. Arizona is essentially an entirely different team since then. Anu Solomon now has two games under his belt, Nick Wilson has emerged as the featured back and the core of receivers cannot be covered.
But it’s the defense that has many concerned. Not enough depth, speed and size on the defensive line has really hindered the defense from ending a drive. With the defensive line scrambling for depth, it leaves the linebackers and secondary a huge challenge as they face dual-threat quarterback Cody Farjardo, who has accounted for a large majority of Nevada’s offense.
How they handle Fajardo will be a huge indicator for what’s in store this season, considering they face much tougher quarterbacks in the Pac-12 this season including Marcus Mariotta, Brett Hundley and Taylor Kelly. It’s been a mixed bag thus far for Arizona, but Rich Rodriguez should have everything under control for this week.