Anu Solomon Has Healthy Competition Behind Him


After Arizona’s first game against UNLV this season, everyone was all on board with Anu Solomon. Finishing with over 400 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, it was a start of a new era for Arizona Football.

In 2014, Solomon led his team to a 10-win season and the Pac-12 Championship Game. However, this whole season was a roller coaster ride for the Wildcats offense.

It all started against California, where the Cats found themselves in a 28-6 hole at the half. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter where Solomon got the offense going, scoring 36 points and throwing the game-winning Hail Mary to win 49-45.

Then came UCLA, a laughable performance at best, putting up a season low seven points. Nothing went right for the offense, with drives lasting 45 seconds, as Arizona went 6-for-20 on 3rd down conversions.

It was after hat UCLA game where things just didn’t seem right for Solomon. The young quarterback threw for over 250 yards in all but one of the first six games of the season. In the remaining seven games of the season, Solomon didn’t throw for above that mark in a single game.

Solomon did suffer an ankle injury against Colorado, one week after the Bruins game, and he never fully recovered. He managed to tough it out against Colorado but the pain could clearly be seen against Washington, as Solomon had to throw off his back foot on nearly throw. His injury almost cost the Wildcats the game, as they were unable to effectively run the offense.

Solomon played well against Utah, a very stingy defense, but he was pulled at halftime for precautionary reasons. He could be seen in a walking boot on the sideline for the remainder of the game.

The freshman toughed it out once again and made all the plays he needed to against Arizona State to finally bring back the Territorial Cup. And then Oregon happened in another laughable, embarrassing performance from the offense.

Arizona’s quarterback was hurt for more than half of the season and he was still a freshman, but his health and inexperience almost cost his team a few games. Here we are though, as the Cats still managed to go 10-3 with the Fiesta Bowl just two weeks away. Solomon is still our guy, and will hopefully be our guy for another three years.

Lately though, there’s been talk about his backups who may be ready to compete for the starting job.

Now, a quarterback competition is always good as it brings out the best of everyone, but Solomon certainly hasn’t done anything to lose his job, regardless of how well the others play coming out of the spring and fall camps.

It could just be coaches talk, but the backup quarterbacks are getting some high praise from the sideline. Of course, these guys are former four-star quarterbacks and have all the talent to compete for the job, making the quarterback situation interesting.

In an interview with the Arizona Desert Swarm, quarterbacks coach Rod Smith speaks very highly of Brandon Dawkins, saying that he’ll be getting more reps and should develop nicely in order to compete. It’s a pretty nice interview breaking down Solomon’s injury and the quarterback situation.

In another article from the same source, they talk about Jerrard Randall and his opportunity to get more work in on offense. It’s a little odd considering Randall got put in the tail end of just one game, but who knows what he could do with the position full time.

Should we promote promote competition at the quarterback position? Or course. Do the backups have enough to do what it takes? That’s for the coaches to decide. For now, Anu Solomon should be our guy going forward.