Editor’s note: Seventh in a series of articles examining each of the Pac-12 football teams heading into the 2022 season.
Over the past three years, Arizona football has posted a 5-24 record.
Perhaps the lowest point of that stretch came at the end of its winless COVID-19-impaired season in 2020 with a humiliating 70-7 thrashing at the hands of arch-rival Arizona State.
Jedd Fisch became the head coach going into the 2021 campaign and in his first season at the helm, the Wildcats snapped a 20-game losing streak. But they finished 1-11, including a loss to Northern Arizona.
Despite that dreadful record, Arizona was encouraged by a good performance late in the season against Utah. And the Wildcats signed one of their top recruiting classes in program history over the winter — highlighted by five-star receiver Tetairoa McMillan.
Arizona has shown signs of improvement and there’s hope in Tucson that the Wildcats will be able to build on that momentum and take a big jump forward in 2022.
On offense, Arizona has added Washington State transfer quarterback Jayden de Laura and UTEP wide receiver Jacob Cowing. At WSU last season, de Laura completed 227 of 359 passes for 2,798 yards with 23 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Defensively, the Wildcats surrendered 32.7 points per game a year ago. Defensive coordinator Don Brown took a job at UMass and Johnny Nansen, previously at UCLA, has taken over that spot.
While Nansen has a lot of experience, including with Chip Kelly at UCLA, this is his first time as a college coordinator.
The Wildcats did add defensive tackle Tiaoalii Savea, a UCLA transfer.
This spring, The Athletic asked Fisch what are reasonable expectations for Arizona football.
“I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know,” Fisch said. “I feel like there is no ceiling. I really believe that. I really believe the sky is the limit here. We have all the resources we need to be able to be successful as long as we can start becoming successful. As we build it, I would never want to put a cap on what we can accomplish. That’s not the way we talk. … I hope we’re just getting started.”
2021 record: 1-11 (1-8 Pac-12).
LB Jeremy Mercier (Utah transfer)
Sept. 3 @ San Diego State
Sept. 10 Mississippi State
Sept. 17 North Dakota State
Sept. 24 @ California
Oct. 1 @ Colorado
Oct. 8 Oregon
Oct. 15 @ Washington
Oct. 29 USC
Nov. 5 @ Utah
Nov. 12 @ UCLA
Nov. 19 Washington State
Nov. 25 Arizona State
Next up: Arizona State