Wildcats Hopeful for Breakout Football Season in 2023

Wildcats Looking For Breakthrough Football Season In 2023
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As Jedd Fisch begins his third year as head coach in Tucson, the Arizona Wildcats are focused on continuing their growth and earning a spot in a bowl game.

After improving their win total from one to five games in 2022, the Wildcats are now pondering how far a squad full of experienced players can go in their upcoming games.

Arizona sportsbooks are skeptical of the Wildcats’ chances to reach the Pac-12 title game for the first time since 2014.

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BetMGM AZ is giving UA odds of +50000 for winning a national title, while Caesars Sportsbook Arizona has the Wildcats at +5000 odds for winning a Pac-12 championship.

The Wildcats are currently in eighth place in the conference standings, with USC (+190), Oregon (+280), Washington (+350), Oregon State (+550), Utah (+600), UCLA (+1600), and Washington State (+2500) ahead of them.

Arizona’s first sole Pac-12 victory since joining the conference in 1978 would be secured if they manage to rally and win the title in 2023. The Wildcats previously shared the Pac-10 title with UCLA in 1998.

We examine the Wildcats’ current status as they gear up for the 2023 season ahead of the Arizona spring football game on April 15.

Arizona Rankings

  • 247 Sports ranks the recruiting class 7th in the Pac-12, with 25 commits and 39th nationally.
  • According to Caesars Sportsbook Arizona, the Pac 12 odds are listed at +5000, placing them 8th in the conference rankings.
  • The national title odds at BetMGM Sportsbook in Arizona stand at +50000.

Wildcats’ Position as the 2023 Season Begins

The Wildcats are entering 2023 with momentum following the signing of two consecutive top-40 recruiting classes (as per 247 Sports) for the first time since 2010. The standout was the record-breaking 22nd-ranked group in 2022.

The team’s continual progress relies heavily on quarterback Jayden de Laura, who showcased his talent with an impressive 3,685 passing yards and 25 touchdowns (along with 13 interceptions) in 2022.

De Laura is expected to prioritize versatile wide receiver Jacob Cowing, who has chosen to return to Tucson for another season following an impressive showing of 85 receptions, 1,034 yards, and seven touchdowns.

Cowing is expected to step up and play a bigger role in Arizona’s offense now that top receiver Dorian Singer has transferred to USC.

Tetairoa McMillan, a sophomore wide receiver, is looking to build on his standout freshman year performance, which saw him amass 702 yards and score eight touchdowns. If McMillan can maintain his high level of play, the Wildcats have the potential to have one of the most exciting offenses in college football.

The ground game may be the key to success in the upcoming season, with Michael Wiley returning to Tucson after leading the team in rushing yards and touchdowns last year with 771 yards and eight scores.

Arizona’s skill position players will be joined by a trio of three-star recruits, Malachi Riley from Corona Centennial and Brandon Johnson from Palmdale Highland.

If those players can regain their previous form and Arizona can enhance their defense, the potential is limitless.

Analyzing Arizona’s 2023 Schedule

The quality of opponents on the schedule presents a significant challenge for Arizona in their quest for their first bowl game since 2017.

With four upcoming games against opponents who have won 10 or more games in 2022, as well as a non-conference game against SEC team Mississippi State (which finished with a 9-4 record), reaching six wins could be quite a difficult feat.

Arizona will need to be nearly flawless, as they face Northern Arizona and UTEP at home in non-conference games before a challenging matchup against the Bulldogs in Starkville.

Following that, the Wildcats will play against a 3-9 Stanford team away from home, then return to Arizona Stadium to face Washington on September 30th.

Arizona has a chance to reach their first bowl game since the 2017 Foster Farms Bowl by utilizing a mix of luck and talent. For those interested in betting on the Wildcats, be sure to explore the best Arizona sports betting deals at yengols.com.

Arizona 2023 Football Schedule

  • In 2022, on September 2nd, Northern Arizona had a record of 3-8 in FCS.
  • The team will go up against Mississippi State on September 9th, a team that finished with a 9-4 record in the SEC.
  • As of September 16th, UTEP’s record in C-USA was 5-7, marking a new high for the team.
  • On September 23rd, we will be facing off against Stanford, a team with a 3-9 record in the Pac-12.
  • As of September 30th, Washington held a Pac-12 conference record of 11 wins and 2 losses.
  • The team will face USC on October 7th, who holds an 11-3 record in the Pac-12 conference.
  • On October 14th, we will be facing off against Washington State, who currently holds a 7-6 record in the Pac-12.
  • As of October 28th, Oregon State’s record in the Pac-12 conference was 10-3.
  • UCLA had a 9-4 record in the Pac-12 conference on November 4th.
  • On November 11th, we will be facing off against Colorado, who currently holds a 1-11 record in the Pac-12 conference.
  • As of November 18th, Utah has a record of 10 wins and 4 losses in the Pac-12 conference.
  • The team will face off against Arizona State on November 25th. Arizona State currently holds a record of 3 wins and 9 losses in the Pac-12 conference.
  • Total Record: 82-70 (.539)
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Author

Peterson Christopher

Peterson Christopher has been reporting on sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years. He has worked for ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly, and the Green Valley News before becoming the lead writer at yengols.com.

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