Arizona football schedule predictions and early game-by-game preview for 2016. Projecting how the Wildcats will do this year.
Can Arizona surprise in the improved Pac-12 South? Is it possible to become a major player with their schedule? Check out the preseason predictions for every game.
Sept. 3 vs. BYU (in Glendale)
It’s the start of the brutal start to the BYU schedule, and this could be the easiest game of the early lot. Can the Wildcats’ defense hold up against the Cougars’ offensive storm? No, but Arizona’s offense will pick up the slack. Get used to this as a theme for the season.
Preseason Prediction: Arizona 38, BYU 34
Sept. 10 vs. Grambling State
The Cats get a few tune-up games before dealing with the Pac-12 schedule. They need to do as much as possible over the next two weeks to get the depth in place on defense.
Preseason Prediction: Arizona 52, Grambling State 13
Sept. 17 vs. Hawaii
The Warriors will try winging it around the yard, but their defense won’t have a prayer of coming up with stops as the Wildcats roll up and down the field at will.
Preseason Prediction: Arizona 47, Hawaii 20
Sept. 24 vs. Washington
Arizona’s offense will finally have to deal with a killer defensive performance. Washington’s defensive front will put the clamps down early, while its offense will get out to a big early lead. The game will be over in the third quarter.
Preseason Prediction: Washington 38, Arizona 21
Oct. 1 at UCLA
Call this the make-or-break moment for Arizona’s season. Win this, and the Washington loss doesn’t really matter and the South chase is on. Instead, Josh Rosen will fire at will to answer every Wildcat scoring drive.
Preseason Prediction: UCLA 34, Arizona 24
Oct. 8 at Utah
The Wildcats will have to deal with the flash of UCLA the week before, and they won’t be able to handle the power of the Utah game that keeps Arizona’s offense off the field. It’ll take a little while, but the Cats will wear down in an entertaining battle.
Preseason Prediction: Utah 27, Arizona 23
Oct. 15 vs. USC
Sitting at 0-3 to start the Pac-12 season, everything will seem like it’s slipping away – and then the offense will click. USC’s defensive front seven will come up with a few early stops, but won’t figure out how to handle the curveball in the second half.
Preseason Prediction: Arizona 34, USC 27
Oct. 29 vs. Stanford
Stanford will be rolling with three straight wins in the Pac-12, but with a week off to prepare, Arizona will look and play like the far fresher team. For the second straight conference game, Arizona’s offense will be terrific. The Cardinal have the linebackers, but the Wildcats’ running game will still be effective.
Preseason Prediction: Arizona 37, Stanford 27
Nov. 5 at Washington State
Wrong team, wrong matchup, wrong game. Washington State will be desperate after going on a big losing streak, and the offense will blow up at just the right time to outgun the Wildcats.
Preseason Prediction: Washington State 36, Arizona 30
Nov. 12 vs. Colorado
The Wildcats will get the job done at home after a rocky first half. The Buffs will bomb away with a huge performance from the passing game, but Arizona should be able to answer all the dangerous moments with scoring drives.
Preseason Prediction: Arizona 30, Colorado 23
Nov. 19 at Oregon State
Arizona will be way overdue for a clunker, and this will be it. It’ll be the last home game of the year for Oregon State, and it’ll show with a great performance from a defense that does everything right. The Beavers will be looking for something positive, and the win will be one of the season’s best highlights.
Preseason Prediction: Oregon State 37, Arizona 14
Nov. 25 vs. Arizona State
The Pac-12 North title hopes would be dashed the week before, and bowl eligibility will already be sealed, but beating Arizona State would make the season a plus. It’ll be yet another great Sun Devil-Wildcat shootout, but after losing 52-37 last year, Arizona will be on the right side of the fun.
Preseason Prediction: Arizona 47, Arizona State 42
2016 Prediction: 7-5
2016 Pac-12 Prediction: 4-5