Midseason report: Arizona


Record: 3-3

Arizona is playing out a little like it was expected to in its first season with coach Rich Rodriguez: Plenty of offense, questionable defense.

The Wildcats posted a strong 3-0 start, which included an impressive win over then-No. 18 Oklahoma State. They've since lost three in a row to ranked Pac-12 foes, a blowout at Oregon and pair of nail biters to Oregon State and Stanford.

The 49-0 loss at Oregon -- and we know this sounds slightly ridiculous -- was deceptive. The Wildcats moved the ball fairly well on the Ducks but failed to score in six red zone trips. The losses to Oregon State and Stanford confirmed that the Wildcats can play with anyone -- at least score with them -- and could be a dangerous team in the second half of the season.

The schedule ahead will be challenging, and the matchup with also 3-3 Washington on Saturday feels critical for bowl hopes. Further, it's possible that the showdown with arch-rival Arizona State and its new coach Todd Graham on Nov. 23 could have major ramifications.

Offensive MVP, QB Matt Scott: Scott has been nearly a perfect fit for Rodriguez's offense. He leads the Pac-12 and ranks fourth in the nation with 349.8 yards passing per game. He's thrown 13 touchdown passes, while also rushing for 222 yards and two scores.

Defensive MVP, LB Jake Fischer: Fischer ranks first in the Pac-12 with 9.7 tackles per game. He also has 3.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.