Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff: 93 days

We have reached 93 days until the Arizona Wildcats kick off their 2018 season under new coach Kevin Sumlin.

When Arizona hosts BYU on Sept. 1, it will mark the 40th anniversary since the Wildcats joined the Pac-12 (went from the Pac-8 to the Pac-10 then) and also the 20th anniversary of the 1998 team with the best record in school history, 12-1, and the 25th anniversary of the 1993 team that went 10-2 with a win over Miami in the Fiesta Bowl.

To get ready for the upcoming season, All Sports Tucson offers another countdown, which will include memories from former Wildcats, history notes and a look ahead to the season. Think of it as a way to keep Arizona football on the mind in the summer months leading up to fall camp in early August and then kickoff against the Cougars marking the start of the Sumlin Era.

A look back

— With it being the 93rd day ’til kickoff, the best player to wear No. 93 for Arizona? That would be defensive tackle Jon Abbott, who played for Arizona from 1974 to 1977. He was All-WAC selection as a senior and a three-time Academic All-American. He is an orthopedic surgeon in Tucson.

Jon Abbott was one of Arizona’s most decorated academic performers with the football program (Arizona photo)

A look ahead

Remember the days of late afternoon home games? They still happen but not as much as a few years ago. Starting times for three of Arizona’s home games in the fall were announced today and the earliest start is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, against Colorado. The Sumlin era will officially kick off at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1, when Arizona hosts Brigham Young on ESPN. Arizona’s second home game of the season is set for 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15 against Southern Utah. Pac-12 Networks will air that game.

How about breakfast with the Wildcats? Two road games were also designated for national television broadcasts, including the Saturday, Sept. 8 game at Houston that will begin at 9 a.m. Tucson time ESPN2/ABC.

Arizona’s Friday night game at Utah on Oct. 12 will start at 7 p.m., Tucson time, on ESPN.

All other games on the 2018 schedule will be announced by the Pac-12 and its television partners in-season on either a 12 or 6-day basis prior to the date of the game. Maybe a late afternoon home-game start will happen against USC on Sept. 29, California on Oct. 6, Oregon on Oct. 27, or ASU on Nov. 24.

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