Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff: 69 days

We are now into the 60’s — 69 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.

To catch up on the countdown click on this: Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff.

A look back

— With it being the 69th day until kickoff, the best player to wear No. 69 for Arizona? That would be center John Briscoe, who starred with the Wildcats from 1962 to 1964. Selected the WAC lineman of the year in 1964, Briscoe played on both sides of the ball. He was also a defensive tackle who was drafted by the Cleveland Browns of the AFL before his senior season (as was the case back then).

Tucson Citizen clipping of John Briscoe

Briscoe, who hailed from the small mining town of Indianola, Pa., passed away this February at 75 years old. Symbolic of his grit, the two-way players at Arizona during his senior season were called the “Briscoe’s Buccaneers.”

A look ahead

In case you missed it, Arizona’s Heisman hopeful at quarterback, Khalil Tate, is taking part in the Manning Passing Academy this week in Louisiana as one of 39 college quarterbacks who are counselors.

This tweet captures Tate providing instructions on how to ward off defenders with the shoulder fake before executing a read-option pass:

They tweeted it

Everybody knows of Khalil Tate’s breakaway speed as a runner — an incredible five runs of 70 or more yards last season — but did you know this? He had more passing plays of 40 yards or longer last year than USC’s Sam Darnold, Washington State’s Luke Falk and Washington’s Jake Browning?

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