Arizona Football

Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff: 88 days

We now stand at 88 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 88th day ’til kickoff, the best player to wear No. 88 for Arizona? That would be tight end Mike Lucky, who played for the Wildcats from 1995 to 1998. A three-year starter for some of Arizona’s most prolific offenses under Dick Tomey, including the one that helped the Wildcats to a 12-1 record in 1998.

As a senior that season, Lucky was fourth on the team with 11 receptions for 142 yards. He also added 40 knockdown blocks, helping the team average 213 rushing yards-per-game (14th in the nation). In the last regular season game against ASU, his blocking contributed to the Wildcats gaining 607 rushing yards, including a then-school record 288 rushing yards by Trung Canidate.

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A look ahead

The new Lindy’s College Football National 2018 Preview magazine is on the newsstands. The Wildcats are ranked 34th in the nation heading into the season. “Pairing of coach Kevin Sumlin and QB Khalil Tate could be special,” the magazine states. Tate is projected as a second-team All-American, uncharted territory for an Arizona quarterback. None have even been selected the All-Pac-12 first team. The Lindy’s first-team All-American is Will Grier, senior at West Virginia.

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