Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff: 85 days

We now stand at 85 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 85th day until kickoff, the best player to wear No. 85 for Arizona? That would be tight end John Fouse, a remarkable two-sport athlete who starred at Arizona from 1962 to 1964. An Arizona Hall of Famer, Fouse was a three-year football letterman and also served as placekicker, being twice named to the All-WAC team. In his senior year, he was invited to play in both the Hula Bowl and Senior Bowl.

John Fouse was one of the best two-sport athletes in Arizona history (University of Arizona photo)

Fouse was even more outstanding in baseball, a premier pitcher and power-hitting outfielder. He was named All-WAC three times and All-American twice. In 1965, Fouse led the NCAA in ERA and posted a 12-1 record, while clubbing 16 home runs with a team-high 64 RBIs. Fouse also set a record with 40 consecutive shutout innings, one of the greatest achievements in Arizona history. In one memorable game, he pitched a win over No. 1 ranked Arizona State, striking out Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando and Rick Monday.

He was drafted for professional football by the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and the AFL’s Buffalo Bills, but he signed to play baseball with the Cleveland Indians.

Fouse, now 76, is retired in Poland, Ohio, where he worked as an insurance administrator and competed in handball tournaments.

A look ahead

No. 85 for Arizona this season is redshirt sophomore tight end Jamie Nunley.

In 10 games last season, he led the Wildcats with an impressive 26.5 yards per catch, totaling 159 yards and a touchdown on six receptions for the season. He achieved his first career 100-yard receiving game, totaling 116 yards on two pass receptions, including a 48-yard touchdown and a 68-yard catch, in the upset of No. 15 Washington State.

Embed from Getty Images

They tweeted it

In his career-high 116 yard receiving performance against Washington State last year, Nunley saw first-hand why Khalil Tate was Heisman worthy.

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