Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff: 82 days

We now stand at 82 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 82nd day until kickoff, the best player to wear No. 82 for Arizona, in the modern era of the Pac-10 and Pac-12? That would be Juron Criner, a record-setting wide receiver who played with the Wildcats from 2008 to 2011. Criner holds the school record for career touchdown catches (32) and is fourth in receptions (209) and receiving yards (2,859). Other very good No. 82s: tight end Ron Beyer, Arizona’s first All-Pac-10 player and wide receivers Derek Hill and Jay Dobyns.

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Criner remained three years in the NFL starting in 2012 after he was drafted in the fifth round by the Oakland Raiders. He played two years with the Raiders and was on the practice squad one season with the New York Giants. After playing two seasons with Ottawa of the CFL, Criner is now with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Dobyns, a local product out of Sahuaro, was rated the No. 1 badass on offense in Wildcat lore by All Sports Tucson.

A look ahead

Kevin Sumlin returned to Houston for the second time in a month last Thursday for a camp at Texas Southern University. He was once again asked about his return to Houston during the football season when he will lead the Wildcats there in the second game of the season:

They tweeted it

A day after the Texas Southern camp, Sumlin was in Flagstaff along with Sean Miller as part of Arizona’s road tour.

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