Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff: 79 days

We are now into the 70’s, standing at 79 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 79th day until kickoff, the best player to wear No. 79 for Arizona? That would be the late Joe Drake, the massive nose tackle who excelled at Arizona from 1981 to 1984. He was part of two safeties when Arizona beat ASU 28-18 in 1982, keeping the Sun Devils out of the Rose Bowl. Drake had the first of the safeties 15 seconds into the third quarter when running back Darryl Clack was pulled down in the end zone. Drake, who played at 6-2 and 300 pounds, altered the path of running back Dwaine Wright in the fourth quarter, allowing linebacker Glenn Perkins to close in and get Arizona’s second safety of the game.

Drake, who passed away from a heart attack at 31 in 1994, had another significant tackle against ASU the following season in Tempe, stopping ASU quarterback Todd Hons one yard from the goal-line on a two-point conversion try. The play kept ASU’s lead at 15-14 and provided the opportunity for Max Zendejas to convert his 45-yard game-winning field goal as time expired.

A look ahead

Arizona’s football program is doing a social media campaign called #EraZona that includes upcoming posters that will be made available to the public. Here are some of what the program has featured on social media:

They tweeted it

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