Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff: 63 days

We are now only 63 days — or nine Saturdays from today — 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 63rd day until kickoff, the best player to wear No. 63 for Arizona? That would be former right guard standout John Brandom (1986-89), who teamed with Glenn Parker to make a formidable right side of the line.

Brandom is now a successful head coach at Riverside (Calif.) Hillcrest High School, where he has coached since 2015. He is one of nine former Arizona players who are head coaches, eight of whom are coaching high school.

John Brandom is in his fourth season as head coach at Riverside (Calif.) Hillcrest High School (YouTube video capture)

A look ahead

Still thinking of buying season tickets? Arizona has the cheapest among the most inexpensive of that kind in the Pac-12. The cheapest season ticket at Oregon is $521? No wonder Oregon has the most bling in the conference. They need that money for all those different helmets.


Jake Fischer was a productive linebacker for Arizona when he played for Mike Stoops and Rich Rodriguez from 2009 to 2013 after completing a stellar career at Ironwood Ridge High School. He tallied 218 tackles in his junior and senior seasons at Arizona with 10 going for loss. He had 18.5 tackles for loss in his career. Fischer is now a successful Investment Advisor Representative for Primerica, where he has worked since 2014.

Jake Fischer (left) with former Arizona teammate Nick Foles (Fischer photo)

What is your favorite game?

“Senior Day vs. Oregon (in 2013), beating a top 5 team with Marcus Mariota in my last game at Arizona Stadium.”

Who is your favorite Wildcat?

“My favorite Wildcat of all time is Tedy Bruschi because of the way he conducted himself off the field and his relentless motor and competitive spirit on the field.”

What is your favorite play in Arizona history?

“I would say was actually the last two drives against Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl (in 2012) when there was less than a 1% chance of us winning and we had to execute four or five plays perfectly to win. Onside kick, interception, two touchdown passes, all within a 2-minute period.”

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What is your favorite coach memory?

“The coaches all were great. Getting top 10 wins for both Stoops and Coach Rod were amazing because of how hard they work. Lots of people don’t understand the work that goes into the game. Those two put in hours that people would cringe at.”

What excites you about the upcoming season

“I’m most excited to see these young players that stepped up last year and made plays come back even better (especially the linebackers).

I’m excited to see how Khalil Tate plays as a passer.

I’m excited to see how Sumlin does as first-year head coach.

I’m excited to see us take the South.”


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