Arizona Football

2024 Arizona football season countdown: 81 days to kickoff

To get ready for the upcoming Arizona football season, All Sports Tucson offers a countdown, which will include history notes and a look ahead to the season — a good way to keep Arizona football on the mind in the summer months leading up to fall camp in early August and then kickoff against New Mexico on Aug. 31 in the start of the Brent Brennan era.



Arizona’s Brad Anderson races 65 yards to the end zone when the Wildcats ended Arizona State’s hopes of going to the Rose Bowl following the 1982 season (Tucson Citizen photo)

With it being the 81st day until kickoff between the Lobos and Wildcats, the best player to wear¬†No. 81 for Arizona is wide receiver Brad Anderson, a target of Arizona quarterback great Tom Tunnicfliffe when he played for the Wildcats from 1981-83 after transferring from BYU. He earned All-Pac-10 honors in 1983 and finished his career with 97 receptions for 1,789 yards and eight touchdowns. He played for the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears. His highlight play for Arizona was a 65-yard TD reception against ASU in 1982, helping the Wildcats keep the Sun Devils from the Rose Bowl. Tunnicliffe read the ASU blitz and completed the pass to Anderson in one-on-one coverage and Anderson raced to the end zone (at 1:46 of the following video). Anderson, a vice chairman of Cushman & Wakefield, has more than 30 years experience in the commercial real estate business. He is a leading service provider and consultant to commercial property owners, space occupiers, investors and developers. He has completed more than 4,000 transactions (for more than 35 million square feet with an aggregate value exceeding $15 billion), ranking him among Cushman & Wakefield’s highest achievers. He is one of the preeminent brokers within the greater Phoenix area.


Julius Oliver

Oliver, 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds, redshirted last year as a freshman after walking on to the program. Graduated in 2023 from Sun Valley (Calif.) Village Christian High School. He is a dual-sport athlete who also played volleyball in high school. Played one season on varsity (nine games), made 43 receptions for 936 yards, had 14 receiving touchdowns and returned a fumble for a touchdown. His longest catch was 82 yards. He averaged 104 yards per game with a per-catch average of 21.8 yards. Scored 96 total points in one season of varsity football, averaging 10.7 points per game with 15 total touchdowns.


Members of Arizona’s football program volunteered their time Saturday morning to help paint homes and care for landscaping for Habitat for Humanity in Tucson. This is an annual activity for Arizona’s football players.


Noah Fifita is ready to lead the Arizona Wildcats into the Big 12 (Gilbert Alcaraz/Special to

“Who is one player not getting talked about for the Heisman race that you believe will be squarely in the mix at the end of the season? I have two: LSU QB Garrett Nussmeier and Arizona QB Noah Fifita. Nussmeier is new as a starter, but there are a lot of weapons around him and he will be operating in the same system that produced a Heisman winner last season. Folks in Baton Rouge have been waiting for him to pop, and this could be the year. As for Fifita, I am basing this on the Wildcats being a lot better than people expect. I have Arizona winning the Big 12, and much of it will be due to Fifita hooking up with Tet McMillan on a regular basis. Brent Brennan is a solid offensive coach, so there won’t be a ton of drop off from last season.” — Mike Wachsman, former college football beat writer for more than 30 years, FWAA member and a voter for the Outland, Davey O’Brien and Lombardi awards.

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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