Arizona Football

2024 Arizona football season countdown: 72 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.



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With it being the 72nd day until kickoff between the Lobos and Wildcats, the best player to wear No. 72 for Arizona is offensive tackle Yusuf Scott, who played at Arizona from 1996 to 1998. Scott won the Pac-10′s Morris Trophy in 1998 as the league’s best offensive lineman, as voted by the defensive linemen. Scott, who hails from the Houston suburb of La Porte, Texas, played three years with the Arizona Cardinals after he was drafted in the fifth round in 1999. He passed away at age 42 on Nov. 9, 2019. Scott is preceded in death by his coach, Dick Tomey, and he is is one of a few linemen from the 1990’s with Arizona to pass away in recent years. Warner SmithMu Tagoai and Pulu Poumele — three-fifths of the 1993 line that was part of the 10-2 team — have passed away in the last 10 years. Scott, nicknamed “Big U” during his Arizona career from 1996-98, stood at 6-foot-2 and 320 pounds. He was athletic for his size and was able to pull in front of Trung Canidate, freeing the running back for big gains. Canidate can thank Scott for much of his 3,824 career rushing yards. The affable Scott once told the Arizona Daily Wildcat, “One of us is going to get hurt, and I don’t plan on it being me,” when preparing for standout Iowa defensive lineman Jared DeVries in 1998. Arizona rolled over Iowa and DeVries 35-11 at Arizona Stadium as Canidate and Kelvin Eafon each ran for two touchdowns behind Scott and fellow offensive linemen Steven GraceBruce WigginsMakoa Freitas and Edwin Mulitalo — one of the finest groups in the Wildcats’ history. The 1998 team included a roster with names spread throughout the school’s record book: Canidate, Dennis NorthcuttJeremy McDanielKeith SmithOrtege Jenkins and Chris McAlister, to name a few. Scott’s name does not immediately come to mind when recalling that season, mostly because he was in the trenches. He is one of only two Arizona offensive linemen to earn the Morris Trophy Award. The late Joe Tofflemire, a center, was the other winner in 1988. “I’m a realist, I know what sells tickets,” Scott told the Daily Wildcat. “Guys like Chris McAlister, Dennis Northcutt and Jeremy McDaniel … I don’t want to be in the glamour, but I will tell you that when Trung Canidate scores a touchdown, I’m right there in the camera to say hello to my mother.”


Wendell Moe

Moe, 6-foot-2 and 340 pounds, comes from power Long Beach (Calif.) Poly. He appeared in 13 all games in his second season with the Wildcats in 2023. He was selected All-Pac-12 Second Team by the Associated Press last season. He also made the Football Writers Association Mid-Season Freshman All-American Watch List. He kept his redshirt status as a true freshman in 2022, playing only four games while starting in three of them. He was rated a 3-star prospect by 247Sports coming out of Poly.


Arizona junior QB Noah Fifita is the top preseason Heisman Trophy candidate in the Big 12, according to

THEY SAID IT’s explanation for rating Fifita as the No. 1 Heisman Trophy candidate out of the Big 12:

“The Wildcats’ star had the best freshman season of any quarterback in 2023, throwing for 25 touchdown passes and completing 73% of his passes despite starting just nine games. He and his best friend/top target Tetairoa McMillan then chose to stay at Arizona, opting not to follow head coach Jedd Fisch to Washington.  After leading the Wildcats to a 10-win season in 2023, Fifita is looking to pilot the program to a Big 12 title in their first year in the conference. If he manages to pull that off (which would mean needing to beat teams like Kansas, Oklahoma State and Utah), Fifita could become the first Arizona player to ever be invited to NYC for the Heisman Trophy ceremony.”

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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