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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Nonconference football grades for offensive positions

Tyler+Baker+%2F+The+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AArizona+beat+Nevada+35-28+September+13th%2C+2014%2C+at+The+University+of+Arizona+Football+Stadium
Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker / The Daily Wildcat Arizona beat Nevada 35-28 September 13th, 2014, at The University of Arizona Football Stadium

Quarterback

It was only a few weeks ago that the identity of the starting quarterback was a mystery. In his first game, redshirt freshman Anu Solomon broke the freshman record for passing yards and racked up 475 yards of total offense, the fourth most in UA history. Solomon is 10th in the country in total offense, 13th in passing yards and passing touchdowns and 23rd in passing efficiency. He is second in the Pac-12 Conference in total offense and third in passing yards per game; the Wildcats are eighth in the country in total offense. Solomon has thrown eight touchdowns to his one interception.

_Football guide grade: C _

Nonconference grade: A

Running Backs

Like the starting quarterback quandary, the question of whether Arizona can take the loss of its all-time leading rusher Ka’Deem Carey looks to be answered. The Wildcats have had backs rush for over 100 yards four times in three games with fifth-year senior Terris Jones-Grigsby running for 124 yards on 13 carries in the opener. After Jones-Grigsby went down with an injury, true freshman Nick Wilson has stepped in and has run for 449 yards this year, good enough for fourth in the country. He is also seventh in rushing yards per game in the NCAA and 23rd in the country in yards per carry.

Football guide grade: C

Nonconference grade: A

Offensive Linemen

With four returning starters, the offensive line was supposed to be a strength going into the season and it has been. Much of Solomon’s success has been the five protecting him. The Wildcats have only given up four sacks this season. The offensive line has also opened up holes on run plays, helping Jones-Grigby and Wilson to four games of over 100 yards rushing. The Wildcats have rushed for 805 yards this year, which is 19th best in the country. The backs change, but the yards keep piling up: Arizona has produced a 100-yard rusher in 20 straight games, the tied for the most since 1996 with Nebraska.

_Football guide grade: B _

Nonconference grade: A

Wide Receivers

Arizona’s other preseason highly touted position group, wide receivers, is proving to be so deep, it might be hurting each player’s stats. The Wildcats are 24th in the country in passing, and eight different receivers have caught passes — in addition to Wilson and Jones-Grigsby. Redshirt sophomore Cayleb Jones has 16 catches, followed by sophomore Samajie Grant with 14. The only Wildcat in the Pac-12 top 10 receptions per game is Jones with 5.3 in 10th place, and he’s the only UA player in the top 10 in the league in receiving yards per game 96.3, which is fourth.

Football guide grade: A

_Nonconference grades: B _

—Follow James Kelley @jameskelley520

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