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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

2014-2015 UA football positional grades

Quarterbacks

While he slumped a bit at the end of the season while dealing with an ankle injury, Anu Solomon did not play like a freshman in his rookie season. Solomon was 11th in country in passing yards with 3458, 16th in passing touchdowns with 27, 19th in passing yards per game with 266 and 22nd in total offense 285.9. The reserves also filled in admirably while he was hurt, especially Jesse Scroggins.

Regular season grade: A

Running backs

Nick Wilson had big shoes to fill in replacing Ka’Deem Carey, and he did so admirably. Despite missing time and being slowed by injury, Wilson was 24th in the country in rushing yards with 1289. The true freshman was also 24th in the nation in rushing yards per carry with 5.94, 15th in rushing touchdowns with 15 and 26th in rushing yards per game with 107.4. Through 12 games, back up Terris Jones-Grigsby ran for 513 yards and 4.9 yards per carry.

Regular season grade: A

Wide receivers

Although overshadowed by Solomon and Wilson, the receiving corps had a good year. Despite losing Nate Phillips to injury, it was still the deepest position group, as eight receivers caught 13 or more passes. The Wildcats were 27th in the nation in passing with 277.7 yards per game. Texas transfer Cayleb Jones was 19th in the country in receiving touchdowns with nine and 41st in receiving yards with 902.

Regular season grade: B+

Offensive line

The unsung heroes behind the 26th best offense in the country (461.5 yards per game) were the Wildcats on the offensive line. The Wildcats were 27th in the NCAA in pass offense (277.7 yards per game) and had the 72nd best rushing offense, 170.4 yards per game. However, the Wildcats were 93rd in sacks allowed with 2.46 per game and the quarterbacks were under constant pressure in the last two games.

Regular season grade: C+

Defensive line

Arizona’s defensive linemen have accounted for just nine of the team’s 37 sacks this season; that’s not to say the unit was horrible. Its worth comes when factoring in the 3-3-5 defensive scheme. The defensive line’s unselfishness allowed linebackers to clean up the tackles after they created the lanes. You have to give Reggie Gilbert and Dan Pettinato credit especially. Those are two seniors who will be sorely missed.

Regular season grade: C+

Linebackers

It’s all about Scooby Wright at the linebacker position. Wright emerged as the unquestioned leader of Arizona’s defense this season and even made a surprise run at the Heisman Trophy. Through 13 games, Scooby had 153 total tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 14 sacks and six forced fumbles. When you think about how dominant of a season he had, it’s a shame he’s not a finalist for the Heisman.

Regular season grade: B+

Defensive backs

As a whole, Arizona’s defensive backs were reliable and produced big numbers. If you split that up from safeties to cornerbacks, there’s a different story. The safeties absolutely crushed it this season, and to say the cornerbacks underperformed this season may be an understatement. Jared Tevis had another great year, racking up 119 total tackles, and had help from Jourdon Grandon, Will Parks and Tra’Mayne Bondurant. Corners like Jonathan McKnight, Jarvis McCall Jr. and Cam Denson were on the opposite side of the spectrum.

Regular season grade: C+

Special teams

Casey Skowron started off the year hot, cooled down significantly and then picked it back up toward the end of the season. He may not have been spectacular all season, but he still had a good season by UA kicker standards. Drew Riggleman ended the year second in the Pac-12 Conference in average punt yards, total punts and total punt yards. His ability to consistently pin opponents deep in their own field was huge.

Regular season grade: B-

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