Nonconference primer: Arizona
July, 14, 2014
By Kevin Gemmell | ESPN.com
Today we start a new series looking at each team’s nonconference opponents in 2014.
UNLV, Friday, Aug. 29
UNLV, Friday, Aug. 29
- Coach: Bobby Hauck (13-38), fifth year
- 2013 record: 7-6, 5-3 Mountain West
- Returning starters: eight offense, six defense
- Offensive headliner: Wide receiver Devante Davis caught 87 balls for 1,290 yards and a school-record 14 touchdowns last season.
- Defensive headliner: Safety Peni Vea had 108 tackles and two interceptions last season.
- The skinny: The Rebels return four of five starters on the offensive line (much like the Wildcats), but are still undecided on a starting quarterback (much like the Wildcats). Quarterbacks Nick Sherry and Blake Decker are battling to replace Caleb Herring, and the Rebels must replace their all-time leading rusher in Tim Cornett (much like the Wildcats and Ka’Deem Carey). For all the similarities, let's not forget Arizona blew out the Rebels 58-13 last year in Vegas.
- Coach: Larry Coker (19-15), fourth year
- 2013 record: 7-5, Conference USA
- Returning starters: nine offense, 10 defense
- Offensive headliner: Running back David Glasco II returns as the leading rusher from last season after posting 496 yards and five touchdowns on 95 carries.
- Defensive headliner: Safety Triston Wade is back after posting a team-high 94 tackles with a pair of interceptions and five breakups.
- The skinny: The Roadrunners are done with their transition and are now a full-fledged NCAA Division I FBS team and eligible for postseason play. They closed last year on a five-game winning streak, but have to replace quarterback Eric Soza, the only quarterback UTSA has known since its inception. Look for UTSA to be in contention for the CON-USA title.
- Coach: Brian Polian (4-8), second year.
- 2013 record: 4-8, 3-5 Mountain West
- Returning starters: seven offense, nine defense
- Offensive headliner: Cody Fajardo is a dangerous dual-threat quarterback who threw for 13 touchdowns last year (to just three interceptions) while also rushing for 621 yards and eight scores. If he played on a higher-profile team, he’d probably get some Heisman buzz.
- Defensive headliner: Senior defensive end Brock Hekking has posted 24.5 tackles for a loss and 17 sacks over the past two seasons.
- The skinny: The Wolf Pack struggled in the second half of last season, dropping tight games to San Diego State, UNLV and BYU, snapping a streak of eight straight bowl appearances. But with Fajardo at the helm, they are always a threat to score. Polian tabbed Scott Boone, a longtime and very successful FCS coordinator, to fix a defense that ranked 102nd nationally in 2013 (34.4 points per game).
Final Central Michigan 48 Western Kentucky 49 Final Fresno State 6 Rice 30
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
Final Marshall 52 Northern Illinois 23 Final Navy 17 San Diego State 16
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State