Rich Rodriguez is known for offense, so it is no surprise that he has turned the Arizona Wildcats into one of the best teams in the nation on that side of the ball.
The reigning Pac-12 South champs averaged 34.5 points per game last season, and topped the 40-point mark five times.
Their success can be largely attributed to quarterback Anu Solomon as well as running back Nick Wilson and receiver Cayleb Jones, the three of whom combine to form the third-best trio in all of college football, according to NFL.com’s Mike Huguenin.
The skinny: Solomon was excellent as a redshirt freshman last season, throwing for 3,793 yards and 28 TDs and also rushing for 291 yards. While he definitely is a better passer than runner, look for his rushing total to grow a bit this fall. Wilson ran for 1,375 yards and 16 TDs as a true freshman; he has a nice blend of power and quickness that fits well in coach Rich Rodriguez’s version of the spread. Jones, who began his career at Texas, emerged as Solomon’s go-to guy last season, finishing with 73 receptions, 1,019 yards and nine TDs. He can get deep, but his main value is on intermediate routes, where Jones (6-3, 215) puts his physical nature to good use.
Arizona will likely lean on all three next season, as Wilson is easily the best option in the running game while Jones is the best of what is a very deep group of wide receivers.
The key to the Wildacts offense, though, will be how big of a step forward Solomon takes in his second year as the starter. Solomon will be the first quarterback since Rodriguez took over in Tucson to have a second season leading the offense, and figures to continue his ascension as one of the Pac-12’s best passers.
The only schools with an offensive trio ranking higher than Arizona’s were TCU, which comes in second, and defending national champion Ohio State, who is listed at No. 1.
Pac-12 rivals Oregon (7, with QB Vernon Adams, RB Royce Freeman and RB Byron Marshall) and California (6, with QB Jared Goff, RB Daniel Lasco and WR Kenny Lawler).