ARIZONA FOOTBALL

Early 2023 college bowl game projection: Wildcats reach Sun Bowl

May 19, 2023, 5:38 PM | Updated: 5:40 pm

Jacob Cowing...

Arizona wide receiver Jacob Cowing (2) fends off Colorado safety Tyrin Taylor (5) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Thanks to the active-as-ever transfer portal, college football rosters have churned this offseason. With spring ball over with and that relatively calmed down — we are not including the Colorado Buffaloes — it’s on to projecting the regular season.

For the Arizona Wildcats, 2023 presents a real opportunity to make their first bowl game since 2017.

Action Network’s Brett McMurphy sees Arizona and head coach Jedd Fisch making the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, where he predicts the Wildcats will face the Duke Blue Devils in El Paso, Texas. The game features an ACC squad against the fifth team in the Pac-12.

It’s an optimistic look at Arizona. The over-under for Arizona football’s 2023 win total at FanDuel Sportsbook sits at 4.5 wins, while Duke is at 6.5.

It’ll be Fisch’s third season on the job, where he flipped a 1-11 squad his first season into a 5-7 team last year.

The Wildcats return starting quarterback Jayden de Laura, who posted an erratic first year in the desert after two years with Washington State.

De Laura completed 63% of his passes for 3,685 yards, 25 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The offense also returns running back Michael Wiley, who posted 771 rushing yards and 349 receiving yards.

Arizona lost leading receiver by yards Dorian Singer (1,105 yards) — he transferred to USC — but has plenty of options with 1,000-yard man Jacob Cowing back after he led the team with 85 catches. Soon-to-be sophomore Tetairoa McMillan (702 yards) is back, as is tight end Tanner McLachlan (456 yards).

The defense will need to make a jump to increase the win total.

Arizona Football

New football head coach Brent Brennan of the Arizona Wildcats gestures to the crowd during a time o...

Damon Allred

Arizona football picks up 3 commitments in 2025 class

The Arizona Wildcats added three recruits to their 2025 football class on Monday after hosting nearly a dozen in Tucson over the weekend. 

14 hours ago

ESPN has Arizona's quarterback situation as of the best tiers in college football while Arizona Sta...

Bailey Leasure

ESPN: Arizona has one of the best quarterback situations in 2024

ESPN has Arizona football's quarterback situation in one of the top tiers in college football. Arizona State's ranks much lower.

3 days ago

Big 12 logo...

Arizona Sports

Reports: Big 12 discussing naming rights deal with Allstate

The Big 12 is reportedly considering becoming the first conference to agree to a naming-rights deal with its conference brand.

5 days ago

Mountain America Stadium...

Aaron Schmidt

Arizona State tops Pac-12 average APR for 3rd straight year

The Sun Devils recorded a multiyear Academic Progress Rate (APR) average of 994 over a four-year period, topping the Pac-12 for the third year in a row.

10 days ago

Arizona AD Desiree Reed-Francois, Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark and Arizona State AD Graham Ros...

Kevin Zimmerman

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark already planning for next TV deal

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark met with the Arizona Board of Regents on Thursday to present his plan for the new conference.

12 days ago

College Football Playoff...

Arizona Sports

College Football Playoff announces Fiesta Bowl kickoff time for 2024 quarterfinals

The 2024 Fiesta Bowl, a quarterfinals game for the College Football Playoff 12-team bracket, now has a time and TV partner set.

13 days ago

Early 2023 college bowl game projection: Wildcats reach Sun Bowl