Arizona Football: 5 Biggest Holes in the Roster Wildcats Must Fill for 2013
Arizona stormed back from 13 points down in the final two minutes to shock Nevada, 49-48. With it, the Wildcats (8-5, 4-5) enter the offseason on a high note.
If RichRod's club is to match or exceed its 2012 win total in 2013, it'll need to patch up a number of holes on both sides of the ball.
Here is a quick rundown of five key positions the Wildcats will need to fill heading into next year's campaign.
B.J. Denker hopes to compete for the starting quarterback position in 2013.
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Arizona is faced with replacing 3,620 yards passing and 33 touchdowns (27 passing, 6 rushing) at quarterback in 2013.
Anu Solomon and B.J. Denker appear to be the two primary candidates to replace Matt Scott behind center next year.
Solomon, a 4-star dual-threat QB from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, figures to compete for the position right off the bat. A winner of multiple state championships, Solomon has the skill set and athleticism coveted by Rich Rodriguez.
B.J. Denker performed nicely in his lone start of the 2012 campaign against Colorado. The southpaw completed 86 percent of his passes and threw for two scores in a 56-31 Arizona win.
Wide Receiver No. 2
Arizona wideout Dan Buckner, leaving as a senior, leaves a hole in the 'Cats wide receiver position.
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Dan Buckner had a career year in his last go-round with the Wildcats. The Texas native collected 773 yards on 61 receptions and scored five times.
While Buckner was overshadowed by teammate Austin Hill, he remained a consistent contributor, recording at least one reception in each contest.
David Richards and Garic Wharton, who finished fourth and fifth in receiving respectively, figure to be likely candidates to assume the No. 2 role opposite Hill in 2013.
Arizona center Kyle Quinn
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A quality center in football is often taken for granted.
Only once a center proves inconsistent in snapping the ball accurately to his quarterback does he really get any notice at all.
So, with Arizona center Kyle Quinn and backup Addison Bachman both having played their last games as Wildcats, it's pivotal that the next center in line be reliable in delivering the ball to whoever the quarterback may be next year.
Defensive tackle Sione Tuihalamaka
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Arizona allowed over 290 yards per game through the air in 2012.
Its inability to slow their opponents' passing attack stemmed from its difficulties putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Arizona finished outside the top 100 in sacks.
Arizona figures to return defensive end Justin Washington and defensive tackles Sione Tuihalamaka and Dan Pettinato. Rich Rodriguez will welcome two defensive ends as well as two defensive tackles in 2013, all of whom are rated 3-star recruits on Rivals.com.
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Kicking the ball through the uprights has proven difficult for Wildcats place kickers in recent years.
However, for the most part, John Bonano had a good year. He connected on all but one extra point (58-59) and nailed 70 percent of his field-goal attempts (14-20).
Rich Rodriguez will be faced with the task of replacing his senior place kicker in 2013.