Arizona Football (0-2, 0-0) has gotten off to a rough start for 2021, and now losers of 14-straight, the Wildcats will have a winnable matchup vs NAU.
Arizona Football has had a rough start to the 2021 season as the Wildcats are 0-2 and now losers of 14-straight games that dates back to the 2019 season. And so far in 2021, the Wildcats are being outscored 62-30.
In their first two games, the offense has been rather meek and uninspiring, rarely sustaining drives, and not finding a rhythm. On defense, things have been challenging as well. This is a group that is still a work in progress like we thought it would be, and they still seem to lack size, speed, and cannot seemingly generate a serviceable pass rush.
However, coming into week three, those woes should all temporarily subside as the Wildcats face off with in-state rival, the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks.
Coming in, even with Arizona owning the nation’s longest active losing streak, the Wildcats will have a clear advantage. In short, NAU is not a good team, and Arizona should be able to find its rhythm and confidence early on.
Either way, the team will still need optimal focus and will still need to be prepared for anything come Saturday. With that said, here is our Preview of the Wildcats’ game against the Lumberjacks.
Getting to Know the details with Arizona Football’s matchup against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks
Team: Northern Arizona Lumberjacks
Conference: Big Sky
2020 Record: Finishing with a respectable 3-2 (3-2) record in the abbreviated Covid season, Northern Arizona ended the year with wins over Southern Utah and Idaho.
Head Coach: Chris Ball enters his 3rd season with the Lumberjacks having compiled a 7-12 record at NAU. So far, the Lumberjacks are off to an 0-2 start in 2021.
Key Returners/ Starters:
Largely led behind the rushing attack of freshman running back Kevin Daniels and redshirt freshman quarterback Jeff Widener, together the two lead the Lumberjacks with 220 yards rushing in two games.
Under center, it will be Widener, as the signal-caller from Apple Valley, CA has had a bit of a tougher start in 2021. Having thrown for 476 yards and two touchdowns while completing 42 of 67 passes, he has, however, thrown four interceptions.
At receiver, the Lumberjacks will largely target Stacy Chukwumezie. Now a graduate senior, the Southern California native is once again off to a terrific start in 2021, compiling 207 yards receiving with a touchdown on 15 receptions.
Defensively, NAU has had a rough start to the year, surrendering 42 points to No. 1 Sam Houston State and 34 points to South Dakota. In their first two games, the Lumberjacks are currently being outscored 76-23, and their road doesn’t get easier this year either.
Coming in, this is a group that should struggle with Arizona as well. NAU is currently giving up an average of 221.5 rushing yards per game and has given up four rushing touchdowns. The Wildcats should have the clear advantage upfront and should be able to find an offensive rhythm against the Lumberjacks.
- WR – Jamarye Joiner (Foot) – Will be out he recovers from surgery.
- LB – Jabar Triplett (Knee) – Still recovering from offseason knee surgery.
When: Saturday, September 18th, 2021
Time: 7:00 PM
Watch: Pac-12 Sports Network, FuboTV
Spread: TBD (Also, don’t forget to use WynnBet to enhance your betting experience)
Where: Arizona Stadium – Tucson, AZ (57,400)
Overall Series Record: 15-1 Arizona. The Wildcats have dominated this head-to-head series, holding a current 14-game winning streak. Arizona’s last loss came in 1932 when the Wildcats lost 7-6.
Last Meeting vs. Arizona: The last time these two teams met, Arizona won in Tucson in a 65-41 barnburner in 2019.
My Prediction: Arizona 45 NAU 28 – Arizona finally breaks the losing streak against the Lumberjacks exploding for a big offensive performance, and coming away with their first victory in the Jedd Fisch Era.