Already past the halfway point of the 2022 Arizona Football season, and the Wildcats have the worst defense in the Power Five.
It is the bye week for Arizona Football, and so far through seven games in 2022, it was been a season of ups and downs for the Wildcats.
For starters, Arizona has won three games this season, which is a stark improvement from 2021 when Arizona won just one game. And beyond that, Arizona has also surpassed its predicted win total of 2.5 games.
So there are plenty of positives to build off of if you’re the Wildcats, especially when you put everything into perspective.
However, on the flip side of that, and one of the more disheartening things with this team is that Arizona statistically has the worst defense among Power Five conference teams.
May the squeamish look away, but according to Data Scientist Rob Bowron, he broke down the Wildcats’ defensive struggles, even highlighting that Johnny Nansen (Arizona’s defensive coordinator) is the worst defensive coordinator in college football… statistically speaking.
Granted, Arizona Football is just in year two of a lengthy rebuild, so patience is needed; however, it seems like Arizona’s issues may be beyond just personnel.
They say recruiting fixes everything, and that may be true to a degree, especially as we all saw Arizona put a ton of emphasis on fixing the offense this past off-season. As a result, it paid off big as the Wildcats improved from their 101st ranking in Total Offense in 2021, compared to their current ranking of 25th.
So far in the class of 2023, Arizona has 13 commits on defense out of a total of 18 commitments. Now, that is a great start, but unless they bring in the defensive equivalent of Jacob Cowing, Tetairoa McMillan, and Jayden de Laura, this staff is going to have to continue to focus on development and scheme.
Through seven games, this defense has regressed in a bad way, and the stats presented by Bowron are cause for concern.
Hopefully, as Nansen gets more experience and this staff brings in more personnel, things will improve. For now, fans will have to remain patient and hope things turn around.