USC opponent preview: Arizona Wildcats


Coach: Mike Stoops

2010: 7-6 (4-5)

Returning starters: Five (offense), seven (defense)

As Nick Foles goes, so goes Arizona. With just five starters back on offense, and none on the offensive line, the Wildcats will rely heavily upon their senior quarterback, who has thrown for 5,677 yards and 39 touchdowns during the last two seasons.

The Wildcats do return their leading rusher and top four receivers from last year, who combined for 207 catches. But it hasn’t exactly been an easy offseason for senior All-American wide receiver Juron Criner, who was sidelined during summer workouts with an undisclosed medical issue.

Criner, who caught 82 passes for 1,233 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2010, is still expected to be 100 percent for the team’s Sept. 3 opener against Northern Arizona.

Most of the lingering questions revolve around the defense and its ability to deal with the loss of All-American defensive end Brooks Reed, who recorded 47 tackles and 6.5 sacks last season.

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