TUCSON, Ariz. – Heading into head coach Rich Rodriguez's second season in Tucson, the University of Arizona football team has been picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12's South Division by media members who cover the league.
Rodriguez guided UA to an 8-5 record in 2012 in his first season with the program, capping the year with a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Nevada in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
Arizona is led by returning starters Kadeem Carey on offense and Jake Fischer on defense. The former was a consensus All-America and first-team All-Pac-12 selection a year ago after finishing as the national leader in both rushing yards per game (148.4) and total yards (1,929). His rushing total on the year broke Trung Canidate single-season school mark, and his 366-yard performance against Colorado on Nov. 10 established new single-game standards for both UA and the Pac-12.
Carey has been named to the preseason watch lists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Maxwell Player of the Year Award and the Doak Walker Running Back Award this summer.
Fischer was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 pick in 2012 after pacing the Wildcats with 119 tackles, including 76 solo stops. He ranked third on the team with 6.5 tackles for loss, forced and recovered three fumbles, and broke up three passes on the year.
The 2012 CoSIDA Academic All-District and Pac-12 first-team All-Academic performer was recently named to the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, presented annually to college football's defensive player of the year.
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