Is Arizona's Defense More Impressive Than Its Offense?

The question that's being posed in the headline requires an understanding of expectations. The Arizona Wildcats offense was expected to be healthy if not prolific considering the potential of Matt Scott in Rich Rodriguez's system. He's gotten more help than we expected. Ka'Deem Carey is living up to the hype as a sophomore and Scott's offensive line and receiving core have been better than we could have envisioned in the preseason.

But what about that defense?

No, the numbers aren't so pretty, but Arizona is expected to give opponents many possessions -- because of the efficient offense -- and they weren't expected to pitch shut-outs against two excellent offensive teams.

Expectations said the defense would struggle mightily. So is it possible, then, to say that the defense has impressed more than the offense? Of course, this is all subjective. What is "impressive," after all? Is it really fair to say a defense can be better in any way than one of the NCAA's best offenses through two weeks of play?

A quick look at where some Wildcats stand in national statistical categories:

  • Matt Scott, tied with Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib for the most total yards (836) in NCAA. He is second in total yards per game.
  • Jake Fischer, tied for the most tackles (27) in the NCAA
  • Austin Hill, tied for second most receiving yards in the NCAA. He and USC Trojans' receiver Marqise Lee each have 263 yards, but Hill has that in 12 catches to Lee's 21. New Mexico State's Austin Franklin leads the NCAA with 308 receiving yards.
  • Ka'Deem Carey, tied for the second-most number of touchdowns in the nation (5). Cody Getz of the Air Force Academy has one more, and of the six other players with five touchdowns through two weeks, three are Pac-12 players. Those guys would be Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas of Oregon, and Lee of USC.
FULL SCREEN VERSION

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