Numerous reports published on Friday morning have Arizona offensive line coach Robert Anae returning to BYU as its new(ish?) offensive coordinator. Anae filled the same role for UA in 2011 under Mike Stoops and interim Tim Kish. Rich Rodriguez retained Anae to work with the linemen in 2012.
Line play was a decided strength of the the Wildcats' 8-win 2012 squad. The front five, led by All Pac-12 honorable mention Kyle Quinn, paved the way for running back Ka'Deem Carey to lead the nation in rushing yards at 1929. The Wildcats ranked in the top half of the Bowl Subdivision in tackles for loss and sacks allowed.
In his Anae's one season as Wildcats' offensive coordinator, UA averaged 30.8 points per game employing a pass-heavy version of the spread offense. Elements of the system Anae ran were integrated into Rodriguez's zone-read option. The result was an offense that averaged neearly 530 yards an outing.
Anae was BYU's offensive coordinator from 2005 through 2010, leading Cougar teams that ranked in the top 25 of points scored routinely. His 2006 offense was the sixth most prolific in the FBS behind the standpoint play of quarterback John Beck. Thriving in a variation of the system that made Nick Foles Arizona's all-time passing leader, Beck passed for nearly 3900 yards on better than 69 percent completions.
Offensive anemia plagued the 2012 Cougars. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall oversaw a defense that was among the nation's best, but a revolving door behind center exacerbated inconsistency.
Anae won't be without talent, though. Dual threat quarterback Taysom Hill has qualities reminiscent of Arizona's Second Team All Pac-12 play maker, Matt Scott. Hill was sidelined with a knee injury not long after replacing Riley Nelson behind center.
Next year's Cougar quarterback will also have a reliable target in Cody Hoffman. A big target with sure hands, Hoffman caught 100 balls for 1248 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Arizona's replacement to work with the offensive linemen won't take over a bare cupboard, either. Fabbians Ebbele and Mickey Baucus, and verbally committed recruit Jacob Alsadek brings tremendous size and potential out of San Diego's Torrey Pines High School.