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NAU vs. Arizona: Grading the Wildcats' position groups

It's time to be that professor everyone loves and be an easy grader

Chris Coduto/Getty Images

To nitpick anything from the Arizona Wildcats' 77-13 win over NAU on Saturday can really only come from the first 18 minutes or so of the game, so I'm about to be the easiest grader you have ever seen probably. If you want to take my classes in the future, I understand:

Quarterbacks: A+

All four Arizona quarterbacks played, and all four scored a rushing TD. I don't know, that seems about as close to perfect as it can get. And not only will Zach Werlinger always have that memory of scoring a touchdown in Arizona Stadium, but it was the touchdown that gave Arizona its all-time scoring record and all-time total offense record.

Anu Solomon threw for 285 yards on 25 completions in about two and a half quarters of action. Jerrard Randall had two rushing TDs of more than 70 yards, and Brandon Dawkins picked up 74 rushing yards of his own. Overall, Rich Rodriguez has to be happy with what he saw behind center.

Running backs: A

What? No A+ here? If they had picked up 500 rushing yards instead of 499, it would have been an A+ to be honest. But you want the craziest stat? Out of people not named Anu Solomon, Nick Wilson averaged the fewest yards per carry. He averaged 7.5. He had 143 yards on 19 attempts.

There was no Orlando Bradford though? Why? Seems like that game would have been the perfect time to get him some run.

Wide receivers: A-

The WRs move down to A- thanks to some offensive pass interference calls. And they didn't get out of this game healthy, as both Cayleb Jones and Samajie Grant went down with injuries. We'll see how serious those are in the coming days.

Offensive line: A

No A+ for them because Anu got sacked, and it was a play where he really got sacked like five times, but only one guy could bring him down. Other than that, this O-line looks like a totally different group with Freddie Tagaloa out there the last two games than it did against UTSA with Layth Friekh at left tackle.

Defensive line: A

It may not show up in the stat sheet, but the Arizona defensive line looked so much better than I can ever remember in recent times. Case Cookus had no time in the pocket while he was still in, and then Kyren Poe had no chance when he took over the Lumberjacks' quarterbacking duties in the second half. Reggie Gilbert looked like a different player, and even the backups were performing very well once they got in.

"We had a lot of action from the D-line," Anthony Lopez said after the game about the defense's ability to generate pressure. "They were really getting in there, and freeing up the linebackers to get back in there, so they were really helping us out."

Linebackers: A

I'm not really sure that there's anything bad to say about the linebackers in this game. Even without Derrick Turituri making a tackle, or DeAndre' Miller playing at all, they seemed to do just fine stopping the NAU run. The Lumberjacks only averaged 1.7 yards per carry. It's good that all those guys got some playing time before Pac-12 play starts, and hopefully when Scooby Wright III returns, he'll have better players around him because of it.

Secondary: B+

If the game had ended with 11 minutes left in the second quarter, the secondary would have received a big fat F on their report card, but they responded well, including a very strange night from Cam Denson.

"I played terribly at the beginning, but then I just had to play better for my brothers out there," Denson explained. "I just had to go out there and show I can play my game."

Denson ended up with a pick and a sack.

DaVonte' Neal and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles had their first career interceptions, and Tellas Jones and Jamar Allah led the team in tackles.

Sorry that you're the only ones to not receive an A secondary.

Special teams: A

You know a game's out of hand when you bring in your second string kicker for kickoffs. Josh Pollack got the last two after Casey Skowron had to do ten of them, and also got the last extra point after Skowron went 10-for-10. Skowron also had a tackle, which was awesome. And Drew Riggleman had a 66-yard punt. 'A' effort special teams.

There you have it. A's for everyone, except the secondary, because, well, two 60+ yard receptions early in the game. Let's hope these grades look similar next week after UCLA comes to town.