Arizona was one victory away from being bowl-eligible a year ago, putting together a 5-7 record despite a midseason gauntlet that saw it face five consecutive ranked opponents.
The Wildcats’ 2023 schedule—released Wednesday—will have just as many challenges, but this time not all in a row.
Already previously known was the UA’s nonconference slate, which begins Sept. 2 at home against NAU. The Wildcats then visit Mississippi State on Sept. 9 and return to Tucson Sept. 16 to host UTEP.
Arizona will open Pac-12 play on the road for the third year in a row, facing Stanford on Sept. 23. It will be the Wildcats’ first trip to Palo Alto since 2019.
The Cardinal are one of two new conference foes on the slate, the other being Oregon State, which comes to Tucson on Oct. 28. Stanford and the Beavers replace Cal and Oregon, two teams the UA lost to a season ago.
Three of Arizona’s first four Pac-12 games are on the road, including back-to-back contests to start October. After playing their conference home opener Sept. 30 vs. Washington, the Wildcats visit USC and Washington State on consecutive weekends.
The USC game will either be Oct. 6 or 7, depending on the Pac-12’s TV partners. There’s a very good chance that one will be played on Friday night to highlight the storyline of USC pulling three Arizona starers (including conference receiving leader Dorian Singer) from the NCAA transfer portal.
Arizona’s bye comes in Week 8, after the consecutive road games. When it returns to action it will play three of the next four at Arizona Stadium, including November visits from UCLA and two-time defending Pac-12 champ Utah. A mid-November visit to Boulder to face Deion Sanders’ Colorado squad is wedged in there.
The Territorial Cup is in Tempe, with the regular-season finale slated for a Saturday kickoff after being played in its traditional Friday spot last year. Arizona hasn’t won at ASU since 2011.