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Biggest surprises and disappointments for Arizona football so far this season


Going into the bye at 4-3 for Arizona is a solid spot for hopes at bowl-game eligibility. Arizona has dealt with injuries, but players like Jonah Coleman and Noah Fifita have stepped into starting roles and have produced.

Here are one surprise and one disappointment on each side of the ball through the first seven games of the season.


Biggest surprise: Jonah Coleman

In his freshman season at UA, as the backup running back Coleman rushed for 372 yards and four touchdowns. Coming into this season, he was still the backup but with Michael Wiley only playing in four games this season to injury, Coleman’s production has gone up. Through the seven games this year, Coleman rushed for 433 yards with 325 yards coming after contact, three TDs and 20 receptions for 289 yards. He also leads the team in rushing yards, yards per carry and is tied for rushing touchdowns with Jayden de Laura (3).

In the triple-overtime loss at USC, Coleman had his first career game rushing over 100 yards in his college career and rushed 21 times for 137 rushing yards. With Wiley coming back from injury in the short future, Jedd Fisch will need to keep featuring Coleman in the offense.

Biggest disappointment: Raymond Pulido

Coming into the season 4-star recruit Pulido was expected to start week one but days before the season opener against Northern Arizona, the freshman was injured following a bicycle accident and missed the first three games of the season..

In week four, Pulido made his debut against Stanford and he posted the worst offensive blocking rating on the team (60.2) according to Pro Football Focus before getting injured again. Pulido hasn’t had much time to show what he can do on the field but will have more opportunities to contribute for Arizona.


Biggest Surprise: Jacob Manu

Last year, Manu appeared in all 12 games for UA and had 54 tackles and 4 tackles-for-loss and through seven games his numbers have shot up. He leads UA in tackles (36), is tied for first in sacks, (5) and second in tackles-for-loss (6).

Coming into the season Manu was named one of the eight captains on the team and has played the second most snaps on defense this season (414) behind cornerback Ephesians Prysock (418).

Last year, UA allowed (209.1) rush yards a game and this year only allows 96 yards a game and Manu is at the center of a lot of it.

Biggest Disappointment: Tyler Manoa

Manoa committed to UA back in December of 2022 from UCLA to bring over a veteran defensive lineman to bulk up the UA defensive front. Through seven games, he has played the ninth-most snaps on defense (212) and has recorded just seven tackles, a sack and two tackles-for-loss. He has posted the worst tackling grade on the team (29.9), fourth-worst pass rush (54) and the second worst defensive rating (51.8) according to PFF.