Who knows what kind of season Arizona would have had if Noah Fifita hadn’t stepped in at quarterback. At the very least, the school probably wouldn’t have had a conference player of the year winner.
Fifita is the Pac-12’s Offensive Freshman of the Year, the first UA player to win that award since running back JJ Taylor was Co-Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2017 (and linebacker Colin Schooler) won Defensive Freshman of the Year).
The Wildcats missed out on a double dip of individual awards, as Jedd Fisch was passed over for Coach of the Year for Washington’s Kalen DeBoer. DeBoer led the Huskies to a 13-0 record and a spot in the College Football Playoff while Fisch piloted Arizona to its most wins since 2014.
Fisch is one of 12 finalists for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year award, as is DeBoer.
The UA landed 12 players on the all-conference team, two each on the First and Second teams and eight honorable mention choices.
A redshirt freshman, Fifita went 6-2 after taking over the starting quarterback job in late September. In those eight games he threw for 2,446 yards and 23 touchdowns, resulting in a conference-record five Freshman of the Week awards. His 73.6 percent completion rate this season is best in school history.
Landing first-team all-conference honors were offensive lineman Jordan Morgan and linebacker Jacob Manu, while receiver Tetairoa McMillan and kicker Tyler Loop made the second team. Arizona’s honorable mention choices were RB Jonah Coleman,WR Jacob Cowing, DB Tacario Davis, TE Tanner McLachlan, DB Ephesians Prysock, OL Jonah Savaiinaea, DB Treydan Stukes, and DL Taylor Upshaw.
Oregon’s Bo Nix won Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, while UCLA’s Laiatu Latu was Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year. Cal’s Cade Uluave was Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year.