Jedd Fisch says Arizona success is not surprising: 'I thought we were really good'
Jedd Fisch is not surprised by anything Arizona has done this season.
The 17th-ranked Wildcats handled the 22nd-ranked Utah Utes at home on Saturday, 42-18, to move to 8-3 on the season. Arizona went 1-11 two seasons ago. The program hadn’t enjoyed eight wins in a single season since 2014.
“I thought we were really good, I’ve just thought this way,” Fisch said after the game. “I thought it all training camp. I told Dave (Heeke) that when he would come out to practice, I told the president that when he would come out during training camp. We just felt were good. And you could just kind of get a sense that when you think you’re a good team, feel like you’re a good team, you can see it, and our guys, they play confidently.
“I really feel like we built it the way we wanted to build it. We talked about that first year, I really felt like it was Year 0. I felt like we had to really just figure out who we were going to be, what did we want the program to look like? How are we going to lay the foundation? And then last year, we took a huge jump, and I don’t want to ever not give credit to last year’s success. I know we only won five games, but when you can go from 120th on offense to sixth, people want to come here. We became exciting. People wanted to watch us. People wanted to be a part of it. Defensive players wanted to transfer in. Young players wanted to keep coming. It was because of that bridge (that) allowed us to get to where we are today.”
Beating a ranked Utah squad gave Arizona its fourth win over an opponent in the AP Top 25. That’s the most since 1989.
The Wildcats also picked up their fifth consecutive win — all in conference play. That hadn’t happened since 1998.
And Arizona might even be better than what its record would indicate. The three losses have all been tight. The first came in overtime on the road against Mississippi State. The second was a seven-point defeat at the hands of No. 5 Washington. The last loss was by two points at USC in triple-overtime.
The Wildcats are one of the hottest teams in college football. And the climb looks like it might continue.