As the 2023 Mississippi State football season keeps getting closer, let’s take a look at the Arizona Wildcats and familiarize ourselves with them.
During the 2022 Mississippi State football season, Mike Leach and his Mississippi State Bulldogs had a pretty intriguing road test in Tucson, Arizona as MSU faced the Arizona Wildcats. The game ended up being very reminiscent of the bizarre happening of Pac-12 After Dark contests (partially given how late the game was played but also because it was utterly chaotic).
Now, in 2023, Zach Arnett and the Bulldogs will be welcoming the Wildcats to Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field in Starkville, Mississippi in what could be another interesting matchup for MSU.
This contest is certainly winnable, but it shouldn’t be counted as a gimmie.
The Wildcats, led by Jedd Fisch, are working on rebuilding their program and they’ve relied heavily upon hitting the transfer portal to find plenty of helpful additions to their roster.
So far, they’ve seen some significant improvements under Fisch’s guidance and leadership. If he and his coaching staff are able to develop the talent they’ve brought to campus (and find a way to shore up their defense), this is a team that could be a problem for folks in the Pac-12 South.
Mississippi State football to host Arizona Wildcats in intriguing non-conference matchup
The Bulldogs theoretically have more talent and have more roster stability. Sure, there’s been a coaching change and Arnett is a first time head coach, so this matchup could be intriguing.
It’ll also be fascinating to watch a Wildcats team that is largely led by an explosive offense come to Starkville to meet up with a Bulldogs‘ team that is now being guided by a former defensive coordinator.
Arnett’s defense had a ton of fun keeping the Wildcats down last season. Arizona averaged 461 yards a game last year while the Bulldogs held them to 316. The Wildcats scored a season-low of 17 points against the Bulldogs while they averaged 30.8 points per game.
So, Arnett fared fairly well against the Wildcats.
Let’s see if he can do that again this season. And let’s go ahead and familiarize ourselves with Arizona heading into 2023.