Last Updated: 2018-01-16
It didn’t take long for Kevin Sumlin to find a new head coaching job in college football. Less than two months after being forced out of the Texas A&M Aggies’ head coaching position, Sumlin was named the new leader with the Arizona Wildcats. Remember, the Wildcats fired former coach Rich Rodriguez after their loss to the Purdue Boilermakers in the Foster Farms Bowl.
Rodriguez compiled a (43-35) record with the Wildcats over six seasons. Simultaneously, Sumlin spent six years with the Aggies, producing a (51-26) record in the same span. In his only previous stop as a head coach, Sumlin led the Houston Cougars with a (35-17) record in four seasons. The Cougars posted a (12-1) record in his final season in 2011. Sumlin followed that up with a (11-2) record and a No. 5 ranking after a Cotton Bowl win over Oklahoma in 2012. From there, Sumlin and the Aggies never recreated the same type of success. In fact, the Aggies were a Top 10 team in every season under Sumlin. However, they were out of the rankings at the end of the last four years. Overall, Sumlin is (4-3) in Bowl games.
If history reveals anything, it’s that the Wildcats will have a powerful offense with Sumlin at the helm. The Aggies averaged over 550 yards of offense and 44 points per game in Sumlin’s first season. In fact, they scored at least 32 points per game in 5 of the 6 seasons, Sumlin was involved. Unfortunately, the Aggies only scored 27 points per game during the 2015 season.
Sumlin has a potential Heisman quarterback returning for his junior season. Khalil Tate replaced Brandon Dawkins midway through the 2017 season and quickly became the No. 1 option. Tate is a dual-threat quarterback that ran for over 1,400 yards in limited action. He also passed for 1,500 yards, combining for 26 offensive touchdowns. Tate had a six game stretch where he rushed for 1,207 yards and 11 touchdowns. However, he finished the season with 118 rushing yards in the final three games. Under Sumlin’s tutelage, Tate should become a big time passer. Keep in mind, Tate threw for 302 yards and 5 touchdown passes.
Overall, the Wildcats averaged 41 points per game, so Sumlin should be able to hit the ground running and throwing this spring. Noel Mazzone is expected to be named the offensive coordinator.
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